65 Things to Do with Kids This Weekend: November 23-26

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With Thanksgiving on Thursday, Christmas festivities are already filling up our list of things to do with kids this weekend. We can’t help but get into the holiday spirit! Bundle up at tree lighting ceremonies and holiday walks all weekend long where your family can wave to Santa, marvel at the lights, and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while listening to holiday music.

While we don’t normally include Thursdays in our weekend roundup, we can’t help but give a shout-out to the turkey trots happening throughout the suburbs. It’s a Brookfield Zoo Free Admission Day, too! Burn off some energy at these kid-friendly spots before gathering with family and friends.

The Kidlist team wishes a happy and healthy Thanksgiving to all of our Kidlist readers. We’re so thankful for you!

This weekend planner is sponsored by Downtown Naperville and the featured listings.

Hometown Holidays in Downtown Naperville

Downtown Naperville
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Downtown Naperville is celebrating Hometown Holidays this weekend! Not only are there special holiday sales all around town at over 100 shops, but there are also holiday festivities around every corner … including the Holiday Parade of Lights on Friday, November 24 at 7pm; the Letters to Santa Mailbox; Small Business Saturday; Painted Holiday Windows; an Elf Scavenger Hunt with elves hidden in business windows; plus over 300,000 twinkling lights nightly, all over downtown.

Grab some friends and your holiday lists and head to Downtown Naperville. Visit downtownnaperville.com for a list of shops, restaurants, spas and special holiday events.

Things to Do with Kids This Weekend:
Western Suburbs

Please check the details before you go to these events to ensure you know about registration requirements and additional safety measures to maximize your family’s fun. While we do our best to keep the most up-to-date information in our calendar, last minute location or time changes do happen. Want to find “weekend events near me”? We have you covered!

Thursday

How are you getting outside and enjoying the beautiful (if chilly) weather this Thanksgiving? These events offer a chance to do just that.

Turkey Trot and Food Drive (Glen Ellyn)
November 23, 2023 | 8:00am – 10:00am

Naperville Lions Turkey Trot
November 23, 2023 | 8:00am – 10:30am
Must register online in advance.

Grove Express 5K (Downers Grove)
November 23, 2023 | 8:30am – 10:30am

Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot (Elmhurst)
November 23, 2023 | 9:00am – 12:00pm

Brookfield Zoo Free Admission Day
November 23, 2023 | 10:00am – 5:00pm

Friday

Make Ornaments for the Wilder Park Tree at Elmhurst Public Library, watch the Friday Afternoon Movie: Elemental at the Eola Road Branch in Aurora, or wave to Santa at the Holiday Parade of Lights in Downtown Naperville.

Big Blue Block Party (St. Charles Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 9:30am – 4:00pm

Roving Naturalists (Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago)
November 24, 2023 | 11:30am – 1:30pm

Small Business Weekend in Downtown Downers Grove

Shop. Dine. Celebrate. Small Business Weekend in Downtown Downers Grove. Lists details as described below.

Kick off the holiday season in Downtown Downers Grove. On November 24, watch as Santa helps light the Community Tree at 4:30pm. The Gingerbread House Contest will run November 24-December 3, and on display until December 10. Vote for your favorite business in the Holiday Window Contest, November 24-December 10. Complimentary horse drawn wagon rides will be on Sunday, November 26, 1-4pm.

The Gingerbread Man Hunt & Candy Cane Cash Rewards will be held throughout the holiday season. Complimentary visits with Santa in his Gingerbread House Saturdays and Sundays 1-4pm, November 24-December 17. Strolling community carolers will be spreading holiday cheer Saturdays and Sundays, November 24-December 17.

This is the perfect opportunity to explore our retailers for one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoy self-care at one of our barbers or salons, or take a break in one of our restaurants. Shop & dine small this holiday season and you will be giving a gift that will continue to give back!

For the details and to stay updated on all the holiday season happenings visit downtowndg.org.

Friends Used Book Sale (Glen Ellyn Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Ornaments for the Wilder Park Tree (Elmhurst Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Walk Off That Turkey (Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland)
November 24, 2023 | 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Register in advance.

Annual Turkey Trot Hike (Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest)
November 24, 2023 | 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Register in advance.

Holiday Walk (Glen Ellyn Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Visit before the downtown festivities begin.

Friday Afternoon Movie: Elemental (Eola Road Branch, Aurora)
November 24, 2023 | 2:00pm – 3:45pm

Family Movie Afternoon (Wheaton Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Storytime with the Gingerbread Librarians (Downers Grove Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 3:45pm – 4:10pm

Black Friday Night Market (Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Chicago)
November 24, 2023 | 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 24, 2023 | 4:30pm – 5:00pm

Holiday Walk (Downtown Glen Ellyn)
November 24, 2023 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Holiday Homecoming (Downtown St. Charles)
November 24, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Wheaton Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
November 24, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Live Nativity (First Presbyterian Church, Glen Ellyn)
November 24, 2023 | 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Holiday Parade of Lights (Downtown Naperville)
November 24, 2023 | 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday

Saturday’s festivities will certainly get you in the holiday spirit. Join the Winter Wonderland Event at B.R. Ryall YMCA in Glen Ellyn, visit Santa’s Craft Corner at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, or watch the Christmas Parade and Festival of Lights in Bellwood.

