Things To Do This Weekend December 1-3, 2023

By: Stephanie Wylie 11/29/2023

Embrace the enchantment of the holiday season with these magical events across Lake County! From the dazzling Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Gurnee to the captivating Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland in Waukegan, there's something for everyone. Discover the festive Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich and the winter wonderland of Winterfest in Mundelein. Don't miss the curated Kris Kringle Artist Market in Waukegan, where over 20 talented artisans showcase unique treasures. Make this holiday season unforgettable with these joyful celebrations! Whether you're a local seeking new adventures or a traveler planning your next escapade, let's embark on a thrilling exploration of Lake County. 

Don't forget to check out Holiday Your Way in Lake County and find experiences and activites for the whole family.





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Here are the things to do this weekend December 1-3.

1. Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Gurnee





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Get ready to be dazzled as the Canadian Pacific (CPKC) Holiday Train rolls into Gurnee’s Viking Park. The magical evening starts at 5 p.m., with the train stopping from 5:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. Experience fantastic performances by Tenille Townes and BRELAND, playing from the brightly decorated train’s stage, adding a musical touch to the holiday festivities. Watch for the man in the big red suit, as Santa spreads cheer and joy. This annual event is a beloved tradition in Lake County, attracting families and friends for an evening of holiday magic. Mark your calendar and make your way to Viking Park for a night of festive fun as the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train brings the holiday spirit to Gurnee! CPKC donates to the local food shelf at each stop and encourages attendees to donate. For additional information, call 847-599-7050.

Sunday, December 3; 5-7:30 p.m. Free admission. Train arrives at 5:10 p.m. and departs at 5:40 p.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.

2. Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland at Genesee Theatre in Waukegan





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The holiday season in Waukegan is set to be even more magical this year with the enchanting arrival of Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland at the iconic Genesee Theatre. Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland promises a full sensory experience with you on the edge of your seat. The program features gymnasts, aerialists, jugglers, tumblers, musicians and so much more to kick off the City of Progress holidays. From awe-inspiring acrobatics to gravity-defying stunts, every moment is designed to leave audiences in awe. As the performers take the stage, watch as your family's eyes light up with wonder and delight. Prepare to be captivated, amazed, and filled with the joyous spirit of the holidays at Cirque Musica Holiday Wonderland to view admissions ticket availability, visit

Saturday, December 2; 6 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan.

3. Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich





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Mark your calendars for a festive affair in downtown Lake Zurich as the community comes together for the annual Miracle on Main Street event. The festivities are highlighted by a magnificent 35-foot holiday tree, beautifully adorned and on display throughout the holiday season. Bring the family for a special opportunity to meet Santa and his reindeer, create magical moments and spread holiday cheer. Miracle on Main Street has something for everyone. Engage in children's crafts, enjoy sleigh rides, delectable fare and drinks libations for adults and hot cocoa for the kids and live tunes. Don't miss the excitement as the Lake Zurich Lions Club Candy Cane Hunt kicks off in Lions Park coinciding with the beginning of Miracle on Main Street. Prepare to be entertained by Lake Zurich High School’s Bare Voices and Blue Notes Show Choir, Peace Lutheran Bell Choir, a DJ and the Academy of Performing Arts. Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich is not just an event; it's a magical experience for the whole community. For more information, visit

Saturday, December 2; 3-6:30 p.m. Free admission. Downtown Lake Zurich’s Rotary Park, 7 E. Main St., Lake Zurich.

4. Winterfest in Mundelein





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Get ready to usher in the holiday spirit at Mundelein’s Winterfest. The Village Hall Plaza will transform into a winter wonderland, offering family-friendly activities and entertainment for all to enjoy. One of the highlights of Winterfest is the return of the princesses from Disney’s blockbuster film “Frozen,” —Elsa and Anna, accompanied by their lovable snowman friend Olaf. Experience the season's joy with a visit to Santa's Cottage, where little ones can share their holiday wishes with Kringle and Mrs. Claus. The letter writing station provides the perfect opportunity for children to pen their letters to Santa. Children can enjoy delightful trackless train rides. Sing your heart out at the Christmas karaoke station, spreading holiday cheer through song. The kids-activity tents, sponsored by local businesses Lake County Libation Trail partner Tonality Brewery, Just Bee You and Action Martial Arts, promise creative and enjoyable experiences. The event also features a Kris Kringle Market, live entertainment, holiday story time with Fremont Library Story Time and more. For further details, visit

Saturday, December 2; noon-4 p.m. Free admission. Village of Mundelein, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein.

5. Kris Kringle Artist Market in Waukegan





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The festive spirit is in full swing at the Waukegan Public Library as it hosts the Kris Kringle Artist Market. This delightful market is the perfect opportunity to kickstart or complete your holiday shopping with a curated selection of offerings from over 20 talented artists and craftspeople. From charming stocking stuffers to that one-of-a-kind centerpiece you've been searching for, the Kris Kringle Artist Market promises diverse artistic creations. Watch for a special guest, donned in red and white garb, who might make your visit even more memorable. Capture the festive spirit with a holiday picture, creating lasting memories and discover unique treasures at the Kris Kringle Artist Market in Waukegan. It's a celebration of art, creativity, and the joy of giving during the most wonderful time of the year! For more information, visit

Saturday, December 2; 1-8 p.m. Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St., Waukegan.

Click here for experiences to Holiday Your Way in Lake County.

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