Where to See Santa in Lake County {2017}

Santa Claus is coming to town! Luckily he is making several stops to Lake County before the big night so everyone can see him. We have rounded up a list of where and when the jolly old fellow will be while he is in town.  As with everything, be sure to check all listings on the day of before heading out. Santa needs breaks just like everyone else.

where to see santa in lake county

Where to See Santa in Lake County

Daily/Ongoing Santa Visits in Lake County

11 November – 24 December  Santa’s Wonderland 
Bass Pro Shop, Gurnee Mills, 6112 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee
FREE  Come take a free picture with Santa, make a craft, and more.

9 November – 24 December, hours vary ,  Gurnee Mills
6170 Grand Ave.,  Gurnee
It’s time for holiday photos with Santa.Santa will be near the Dining Pavillion in the Macy’s Wing. Save time, avoid the line! Now you can reserve your magical moment with Santa online at simonsanta.com. Be sure to attend his arrival event, on November 9th.

17 November- 24 December Hawthorn Mall
Macy’s Court, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
Santa will be at Hawthorn Mall following his arrival event. Hours that Santa will be there vary, so please check website ahead of time.

11 November – 24 December  Northbrook Court
1515 Lake Cook Rd., Northbrook
Santa’s in the house at Northbrook Court starting November 11th. You can save time in line by reserving a spot online. Also this year you can save $5 on pictures between Mondays and Wednesdays.  In addition to seeing Santa Northbrook Court has a pajama night and ugly sweater night with Santa.

2 December – 23 December, Hours Vary  Ice House Mall
Ice House Mall, 200 Applebee St., Barrington
All children are asked to bring a canned or boxed good for the Meals of Hope Food Drive to help needy families throughout Illinois and those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Call for Santa’s schedule 847-381-6661 or go to www.icehousemall for Santa’s visiting hours.  Drop your letters to Santa in his North Pole mailbox! Also be sure not to miss his arrival at the Ice House Mall.

25 November – 17 December, (Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays only)   Santa’s Christmas Cottage 
Millennium Park, Fox Lake
FREE Visit with Santa during the Christmas season and have children’s pictures taken at Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake. A photographer is not available at the Santa House so bring your camera. Dates are tentative and subject to change by park district, see website for time.

1 December, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. & 2,9, & 16 December, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Santa’s Cottage 
Mundelein Village Hall, Mundelein
FREE Santa’s Cottage is one of Mundelein’s most cherished events in the eyes of children and their parents. Hosted by the Mundelein Community Connection, a visit to Santa’s Cottage is a memorable experience year in and year out. Bring your camera as no photographer is on site.

Santa Arrival Events in Lake County

Photo Source L Hawthorn Mall Facebook Page

9 November, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Santa Arrives
Market Square, Lake Forest
Join us in welcoming Santa to Market Square. Bring your letter for Santa, whisper wishes in his ear and take memorable photos. Plus, meet his very special reindeer.

9 November 6:00 p.m. – Santa’s Arrival Parade
Gurnee Mills, Gurnee
Join us for a parade through the mall to welcome Santa! The event kicks off at 6pm at Entry A near Chicago Woodfire Pizza, and ends near Dining Pavilion. Enjoy milk & cookies while Santa reads “Twas the Night before Christmas”. Get a jump start on holiday photos and pose for a picture with Santa!

10  November, 6:00 p.m.   Santa’s Arrival & Fireworks
Deer Park Town Center, Deer Park
FREE Join us as the Barrington VFW Post 7706 leads Santa and the fire truck to Deer Park Town Center. Count down with Santa as he turns on the holiday lights and enjoy a fireworks show with a finale honoring our veterans. Santa will be available to visit with children until 8:30 p.m. Kids who visit with Santa will receive free antler headbands and a free pouch of magical reindeer food, while supplies last.

11 November, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.  Santa’s Arrival, Ice Skating, & a Day of Family Fun
The Arboretum of South Barrington, Barrington
FREE Presented by Mooney Lyons Financial Services for the second year in a row, The Arboretum’s Holiday Festival is a day of fun family activities. There will be a Santa’s arrival parade and story time. Story time will take place at the end of the parade by the holiday tree near iPic Theaters. Afterwards, the ice rink will open and you can skate with your favorite characters such as Olaf and The Grinch.  There also be an animated tree lighting show and dance performance. You do not want to miss this. 

