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Features

Santa Sightings

Santa will be visiting many locations in Will and Grundy Counties over the next month. For a location close to you, check our Santa Sightings guide.
Santa will be visiting many locations in Will and Grundy Counties over the next month. For a location close to you, check our Santa Sightings guide.

Ongoing

• Santa Photos – Through Dec. 24, Bass Pro Shop, The Promenade, Bolingbrook.

• Santa Photos – Through Dec. 24, Louis Joliet Mall, Joliet.

¨USPS Operation Santa – Individuals and organizations can adopt letters to Santa online at USPSOperationSanta.com. The adopter must go to a post office that offers "label broker" as an online service to send the gift. To find qualifying label broker post offices, visit usps.com/locator. The USPS Operation Santa program was established by the postal service 107 years ago to help families and children in need at the holidays. For the complete history, visit aboutusps.com/holidaynews.

• Video Message from Santa – Children ages 1 to 13 can get a personalized video message from Santa Claus before Christmas through the Plainfield Park District.
Parents can sign up by filling out the form on the Park District’s website before Dec. 9.
An email with a link to your video will then arrive before Christmas (Dec. 25.). The order form is available at plfdparks.org or at the Ottawa St. Recreation/Administration Center’s guest services desk, 23729 W. Ottawa St., Plainfield and at the Prairie Activity & Recreation Center, 24550 W. Renwick Road, Plainfield. The cost is $15.

Nov. 29

• Stories with Santa – Noon and 2 p.m., Joliet Public Library, 150 N. Ottawa St., Joliet. Christmas crafts at 9 a.m. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk will join Santa for the 2 p.m storytime. A horse and carriage will also be outside from 3 to 5 p.m. for pictures and meet and greet with two of Santa's reindeer. Call 815-740-2660 or visit jolietlibrary.org.

• Joliet Area Historical Museum Free Day – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet. Santa arrives at 10 a.m. Also STEM activities, games, crafts, holiday juice bar, holiday snacks, meet Elsa and Anna and enjoy their dance party and Bicentennial Park's gnome snow. Visit jolietdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays.

Nov. 30

• Breakfast with Santa – 8 to 11 a.m., Morris Area Public Library, 604 N. Liberty St., Joliet. Breakfast and holiday craft with Santa. Bring own camera. To register, call 815-942-6880.

• Cottonwood Christmas – Noon to 3 p.m., Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, 17250 Weber Road, Lockport. Sleigh rides, Santa meet and greet, pet and feed farm animals, train rides (weather permitting), giant mountain slide, play area, candy cannon, Wizzer ride. Call 815-741-2693 or visit ourpumpkinfarm.com.

• Small Business Saturday – 1 to 4:30 p.m., downtown Lockport. Visit Santa, and see live action ice sculptor-"Hawk" work magic on the Scale House Plaza!

• Christmas in the Square – 1:30 to 4:30pm at Central Square, 222 E. Ninth St., Lockport. Visit with Santa and his reindeer. Each child receives a special gift from Santa. Stop at the Gladys Fox Museum, 231 E. Ninth St., to vote for the best decorated Christmas tree in the Festival of Trees. At 4:30 p.m., gather around the front lawn of Central Square for the tree lighting ceremony. Sponsored by the Lockport Township Park District, City of Lockport, Lockport Township Government and local businesses. Free. Call 815-838-1183, ext. 208.

• Heart of Christmas, Grinchmas Tree Lighting – 4 to 9 p.m., Village Green Park, Plainfield.
Visit from the Grinch, Santa, Park District mascot Scout, a Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. by Grinch and Santa, pictures with the Grinch and Santa from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. and screening of the holiday cartoon classic, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at 5:30 p.m. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be available (as supplies last.) View Christmas trees decorated by area businesses and organizations that will be on display throughout Village Green Park. Visit plfdparks.org.

Dec. 1

• Visit Santa in his House – 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 22 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Illinois Avenue at Liberty Street, Morris. Free.

• Santa Sock Hop registration deadlne – Event is 6 to 9 p.m., Dec. 6, Hope Lutheran Church, 305 E. Black Road, Shoreood. $5. Includes magic show, free magic trick, visit with Santa, slice of pizza, sweet treat and drink, line dancing and karaoke to popular and Christmas music. $5. One adult must accompany children ages 12 and under. Call 815-741-2428.

Dec. 2

• Santa Photo With Your Pets! – 6 to 8 p.m., Santa's House, 111 E. Illinois Ave., Morris.

