Light Up the Holidays: Your Complete Guide to Tree Lighting Events in Northern Lake County, IL

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Get ready to embrace the festive spirit as we unveil the most dazzling and enchanting holiday tree lighting events in all of Northern Lake County, IL. From visits from Santa to carriage rides, sweet treats to festive music, these events are sure to ignite your holiday cheer. Whether you’re seeking a magical family experience or a romantic evening out, our curated schedule has something for everyone. So, grab a warm drink, bundle up, and join us as we embark on a luminous journey through the holiday season!

McHenry – Veterans Park 3400 Pearl St. – Saturday 11/18 

Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides 12 – 4pm. Visit Santa under the gazebo. Kids games and crafts. 4:30 pm Mchenry High School Vocal Warriors sing carols. Gather around the tree at 5 pm as thousands of twinkling lights in the park and downtown streets come to life.

Grayslake  – Center Street Downtown –  Friday 11/24

Visit Santa Clause between 3 pm – 4:45 pm and 6 pm – 7 pm at the Mock Design Group 162 Center Street. Vendors include food, drink, and more on Center Street starting at 3 pm. Grayslake BSA Troops 96/1996 will have a tent set up sellng wreaths, hot cider, cocoa, hot dogs, and hand warmers. Grayslake Central High School Band will play as Santa comes through town on a firetruck at 5:15 pm. Lighting of the tree and countdown by the Mayor takes place at 5:30 pm. Horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown 6 pm – 8 pm. Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum will kick off their Grayslake Giving Trees display 12 pm – 7 pm. The Holiday Window Decorating Contest will be taking place. The Grayslake Arts Alliance Fine Arts Holiday show will be at Village Hall 5 pm – 8 pm with a free kids craft, fine art on sale from local artists, students from Bill Chapin Jazz Studio will perform.

Antioch  –  Downtown –  Friday 11/24

Christmas parade at 6:30 pm and tree lighting immediately after at the bandshell. Santa will be in the parade.

Libertyville – Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave.  –  Friday 11/24

Festivities begin at 6:30 pm, tree lighting at 7 pm. 

Vernon Hills – VH Municipal Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive –  Saturday 11/25

Tree, Menorah, Kwanzaa lighting at 4:30 pm. Santa will be on hand and light refreshments available. 

Lake Villa – Lehmann Park, 148 Cedar Ave. –  Saturday 11/25

Holiday parade begins at 5 pm from Palombi Middle School. Santa will light the tree at Lehmann Park and make his way to the pavilion. Treats and warm drinks will be available for purchase. 

Fox Lake – Millennium Park, 23 Rollins Rd. –  Saturday 11/25

Attend the Kris Kringle Winter Market from 3 pm – 6 pm at the Community Garden Green at 17 E. School St. The parade starts at 5 pm from Grant High School, map is available via the link above. Immediately following the parade will be the annual tree lighting at Millennium Park and opening of the Santa Cottage. 

Mundelein – Village Plaza, 300 Plaza Circle –  Friday 12/1

4:45 pm – 6:15 pm. Festivities begin with music, singing, and other holiday-themed entertainment. Santa will help with the official countdown for the lighting of the Village’s Holiday Tree, and there will be a fireworks display. Enjoy free hot chocolate from the parks and rec department. 

Round Lake – Village Hall, 442 N. Cedar Lake Rd. –  Friday 12/1

Events begin at 5 pm with a chior and speech from the Mayor. Tree lighting is at 5:15 pm and Santa arrives after that, enjoy the first Cookie Crawl from 6 – 8 pm. Hot chocolate, cookies, crafts. Don’t forget to bring your letter for Santa’s mailbox.

Lindenhurst – Park District, 2200 E. Grass Lake Rd. –  Saturday 12/2

Santa and lighting of the trees from 4 pm – 6 pm.

Lake Zurich – Downtown –  Saturday 12/2

Miracle on Main street event is from 3 pm – 6:30 pm. Entertainment from the high school choir, a bell choir, and a DJ at the entertainment stage at Old Rand Rd. and Main St. intersection. Children’s crafts, reindeer, sleigh rides, adult beverages, and food vendors. Free hot cocoa and cider. Also check out the Candy Cane Hunt at the Lion’s Club at 81 E. Main St. the same day 2 pm – 6 pm. 

Gurnee – Welton Plaza, Old Grand Ave. –  Thursday 12/7

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Firepits and s’mores, food trucks, craft stations. Park District Dance Team will perform, the Mayor will be there, WSRA Choir, and Santa. Collection for nonperishable food items for the Warren Food Pantry. 

Updated 11/13/23. Each event is linked, check for updates before you go.

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