11 November, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.Santa Wonderland Preview Night
Bass Pro Shop, Gurnee
 FREE! Come and join the fun with carolers, a tree lighting, unveiling Santa’s Wonderland, Photos with Santa, a craft, and gift card giveaways.

17  November, 7:00 p.m.  Santa’s Arrival
Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills
FREE! Come see Santa as he arrives at Hawthorn Mall for the holiday season. Santa will be available for pictures after he arrives.

18 November  2:00 p.m. – Highwood Holiday Fest
City Hall Park, 17 Highwood Ave., Highwood
Highwood Holiday Fest includes a Holiday Walk, Sleigh Rides, Camp Fire with S’Mores, Santa’s arrival and tree lighting.

24 November, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Tree Lighting Festival & Holiday Market 
Downtown Grayslake, Corner of Whitney St. and Center St., Grayslake
FREE! Downtown Tree Lighting Festival including sleigh rides. Visit with Santa at The Oasis. Enjoy refreshments and get a jump-start on your holiday shopping! Santa arrives at the holiday tree at the corner of Center and Whitney Street at 5:30 p.m. Sleigh rides take place between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

24 November, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Round Lake Beach Holiday Tree Lighting
Village of Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center, Round Lake Beach
FREE! Join us for an evening of fun as the Village of Round Lake Beach hosts its annual Holiday Tree Lighting! Our evening begins at the Village Hall with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a Fire Truck at approximately 6:15 p.m. Shortly thereafter, the annual lighting of the tree will begin. After the tree lighting ceremony, everyone is invited to warm up next door at the Cultural & Civic Center. Children can enjoy a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, crafts, and much more!

25 November, 5:00 p.m.  Village of Fox Lake Holiday Illuminated Parade and Tree Lighting 
Millennium Park Gazebo, Grand Ave. and Rollins Rd., Fox Lake 
FREE! Join the village of Fox Lake as they celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with a tree lighting, caroling, hot cocoa and of course a visit from Santa! There is a parade before this event that starts at 4:00 p.m. at Grant High School and makes its way to Millennium Park.

25 November, 5:00 – Village of Lake Villa Tree Lighting & Parade
Lehmann Park, Lake Villa
FREE!  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas or at least it will at the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony!  The parade kicks off from Palombi School at 5pm and winds its way through the neighborhoods to downtown Lake Villa and ends at the train station.  Immediately afterward the Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lehmann Park begins.

1 December, 6:00 p.m.  Hawthorn Woods Tree Lighting Ceremony 
Village Barn, 2 Lagoon Dr., Hawthorn Woods
FREE! Please join Mayor Mancino, the Village Board of Trustees, your Village Staff and your Hawthorn Woods neighbors at this annual event. The tree will be set aglow while we listen to the Stevenson High School Caroling Choir followed by the arrival of Santa Claus on our fire truck. Stay warm inside the Barn with hot cocoa and cookies. Children can enjoy a complimentary craft or design a memorial ornament in honor of someone they love (fee required for memorial ornament). Children can visit with Santa, so don’t forget your camera. Be sure to join us for this traditional holiday event!.

1 December, 5:00 p.m.  Mundelein Annual Tree Lighting
Kracklauer Park, Mundelein
FREE! Please join us for Mundelein’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony on Friday, December 1, 2017 beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Kracklauer Park. This beautiful and memorable event is hosted by Mundelein Community Connection and the Mundelein Park District. This is the perfect way to kick-off the beautiful holiday season. We hope to see you there! Afterwards follow Santa over to the opening of his cottage.