Home Depot Workshop (Check your local store)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00am – 12:00pm

Wheaton French Market (Downtown Wheaton)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00am – 1:00pm

Holiday Pop-Up Craft Show (Bartlett)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00am – 4:00pm

Winter Wonderland Event (B.R. Ryall YMCA, Glen Ellyn)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00am – 11:00am

Holiday Homecoming (Downtown St. Charles)
November 25, 2023 | 10:00am – 7:00pm

Museum Campus Exploration Day (Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville)
November 25, 2023 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

Santas Craft Corner (Cosley Zoo, Wheaton)
November 25, 2023 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

Free Family Holiday Movies: Arthur Christmas (Glen Art Theatre, Glen Ellyn)
November 25, 2023 | 10:30am – 12:30pm

Nature Center Open House (Lake View Nature Center, Oakbrook Terrace)
November 25, 2023 | 11:00am – 2:00pm

Strolling Carolers (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 25, 2023 | 12:00pm – 4:30pm

Santa’s House (Downtown St. Charles)
November 25, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Complimentary Visits with Santa (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 25, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Christmas in the Square (Lockport)
November 25, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:30pm

Dinosaur Discoveries (Berwyn Public Library)
November 25, 2023 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Registration is required.

Open LEGO Building (Elmhurst Public Library)
November 25, 2023 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Christmas Parade and Festival of Lights (Bellwood)
November 25, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Geneva Commons Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration (Geneva)
November 25, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Winter Fireworks (Navy Pier, Chicago)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00pm – 9:30pm

Sunday

Stop for a complimentary Visit with Santa in Downtown Downers Grove, visit the Santa’s House in Downtown St. Charles, or celebrate at Holiday Happening in Hodgkins.

Feeding Time at Hidden Oaks (Bolingbrook)
November 26, 2023 | 11:00am – 12:00pm
Register in advance.

Strolling Carolers (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 26, 2023 | 12:00pm – 4:30pm

Santa’s House (Downtown St. Charles)
November 26, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Complimentary Visits with Santa (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 26, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Complimentary Wagonette Rides (Downtown Downers Grove)
November 26, 2023 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Holiday Happening (Hodgkins)
November 26, 2023 | 4:30pm – 7:30pm

Celebration of Lights (Downtown Batavia)
November 26, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Things to Do with Kids This Weekend:
Northwest Suburbs

Thursday

If you’d like, your family can get out and enjoy some fresh air before your feast.

Turkey Trot and Sammy Scurry (Palatine)
November 23, 2023 | 8:30am – 11:00am
Register in advance or the day of the race.

Friday

Watch the Holiday Tree Lighting at Village Green in Elk Grove Village or celebrate at Park Ridge Winterfest. Not ready for Christmas yet? Spend the afternoon at Barrington Area Library’s All-Ages Game Day.

Bilingual Storytime: Spanish, Hora de cuentos bilingüe (Park Ridge Public Library)
November 24, 2023 | 10:30am – 10:50am

Roving Naturalists (Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago)
November 24, 2023 | 11:30am – 1:30pm

All-Ages Game Day (Barrington Area Library)
November 24, 2023 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Holiday Tree Lighting (Village Green, Elk Grove Village)
November 24, 2023 | 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Black Friday Night Market (Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Chicago)
November 24, 2023 | 4:00pm – 9:00pm

Holiday Tree Lighting (Arlington Heights)
November 24, 2023 | 4:30pm – 6:30pm

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Schaumburg)
November 24, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Park Ridge Winterfest
November 24, 2023 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday

Support local artisans at the Holiday Craft Fair at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, or head to a farm or lot where you can cut your own Christmas tree.

Home Depot Workshop (Check your local store)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00am – 12:00pm

Holiday Craft Fair (Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg)
November 25, 2023 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

Drop-in Fun: Games Galore (Mount Prospect Public Library)
November 25, 2023 | 10:00am – 12:00pm

Winter Fireworks (Navy Pier, Chicago)
November 25, 2023 | 9:00pm – 9:30pm

Sunday

Get in the holiday spirit at the John Hersey High School Dickens Carolers Concert at Prospect Heights Public Library, or start planning your visit to a holiday Nutcracker performance.

Toys 4 Tots Breakaway (Mount Prospect)
November 26, 2023 | 9:00am – 1:00pm
Register in advance.

Bloomingdale Maker’s Market
November 26, 2023 | 10:00am – 2:00pm

Holiday Craft Fair (Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg)
November 26, 2023 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

Concert: John Hersey High School Dickens Carolers (Prospect Heights Public Library)
November 26, 2023 | 1:15pm – 3:00pm
Register in advance.

Holiday Lighting Event (Itasca)
November 26, 2023 | 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Want to look ahead to next week?

Check out all the family-friendly events happening in your neighborhood and beyond on our events calendar!

You might also be interested in…

Holiday Fun Guide

Local Experience Gift Guide

Where to Have the Best Kids Birthday Party + Entertainers, Rentals, Decor, Food and More

Find the Right Preschool and Daycare for Your Family

Your Local Guide to Kids Eat Free

We hope you found some family-friendly fun in our list of weekend events in the western suburbs of Chicago! This list is updated every week and sent out in the Kidlist emails. (Click here to sign up if you haven’t already.)

We love local businesses, libraries, park districts, villages, and organizations — they plan great events for all of us to enjoy. If you are hosting an event or know of an event that should be on our list, click here to submit it to the Kidlist calendar!

We strive to be the most comprehensive source for family fun, which is why you’ll always see so many weekend events listed. It would definitely be easier to just list the details for a few events and call them “the best weekend events for families”, but we recognize that everyone has different interests. Not to mention, sometimes I’m in the mood to go to a huge festival, and sometimes I’d rather go to a low-key storytime at the library. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. That’s why we work hard and spend a lot of time to find everything going on in our area so you don’t have to!

We hope you find it helpful and we are open to suggestions. The Kidlist Team always talks about how we can improve and evolve to meet your needs, so let us know!

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