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By published November 29, 2021

The winter holiday season is a favorite time of year for many and the Chicago Southland has tons of festivities this year. Bundle up and check out these wonderful events!

Brookfield Zoo ChicagoFor the Kids

Holiday Magic is taking place every Wednesday through Sunday this December (excluding the week of Christmas) at the Brookfield Zoo Chicago. See gorgeous lights strung all about and enjoy over 600 decorated trees. Register your time to visit here!

There’s always something for the youngsters to do in the Chicago Southland, and that stays true this December. Learn more about owls at Nature Play Day: Owls at the Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Beecher on December 8. Registration is required, so be sure to click here!

Has your child ever wanted to meet a real-life reindeer? Well this year they can, at Reindeer on the Green in Frankfort on December 11. Meet two Alaskan reindeer and enjoy hot cocoa, live music and crafts.

Check out the Santa Photos & Workshop at the Founders Community Center in Frankfort December 11 where you can take photos with Santa, as well as enjoy holiday themed games and crafts. Make sure to register here!

Holiday Markets and Events

This December is chock full of fun-filled holiday markets to enjoy in the Chicago Southland. On December 3, you can visit Holiday Happenings at the Oak Park Avenue Metra Train Station in Oak Forest, Holiday Lights in Homewood, the Holiday Luminary Walk in Orland Park, the Winter Wonderland in South Holland and the Kris Kringle Market in Palos Heights. Come get some great gifts and sweet treats at one of these fantastic markets!

Festival of LightsEnjoy the Crete Country Christmas at the Crete Country Christmas Lodge, where attendees can see ice sculptures, a light parade, food, a bonfire and live music December 3-5.

Festival of Lights in Lansing will be showing off more than 30 Christmas trees adorned with decorations of holiday celebrations from around the world. The event takes place at the Lansing Public Library Monday-Thursday 6-8PM or Saturday 12-3PM throughout December.

For the Adults

Looking for some holiday fun made just for adults? The Chicago Southland has you covered with some great options.

The Ugly Sweater Campfire For 21 and Older at the Messenger Woods Nature Preserve in Homer Glen is perfect for those who like to show off their funny ugly Christmas sweaters. Join in on the event on December 11 for s’mores, hot chocolate and games. Register by December 9 here.

The Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Cheer & Great Craft Beer event, running from December 13 to December 24. Come by each day for new craft beer releases, giveaways and specials. They are also hosting a Christmas at the Brewery on December 19, offering free horse-drawn carriage rides through the town and a special guest appearance by Santa! For details on both events, click here.

New Year

Ring in the new year with your loved ones at one of these great events on December 31.

For the kids who can’t be up at midnight, stop by the Founders Community Center on December 31 at noon for the New Year’s Countdown. For kids 4-10, enjoy crafts, ice cream and a giant inflatable. Registration deadline is December 27, so be sure to register here.

The Noon New Year’s Eve Sock Hop is taking place at the Prairie Bluff Golf Course in Crest Hill. Swing on by to listen to live music from Rosie and the Rivets, a retro dinner and milkshakes.

The New Year’s Eve Family Party is taking place at both Haunted Trails locations in Burbank and Joliet. Stop on by for great food and indoor fun from 8PM-12AM. Be sure to register in advance here for the Burbank location and here for the Joliet location.

Enjoy the New Year’s Eve Party 2021 at the Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park, where attendees can enjoy live entertainment, dinner and a top shelf open bar! Be sure to register and buy your tickets here.

Chicago Gaelic Park in Oak Forest is hosting its very own New Year’s Eve party, taking place from 4-8PM. Celebrating the start of the new year in Ireland time, get ready for a “Happy New Year!” at 6PM with a sparkling juice toast for kids and champagne for the adults. Be sure to get your tickets by calling (708) 687-9323.

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