2 December, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Santa’s Grand Welcome! Holiday Celebration
Ice House Mall, Barrington
FREE! Santa’s Grand Welcome is Saturday, December 2 , 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ice House Mall. The Grand Welcome begins with a magical holiday story hour by none other than, Mrs. Claus at 11:00 a.m. Kids will love the story of The Nutcracker read by Mrs. Claus and brought to life by the dancers of Dancewerks! At 12:00 p.m. kids can join in the Holiday Parade of Characters! At 12:30 p.m. Santa will make his Grand Arrival to the Ice House Mall!  Bring your camera and wish lists for photos and visits with Santa from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Children are invited to enjoy cookies and milk with Santa courtesy of Jewel and Chessie’s Restaurant.

2 December, 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Holiday Walk on Mainstreet, Tree Lighting, & Santa’s Arrival 
Wauconda Community Center, 600 N. Main St., Wauconda
FREE! After a day of winter activities on Main Street, join the Wauconda Park District and get into the holiday spirit to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to Wauconda at the annual Tree Lighting event.  Santa will arrive on a fire truck to light the tree and kick off  the holiday season with a brief fireworks display.  After Santa arrives, enjoy crafts, games, stories and refreshments in the Community Center.  Bring your camera to take a picture with Santa.  Goodie bags are available, while supplies last.  No registration required.

9  December, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Tree Lighting & Santa Arrival
Deerfield Towne Center, Deerfield
FREE! Deerfield Township and the Deerfield Towne Center have teamed up for this annual community event! Santa will arrive on a fire truck followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree, holiday music, indoor arts and crafts, horse-drawn carriage rides, and photos with Santa.

10 December, 10:00 a.m. – Santa Claus is Coming to Lake Bluff
Lake Bluff Fire and Rescue, Lake Bluff
Santa will be visiting Lake Bluff next Sunday morning (12/10) starting at 10am! We will be bringing him around town to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!The outdoor warning siren will sound as Santa is leaving the station! He will be driven past every residential address in town, so keep an eye and ear out for Santa coming down your street!

Festivals and Open Houses where Santa will be

Photo Source Mainstreet Libertyville on Facebook

18 November, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.- Breakfast with Santa  *Editors Note 11/8 – SOLD OUT*
The Claim Company, Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills
$7 per adult, $5 per child, $3 per Saplings Kid’s Club members
Space is very limited, so get your tickets today!
Enjoy a delicious full breakfast from The Claim Company , Story time with Mrs. Claus, Kids crafts,  Special performance from Those Funny Little People, Balloonist and Face Painters, and a Special Gift from Santa

24 November, 6:30 p.m.  Antioch Christmas Parade 
Downtown Antioch
FREE! Welcome Santa and the Christmas Season to town at the old-fashioned Holiday Parade sponsored by the Village of Antioch.  The parade takes place on Main Street between Park Avenue and Depot Street, and travels north.  Santa joins the community and participates in the parade as the last float which leads everyone to the community Christmas tree.

24 November, 6:30 p.m.  Holiday on the Square 
Cook Park, Downtown Libertyville
FREE! Holiday Singing, tree lighting and pictures with Santa.

25 November, 4:30 p.m.  Tree &  Menorah Lighting
Vernon Hills Golf Course, Vernon Hills
FREE! Help ring the holiday season in by assisting Mayor Roger Byrne flip the switch to the holiday tree. Bring the family, the neighbors, and the kids out for hot chocolate, cookies, and cider. With the assistance of the Countryside Fire District, Santa has been able to clear his calendar in order to attend this event. See you there.

25 November, 5:00 p.m.  Holiday Illuminated Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony
Millennium Park, Fox Lake
FREE! Parade and  tree lighting ceremony at Millennium Park. Enjoy caroling and hot cocoa and a parade. The parade ends at Santa’s House, where it will open for the season.

26 November, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Breakfast with Santa
Lindy’s Landing, Wauconda
Adults – $22, kids (ages 4-12) $10, children age 3 and younger, FREE.
Join in spreading some holiday cheer at the annual Breakfast with Santa! Dine on traditional breakfast fare in a great setting. Santa will be here, so be sure to bring the camera to catch the smiling faces of kids as they experience the wonders of the season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so book now by contacting Ryan@lindyslanding.com or calling (847) 526-9789 ext. 111.

