Things To Do This Weekend December 3-5, 2021

By: Jeff Randolph 12/01/2021

As we start the final month of 2021, there are many ways to close the year. Let's take a look at things to do this weekend December 3-5.


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Lake County has plenty of holiday events happening all month long.  Click here for a list of the top 10 holiday things to do in Lake County.

Downtown Libertyville embraces the yuletide spirit. Things get lit and musical in Antioch. The Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee turns into a winter wonderland. Waukegan has a holiday market like no other. Miracles are happening in Lake Zurich. Let's look at the top five things to do this weekend December 3-5.

1. First Friday/Dickens of a Holiday/Santa's Parade in Libertyville


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Downtown Libertyville transforms into the setting of a Hallmark Channel movie this weekend. It all starts with First Friday. Support local businesses as they offer up refreshments, special discounts and a festive atmosphere with extended hours so you can find the perfect holiday gift at one of the mom and pop shops on Milwaukee Avenue or dine at one of the award-winning restaurants. On Saturday, the entire family can join in on the festivities with Dickens of a Holiday. Kiddies can experience a visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and his sleigh as the duet will listen to youngster’s wishlist and snap a photo memory in Cook Park from 10 a.m.-noon and 1 to 3 p.m. The “A Christmas Carol” event is also highlighted by a Children’s Holiday Shoppe at Petranek’s Pharmacy where children can purchase gifts for their family with the help of Santa’s elves (no adults are allowed). Items in the Children’s Holiday Shoppe are priced up to $6, and Kringle’s helpers will assist the young patrons with giftwrapping. The renowned Victorian Tea is hosted at the Libertyville Civic Center on Saturday providing a break from the holiday shopping to spend time with a hearty chat and a spot of tea. The Victorian Tea is sold out, however interested visitors are encouraged to call the MainStreet Libertyville office to be added to the waiting list. After a long Saturday, the man in the big red suit returns for his fanfare parade. Jolly old Saint Nick will start an auspicious route at the corner of St. Mary’s Road and Oak Trail Drive. Claus will take turns throughout downtown Libertyville ultimately ending and Milwaukee Avenue and East Winchester Road. Find a good spot for the festivities. Dickens of a Holiday will also return on Saturday, December 11.

Friday-Saturday, December 3-4. First Friday: Friday, December 3; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dickens of a Holiday: Saturday, December 4; 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Santa’s Parade: Saturday, December 4; 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. Downtown Libertyville.

2. Christmas Musical Light Show and Santa at the Hiram Buttrick Sawmill in Antioch


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Things are looking bright for the holidays in Antioch. Drive up to the Christmas Musical Light Show at the Antioch Bandshell to celebrate the season. The dazzling, free admission spectacle hosts two different shows; depending on if the visit falls on an even or odd numbered day, the show varies in theme and synchronization. This weekend, Santa heads to Antioch as well and kids can also visit Father Christmas at the unique historical treasure, the Hiram Buttrick Sawmill. The jolly old soul will be in attendance to visit with children hear about all their holiday wishes, and pose for a snapshot before he heads back to the North Pole. Santa Visits at the Sawmill runs select Fridays and Saturdays through December 17. The Christmas Light Show runs daily through December 24.

Friday-Sunday, December 3-5; Christmas Light Show: December 3-5; 6-9 p.m. Admission is free. Antioch Bandshell, Skidmore Drive, Antioch. Santa at the Sawmill: Friday, December 3; 5:30-8 p.m. Admission is free. Hiram Buttrick Sawmill, 770 Cunningham Dr., Antioch.


3. Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois in Gurnee


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As the temperatures drop, families can find refuge in an escape to the warmth of Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois in Gurnee. Snow and classic holiday family fun will be plentiful in the cozy lodge. During this getaway, you can enjoy the comfortable 84-degree water park along with featured events such as Snowflake Story Time, Family Dance Party, Visits with Santa Claus, Snowfall Celebration, Snowland Yoga Trails, Arts & Crafts and of course, a splashmas miracle inside the 80,000 square-foot indoor waterpark. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois offers several different packages starting at $169.99. Snowland runs through Sunday, January 5.

Friday-Sunday, December 3-5; Water Park: Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. One-night stays start at $169.99. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, 1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee.

4. Kris Kringle Artist Market and Waukegan Main Street's Annual Tree Lighting


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The City of Waukegan, Waukegan Main Street and CAP Catering are hosting its inaugural Kris Kringle Artist Market on Saturday and Sunday in downtown Waukegan. The indoor market includes handmade and unique gifts ideas like paintings, jewelry, soaps, holiday baskets, hats, purses and more and crafts that will help you finish your holiday shopping list. A full afternoon of shopping could work up an appetite, so CAP Catering’s offer a hot cocoa bar and holiday cookies for purchase. On Saturday, experience the annual tree lighting ceremony located on the corner at Jack Benny Plaza. The official lighting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Social distancing is encouraged.

Saturday-Sunday, December 4-5. Kris Kringle Artist Market, December 4-5; 3-7 p.m., Admission is free. CAP Banquet Hall, 206 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. Waukegan Main Street’s Annual Tree Lighting, Saturday, December 4; 5-6 p.m. Admission is free. Jack Benny Plaza, Clayton and Genesee Streets, Waukegan.

5. Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich


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Create lasting memories at Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich’s Rotary Park on Saturday. The winter celebration features sleigh rides, kids’ crafts, a visit from Santa Claus, delectable eats and adult beverages (including non-alcoholic apple cider), live entertainment by Lake Zurich High School’s Bare Voices and Blue Notes Show Choir, the Academy of Performing Arts Dance, Peace Lutheran Church Bell Choir and D&J DJz. The Lake Zurich Lions Club will also kickoff its 17th annual Candy Cane Hunt. Lake Zurich flicks on the lights of the holiday arbor at 5 p.m.

Saturday, December 4; 3-6:30 p.m. Admission is free. Rotary Park, 7 E. Main St., Lake Zurich.

Santa will be making his presence known all throughout Lake County before heading back to the North Pole. Click here to see where you can find St. Nick. For more ideas on things to do this weekend December 3-5 click here.

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