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The Weekender: December 25th-27th in Chicago Southland

By published December 16, 2015

There is something to do for all interests this Winter Break in Chicago Southland. Whether you’re looking to celebrate the holiday season or explore winter nature, you will find it just beyond the city limits.

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Make sure to tag #ChicagoSouthland in your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram photos and we’ll try to highlight your picture on our social media channels!

Holiday Happenings

Friday, December 25th
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Whitney's 95th Street (Hilton Chicago/Oak Lawn & Conference Center)
9333 South Cicero Avenue, Oak Lawn
(708) 229-8888
Join us for our Spectacular Christmas Celebration! Reservations are Required! The Buffet will be open from 12-4PM and plated Christmas meals will be served 5-9PM. Seniors will receive 20% discount! The Christmas Menu will include Waldorf Strawberry Spinach and other Chef's Specialty Salads, Shrimp, Made-to-Order Chef's Risotto, Pepper Crusted Steamship of Beef, Chef's Carved Ham, Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Basmati Rice, Vegetables, Herb Crusted White Fish, Christmas Cakes, Chocolate Fountain and many more desserts!

Saturday, December 26th - Sunday, December 27th
Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road, Brookfield
(708) 688-8000
Start a new family tradition at Chicagoland's largest holiday lights festival featuring over one million twinkling lights, animated light displays and a laser light show! Many of the indoor exhibits will be open for viewing favorite animals, including the newest, Great Bear Wilderness. Plus, there is a special dolphin show each evening at 6:30PM. In addition, the zoo restaurants and food stands will be open with full menus and holiday treats and gift shops will have hundreds of unique items. Enjoy a full schedule of nightly music and entertainment in the Pavilions. Outside enjoy a nightly ice carving and an amazing magic show. Then step inside the Holly Jolly Theater and enjoy performances by local choirs and many more holiday themed performances.
Sa-Su 4-9PM

Explore Nature

Saturday, December 26th
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Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Avenue, South Holland
(708) 868-0606
The Forest Preserves of Cook County hosts a series of photo meet-ups for photographers of all skill levels. Each month, one of their naturalists will lead a brief tour of a natural area, highlighting interesting plants, scenic vistas and locations frequented by wildlife. Capture images and share tips with fellow photographers. All cameras are suitable, from SLR to point-and-shoot to smart phone. This is for all photographer levels and camera types.

Saturday, December 26th
Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Avenue, South Holland
(708) 868-0606
Explore the habits of nocturnal animals such as the skunk, opossum, raccoon and bat.

Learn Something New


Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis
700 East Tri-State Tollway, South Holland
(708) 596-8300
Last year the exhibit, "Abraham Lincoln: Self Made in America" came to the Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis. The traveling exhibit was created by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The exhibit features eight kiosks and covers Lincoln's childhood, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the 1860 Presidential election, the Civil War, the 27th Amendment and Emancipation Proclamation, his assassination and other important periods and events in his life. This is a temporary exhibit, so don't miss the opportunity to learn about a famous part of America's history!
Open 7 days a week


Saturday, December 26th
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Balmoral Park Race Track
26435 South Dixie Highway, Crete
(708) 672-1414
Catch the last day to see live racing in this historic venue. There will be giveaways, prizes, a merchandise blowout, FREE handicapping contest and a final night buffet. Watch a tribute to 89 years of history at Balmoral Park Race Track. Thank you to everyone who helped with this great visitor attraction!

Saturday, December 26th - Sunday, December 27th
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 West 118th Street, Lemont
(630) 257-2045
Trails will be opened and groomed as snow conditions permit. All skiers must obtain a free trail pass. Rentals available until 2PM. Rental equipment must be returned by 3:45PM. Rental Rates: Individual-$15; Senior-$10; Family-$40; Groups-call in advance, reservation only. Valid driver's license or $100 deposit required. Ages 18 & up or accompanied by parent or guardian. Equipment is for use at Sagawau only.

If you’re planning further ahead, please check our calendar of events.
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