2 & 9 December, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Dickens of a Holiday Festival 
Cook Park, Downtown Libertyville
Santa will be in town December 2nd and 9th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. to spread cheer throughout.  Visit Santa in his sleigh and have your picture taken.  Afterwards visit the children’s holiday shop where children can purchase gifts for their family with the help of Santa’s Elves! No adults are allowed inside while the children shop for their loved ones. Items are  priced up to $5.

2 December, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  Home for the Holidays Annual Tree Lighting & Festivities
Downtown Barrington
FREE! Come on out to the Village of Barrington on Saturday, December 2, to enjoy FREE visits with Santa, carriage rides, petting zoo, ice sculptures, story hour with Mrs. Claus, and more. The event culminates with Santa’s official arrival on a fire truck and the annual community tree lighting ceremony. A FREE trolley takes you to all the locations, all day!

2 December, 9:00-10:30 a.m.  Breakfast with Santa at Ceramics for You
Ceramics For You, Gurnee
$19.95 per child, adults are $5
Children will enjoy breakfast with Santa where you may take as many photos as you wish with Santa. Then paint a ceramic plate with their hand print that will be turned into a gingerbread boy or girl.

2 December, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Holiday Festival 
Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Rd., Round Lake
FREE! It’s the annual Holiday Festival! Nothing gets you and the family in the holiday spirit better than free family fun and festivities. Join in kids’ games, a Little Elves workshop, sleigh rides, the RLAPD Community Band, Toys-for-Tots drop off, Neighborhood Festival of Lights, and pictures with Santa (bring that camera!).

2 December, 3:00 p.m.  Miracle on Main Street 
Rotary Park,  7 E. Main St., Lake Zurich
FREE! Be part of the tradition  from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2nd in downtown Lake Zurich for the Miracle on Main Street event. This special evening includes a visit from Santa Claus and is sure to be a memorable event for your child. Returning again this year will be a beautiful 35-foot tree to be displayed for the holiday season, an opportunity to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer. Event entertainment includes Lake Zurich High School’s Bare Voices and the Academy of Performing Arts. New to Miracle on Main Street this year will be children’s crafts, sleigh rides, adult beverages, and food vendors. Cookies and hot cocoa provided by the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce and hot cider provided by the Lions Club. Get into the spirit of giving by bringing non-perishable food donations to the event to support our local St. Vincent de Paul food pantry.

3 December, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Pony Rides with Santa
Timmermanns Ranch & Saddle Shop, Island Lake
Santa is stopping by Timmermann’s to say hello and find out what the kids want for Christmas! Enjoy pony rides, face painting, and hot chocolate and cookies. Want to share the holiday spirit with less fortunate families? The ranch will collect monetary donations for the Wauconda/Island Lake Food Pantry.

7 December, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Santa Claus is coming to Honey Orthodontics
Honey Orthdontics, Gurnee
FREE! Honey Orthodontics is hosting a visit with Santa Claus for you and your family! Attend and receive a FREE photo with Santa followed by a sweet treat! All are welcome.

7 December, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Santa Claus Storytime
Highwood Public Library , Highwood
*Registration Required. . Registration begins November 15th. Call 847-432-5404 to register
Join us for a special story time with Santa Claus on Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 P.M. Santa will read a special Christmas Story and parents are invited to bring their cameras to take pictures of their child with Santa Claus following the story time. Kids of all ages are welcome.

9 December, 10 :00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Santa Visits
Your house
$15 first child, $8 each additional child – must register by December 1. Space is limited.
Event is for Grayslake Residents Only.
Santa will bring your child a gift purchased by you to your home, limited to one gift per child. Gifts must be dropped off  by December 6th.  Have your camera ready, Santa cannot stay long.

9, 10 , 16, & 17 December, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Breakfast with Santa
Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, Lamb’s Farm, Libertyville
Brunch is $16.95, $7.95 for children 23 months and younger, with activities.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Despite his very busy schedule, Santa is making his annual trek to Lambs Farm to celebrate the holiday. Kids can not only enjoy a delicious brunch and visit with Santa, but they can also choose a holiday gift, make a picture frame, decorate a gingerbread man and make sand art ornaments.

9  December, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Pictures with Santa 
Round Lake Area Public Library, Round Lake
FREE! Come talk to Santa and take pictures. Please remember to bring your camera to capture the moment.