Dec. 3

• Santa and Mrs. Claus Visit The White Oak Library – 6 to 7 p.m., White Oak Library District, 121 E. 8th St., Lockport. Photos and activities. To register, contact Jane Gardner at 815-552-4265 or jgardner@whiteoaklib.org or visit whiteoaklibrary.org.

Dec. 4

• Holiday Open House – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., White Oak Library District, 20670 Len Kubinski Drive, Crest Hill; 121 E. 8th St., Lockport; 201 W. Normantown Road, Romeoville. Variety of activities for all ages including, craft stations, treats, holiday music, a visit from Santa and photos with Santa. Activities and treats will vary by branch. Registration not required. Visit whiteoaklibrary.org.

• Santa Photos – 6 to 11 p.m., South 20. 224 Liberty St., Morris. Santa photos available during Midnight in Morris.

Dec. 5

• Lighting of the Green – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Breidert Green, Frankfort. Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate, cookies. Visit villageoffrankfort.com/calendar.

Dec. 6

• Winter Wonderland and Hope for the Holidays food drive – 6 p.m., Edward Hospital Athletic & Event Center, 55 Phelps Ave., Romeoville. Santa arrives, light dinner provided for first 500 people. children's entertainment, crafts, moon jumps. First 400 children get photo with Santa. Visit romeoville.org.

Dec. 7

• Holiday Pancake Breakfast – 8 to 11 a.m., Lockport VFW, 1026 E. 9th St., Lockport. Breakfast, visit Santa, bake sale,  raffle baskets. $7 at door, $6 in advance. Kids 4 and under are free. Email friendsoftroop50@gmail.com for discounted tickets.

• Breakfast with Santa and the Grinch – 8:30 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Prairie Bluff Golf Club, Lockport. Share breakfast with Santa, visit with Santa. make a craft and listen as Santa reads a story. Bring own camera. All adults and children must register. Call 815-838-1183

CASA of Will County’s 11th Annual – Also Dec. 8, Trains depart from Joliet Union Station, 50 E. Jefferson St., Joliet. Guests will enjoy games and activities, presented by Joliet Junior Woman’s Club, and hot cocoa, before boarding the Christmas Express en route to the Tinley Park Oak Park Avenue Station. Once there, guests will partake in a wondrous array of festive fun before their return trip to Joliet. In addition to the train ride, activities will include: Breakfast or lunch and photos with Santa at Durbins in Tinley Park (17265 South Oak Park Ave.), "Santa’s Workshop," also known as the Viking Lodge (6730 175th St, Tinley Park) with fun-filled activities sponsored by The Holly Club of Joliet, children’s games, face painting, raffle prizes. On both days, The Village of Tinley Park will hold its annual Holiday Market starting at noon, so guests on later trains can enjoy all of those amenities before heading back to Joliet. The popular market is free and open to the public in the Metra station parking lot. Tickets for the CASA Christmas Express are $35 each and include the round-trip train ticket, breakfast or lunch, soft drinks, hot cocoa and cookies as well as all activities. All proceeds will help CASA of Will County to recruit, train and supervise volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in Will County. For more information, call 815-730-7072 or email executive director Rita Facchina, at rfacchina@casaofwillcounty.org. For more details, tickets and an FAQ page, visit casaofwillcounty.org.

 Santa Visits the Library – 10 to 11:30 a.m., Coal City Public Library District, 85 N.Garfield St., Coal City. Stories photos (bring own camera), snacks, crafts, Christmas books to read. Ages 0 to fifth grade. Contact Rene Norris at 815-634-4552 ext. 110 or Rene@ccpld.org. or visit ccpld.org.

• Santa Singalong – The Promenade, Bolingbrook. Visit shoppingpromenade.com.

• Cookie Walk – Noon to 3 p.m.; also Dec. 8, Downtown Frankfort. Each ticket allows you to come Saturday or Sunday and collect a festive, individually wrapped holiday cookie at up to 25 downtown Frankfort merchants. Also hot chocolate stations and visit with Santa. Call 815-469-3356.

• Second Annual Free Community Children’s Christmas event at Hope UMC – 4 to 6 p.m.,2506 Caton Farm Road, Joliet. Christmas crafts, pictures with Santa, games and prizes, letters to Santa, Santa's secret workshop, cupcake walk. Call 815-436-2209.

