The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events Near Lake Forest, IL

The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means—twinkling lights, festive music, and a whole lot of community spirit. If you’re looking for ways to get into the holiday groove, you’re in luck. Lake Forest and its neighboring areas are buzzing with events that will make your holidays merry and bright. Let’s dive in!

Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration at Market Square

Kick off the holiday season November 24th with the annual Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration at the historic Market Square. This event is a family favorite, featuring live entertainment, warm drinks, carolers, and even a visit from Santa himself. The ceremony starts at 3:00 pm. It’s a free community event, so don’t miss out!

Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Imagine walking through a winter wonderland illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. That’s exactly what you’ll experience at Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The event runs from November 10th to January 7th, and is open until 11 pm each night. Tickets are timed in 15-minute increments to ensure a smooth experience for all.

Joy and Wonder in the Square

Hosted by Market Square in Lake Forest, this event promises to fill your day with holiday cheer. From carriage rides to live performances of “The Nutcracker,” there’s something for everyone. The event is open to the public and runs from 12-3 pm.

Ice Skating at West Park

If you’re a fan of ice skating, West Park is the place to be. The rink is open daily, with special holiday hours, so you can skate your way into the New Year. It includes a seasonal skating pond, a warming hut, and festive lights.

Holiday Movie at Gorton Center

As part of the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Gorton Center will be showing the holiday classic “Home Alone” at 1 pm. It’s a great way to get into the spirit of the season before the lights go on at Market Square.

Caroling Concert by Lake Forest High School Choristers

Another highlight of the Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration is the caroling concert by the Lake Forest High School Choristers. Starting at 4:30 pm, the choristers will fill the air with holiday tunes that will warm your heart.

Food Trucks and Holiday Treats

What’s a holiday event without some delicious food? At the Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration, you’ll find food trucks from Rosati’s Pizza and Taste of Paris, along with cider, donuts, and hot chocolate.

Arts and Crafts Activity for Kids

For the little ones, there’s an arts and crafts activity courtesy of Sage Explorers. It’s a great way for kids to unleash their creativity and take home a holiday keepsake.

Ice Sculpting by Art Below Zero

Be amazed as artists from Art Below Zero create stunning ice sculptures right before your eyes. This activity is part of the Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration and starts at 3 pm.

Visit with Santa

No holiday event is complete without a visit from Santa. He’ll be at the Tree Lighting Holiday Celebration from 3:15-5:00 pm, so make sure your kids have their wish lists ready!