10 December, 10:00 a.m.  BYOCamera For Santa 
Julies Coffee and Art With Daisy, Lake Villa
FREE! Santa will be here from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Bring your camera and take pictures with Santa.

10 December, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Holiday Extravaganza
North Suburban YMCA – Northbrook
Come visit with and take a picture with Santa.

10 December, 1:00 p.m.  Santa at Reed Turner Woodland
Reed-Turner Woodland, Hawthorn Woods
FREE! Boys and girls – be sure to bring your wish list because Santa is looking forward to seeing you and hearing about all your holiday wishes. Even though there is no charge for this event, Santa asks that everyone bring an unwrapped gift for a boy or girl who will be delivered to the Toys for Tots program.

15 December, 4:00 p.m. – Moonlight & Misletoe
Citizen’s Park, Barrington
FREE! Beautiful Citizens Park and it’s unique venues are the perfect setting to host this inaugural winter wonderland event! Indoor/outdoor activities in the Lodge and Pavilion, enjoy an ice skating light show and/or join in with the choir singing Christmas carols with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. And don’t forget to reserve your personal visit with Santa himself in our exclusive Treehouse venue! Let the icicle lights show you the way to his warmly decorated and inviting Hut; the perfect place for wishes to come true! Free hot chocolate all night!

16 December,  11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. – Kids Photo Op With Santa |
485 Roger Williams Avenue, Highland Park
Studio photo op with Santa with a free digital file of one image of Jeff’s choosing sent to each family of their child/children with Santa (information on ordering a print will be available)

16 December, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Santa Beach Party!
Foglia YMCA, Lake Zurich
$5/ Member & $10/ Non-member, Registration Required
Join us on December 16th from 1-3pm, on the pool deck with Santa and your family. There will be photos and swimming, inflatables and toys, swag bags, and dancing.Parents must accompany children throughout the entire event, including being in the water when swimming! Call 847.438.5300 to register today!

16 December, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.Santa is Coming to Lake County Barnwood
Lake County Barnwood, Lake Villa
Bring the kids to see Santa and get free hot cocoa, candy canes and coloring sheets. We will not have a photographer but everyone is welcome to take pictures themselves.

18 December, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.- Moonlight & Mistletoe: Santa Comes to Citizens Park
Citizens Park, Barrington
$15 dollars per person, registration required
This event is full of fun indoor and outdoor activities such as songs, crafts, ice skating, trackless train rides, hot chocolate, as well as visits with Santa himself in his hut.

20 December, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Visit Santa at Bella’s Bouncies
Bella’s Bouncies Indoors, Lake Villa
$9 per child includes open jump
Open Jump from 3:30pm-6:30pm for ONLY $9 per child. Then visit and take pictures with Santa from 5pm-6pm.

19 December, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.Free Pictures with Santa & Toy Drive
REMAX American Dream Illinois, Round Lake Beach
Come by and take free pictures with Santa at our RE/MAX American Dream office! We will be collecting unwrapped toys to donate to children in need in the Round Lake Beach area this Christmas.Photographer will be there so you will receive a free print of your child(ren) with Santa. Appetizers, prizes, and so much more!

21 December, 5:30 p.m.  Santa Visit 
Grayslake Park District Recreation Center, 240 Commerce Drive, Grayslake
FREE! Bring your camera and take pictures with Santa. Bring a food item to donate to the Avon Food Pantry.

Special Needs Santa Events

Photo Source Hawthorn Mall Facebook Page.

26 November, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  Santa Cares
Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills
Santa Cares is a sensory-friendly opportunity for children with all spectrums of special needs to enjoy the time-honored tradition of the Santa Photo experienced with family in a calming environment, prior to public hours. Please RSVP in advance by reserving one ticket per group. Photo packages are available for purchase during the event. 

3 December, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   Caring Santa
Gurnee Mills Mall, Gurnee
Open to children with special needs only. Caring Santa is coming to town! Reserve your spot for a private photo experience today.

Where are you planning on visiting Santa this year? Let us know in the comments section.

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About Tracy Rubel 146 Articles
Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden. She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.

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