• Homer For The Holidays – 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Heritage Park, 14240 W. 151st Street, Homer Glen. Village light display featuring over 400 mini sparkle light strands, over 60 suspended spritzer lights, flood lights, 28 pole décors, and 21 large-scale 3D light sculptures, which will include a 32-foot double cone tree and a 20-foot hot cocoa walk through mug, with a mist that will smell like hot chocolate. Lighting of tree and Santa at 4:45 p.m. Also photos with Santa, professional caroling group, choir students, free train rides for kids and adults, photo booths, crafts, letters to Santa and pet costume contest. Visit homerglenil.org/2555/Homer-for-the-Holidays.

Dec. 9

• Santa Photo With Your Pets! – 6 to 8 p.m., Santa's House, 111 E. Illinois Ave., Morris.

Dec. 10

• Santa Is Comin' to Town – 6:30 to 8 p.m., Shorewood-Troy Library, Meeting Room A, 650 Deerwood Drive, Shorewood. Babies, toddlers, adults. To register, call 815-725-1715 or visit shorewoodtroylibrary.org.

• Breakfast with Santa registration deadline – Event is Dec. 14, American Italian Cultural Society, Crest Hill. Breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, orange juice and milk. Also, pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus’ bakery to decorate cakes or cupcakes, elves workshop for arts and crafts. $5 adults and children over age 5. Children under age 5 are free. Call or text Toni Vallera Muren at 815-531-5151.

Dec. 13

• Pet Photos with Santa – Also Dec. 20, Louis Joliet Mall, Joliet.

• Journey to the North Pole – 5 to 8 p.m., also Dec. 14, Four Season’s Park, 22500 Lockport St., Plainfield. Wagon ride to the North Pole travels past several holiday scenes and includes a holiday light show on the way to meet Santa. The journey includes hot chocolate, cookies, and popcorn along the way. Trips departs every 20 minutes. $9 residents and $12 non-residents. Ages 2 and up with responsible adult. Ages 1 and under free with paid adult. Registration deadline is noon Dec. 13. Dress for weather. For more information and full departure schedule, visit plfdparks.org.

Dec. 14

• Apple Butter & Shugie's Annual Party with Elfie – 9 am. to 5 p.m.; also 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 15, 309 N. Liberty St., Morris. Stop by and get your magic bag and certified invitation from Santa anytime at Apple Butter and Shugie's. Refreshments, gifts and photo ops. Wear your Christmas finery.

• Holiday Pawlooza Pancake Breakfast – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Joliet Moose Lodge, 25 Springfield Ave., Joliet. Vendors, pictures with Santa (for pets and people) and bakery for sale. To register for breakfast and photos with Santa, visit bit.ly/2ONA1LC. Benefits Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue in Joliet.

• Santa Is Coming! – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sunshine Garden Center, 2850 Division St.,
Diamond. Pictured with Santa. Walk-in event. Hosted by Tarra Ann Photography. Visit Tarra Ann Photography on Facebook.

• 16th Annual Timbers Christmas Party: "Santa and the Timbers’ Elves" – 1 to 4 p.m., Timbers of Shorewood, 100 N. River Road, Shorewood. One free picture with Santa, caricature artist, face painting, Grinch shooting range, children's games, arts and crafts, holiday treats. Draft horses for hayrides from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Beverages, popcorn, cookies served, and children’s games. Free and open to the public. Call 815-609-0669 or visit timbersofshorewood.com.

• A Village Christmas – 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Village of Minooka, community room, 121 E. McEvilly Road, Minooka. Pictures with Santa, crafts, cookie decorating, DJ, children's games. Free.

Dec. 15

• Soothing/calming Santa – Louis Joliet Mall, Joliet

• St. Mary Nativity Christmas Craft & Vendor Show – 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 702 N. Broadway, Joliet. Over 30 vendors and crafters, bakery, raffles. Pancake breakfast with Santa served in cafeteria. Free admission. Vendor spaces may still be available. $20. Email StMarysChristmasShow@gmail.com or call 815-603-4839.

• Toys for Tots event – 3 to 8 p.m., River Hawk Brewing, 24735 W Eames St.,
Channahon. Along with Santa, the Marines will be present for toy collection. Also food by the Happy Belly Chefs and cookie decorating with Lisa of NBBA, maker of amazing cheesecakes. Bring some new unwrapped toys and get special pricing on drinks for donating. Call 815-255-2202.

Dec. 21

• An Evening with Santa – 4 to 8 p.m., Illinois Avenue at Liberty Street, Morris. Free.

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