We know there’s so much to do in DuPage County this joyous time of year. From holiday light shows and craft markets to photos with Santa and beyond, you’re probably wondering, “How am I going to map it all out?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Simply follow our holiday countdown, which suggests activities for you and your family to partake in leading up to Christmas.
You and your family are sure to “sleigh” at every holiday party when you score designer goods at this year’s holiday prices – think Von Maur, Henri Bendel, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, J. Crew, and more. After restocking your wardrobe, stay up-to-date on modern technology with phones, laptops, and home appliances from the Apple Store, Microsoft, and The Container Store. Then, grab some hot cocoa for you and Santa from the Godiva store.
December 14: Light up the Weekend
Get some fresh air (and exercise) at The Morton Arboretum’s Illuminations, where the brightly decorated trees and gardens will enchant you. This year offers fresh twists on favorite experiences and surprising new sights, including art from HYBYCOZO–amazing treelike sculptures that spread intricate designs of light. Time Out Chicago noted Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum as one of the 10 best things to do during the holidays in Chicago.
December 15: A Magical Performance
Take the entire family to experience a holiday tradition, The Nutcracker. See the classic production come to life featuring a growing Christmas tree, a battle between mice and soldiers, a journey through the land of whirling snowflakes, a joyous visit to the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy and accompaniment by New Philharmonic orchestra. It’s a rare opportunity to see this magnificent ballet set to live music. And, your kids are sure to love the pre-show activities that include meeting Santa and taking photos in the lobby with a life-size nutcracker.
December 16: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Immerse yourself in more lights when you adventure to Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic exhibit- Chicagoland’s largest and longest running lights festival. The display includes over one million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot talking tree, train display, carolers, ice carvers, and much more!
December 17: A Grape Time
‘Tis the season to celebrate all of your hard work! Check out Lynfred Winery’s selection of fine wine. These beautiful bottles are great gifts, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you saved some for yourself, too.
December 18: A German Excursion
Partake in Naper Settlement’s Chriskindlmarket, where you’ll find a multitude of German delicacies, decorations, and delightful gifts for everyone on your list. Be sure to check out the special mug similar to the one sold in Downtown Chicago, but exclusive to Naperville (available for purchase). Admission to the market is always free!
December 19: Toast to the Holidays
Visit one of our local breweries- Alter Brewing Company, Church Street Brewing Company, Granite City Food & Brewery, More Brewing Company, Noon Whistle Brewing, Red Arrow Tap Room, and Two Brother’s Tap House to satisfy your taste buds this season with the best craft beer and food pairings.
Our breweries were spotlighted on a segment with our Goodwill Ambassador Judy Hsu of ABC7! Click here for the full story.
December 20: Christmas Cookie Exchange
Join the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy in a stress free evening of listening to carols and baking cookies! Participants will be split into teams and each team will make different cookie recipes. At the end, bakers will receive a pretty box filled with all of the baking delights to enjoy and share with family and friends. 8 cookie recipes are on the menu and wine, craft beer and soft drinks will be available for purchase.
December 21 : Love the Local Communities
After you experience our larger malls, get a feel for the smaller boutiques in our quaint downtown neighborhoods including Downtown Bensenville, Downtown Glen Ellyn, Downtown Lombard, Downtown Naperville, Downtown Wheaton and the Elmhurst City Centre. Enjoy a stroll through festive parks and take photos of the picturesque landscapes surrounding our charming downtown areas.
December 22: Community Trees
Check out Cantigny Park’s Community Trees in the Robert R. McCormick House. The trees were decorated by local non-profits (each given a donation of $2,500 by Cantigny) to spread awareness about their organizations. You must be on a free guided tour in order to see and vote for your favorite tree! The organization with the most votes by the end of the season will get another donation from the McCormick Foundation.
December 23: A Tale as Old as Time – Beauty and the Beast
Based on the beloved Academy Award-winning Disney film, this nine-time Tony nominated musical continues to win the hearts of people all over the globe. Trapped in her provincial life, a young and intelligent beauty risks everything to become the heroine of her own story and break a wicked spell imprisoning a castle of enchanted misfits and a terrifying beast. See it for yourself at Drury Lane Theatre!
December 24: Dining Out
There’s something for every palette in DuPage County. Find savory comfort in steak options from Ditka’s, Gibson’s, Fogo de Chao and more, or bask in barbecue options and stay warm by the fires that pit masters create at Chuck’s Southern Comforts or Real Urban Barbecue.
Book your Weekend Package
Book your weekend stay to enjoy more than one event. Whether you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop, enjoy the festivals, spend time outdoors or indulge in our fine dining, DuPage County hotels offer a variety of package options to fit your your needs and wants.