Gurnee Holiday Guide in Lake County, IL - Visit Lake County - Official Travel Site
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Gurnee Holiday Guide

in Lake County, Illinois

 "A beautiful sight. We’re happy tonight, walking in a Gurnee wonderland."

Gurnee is your holiday destination all in one place. From world-class shopping to luxurious accommodations, to delicious eats and so much more, this Lake County village has it all.

The thrills of Six Flags Great America is extended during this season of cheer, as the Gurnee amusement park has returned for its second Holiday in the Park. Claus, cocoa and coasters will get you into the holiday spirit during this "Jingle Bell Rock" event.

 


Let's not forget the thrills of scouring through 220 fabulous retail venues at Gurnee Mills, which makes the Village of Gurnee the place to be.

Don’t miss out on the annual Canadian Pacific Train rolling through Viking Park. The train is festively decorated, and it’s a can’t-miss experience for you and your little ones.

Fill yourself up with holiday cheer in the Village of Gurnee!

Village of Gurnee Holiday Events

Six Flags Great America's Holiday in the Park

Six Flags Great America kicks off their second annual Holiday in the Park event this year. This festival runs from November 23-December 31 on select days. The holiday party will transform the park into a winter wonderland featuring millions of dazzling lights, a beautiful Christmas tree (5 p.m. lighting every night), meet and greets with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, festive entertainment and of course, rides on world-class roller coasters.

November 23-December 31; 2-8 p.m. or 2-9 p.m. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.
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It's Santa Photo Time at Gurnee Mills

Jolly old St. Nick is hanging around Lake County to get a good idea of what your kiddies want for Christmas. Visit Santa, get a photo-op and maybe bring him a cold glass of milk and cookies. He’s got a lot of children to talk to!

Through December 24. Gurnee Mills 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Kringle is making a list and of course, checking it twice. Visit his magical wonderland filled with games, free photo opportunities, yummy food like freshly cooked fudge, cookies, fondue and popcorn! Attendees can create neat crafts, and even meet his elves!

Through December 24. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, 6112 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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Jon Callaghan Turkey Trot

Here comes Peter Gobble-tail, trotting on down the turkey trail. The Village of Gurnee hosts its 25th edition of the 5K fun run/walk kicking off at the Gurnee fire station. The proceeds go to help pediatric cancer research.

Thursday, November 28; Gurnee Fire Station, 4580 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Gurnee Mills Black Friday

The mad dash for gifts kicks off right after the turkey, candied yams and apple pie are devoured. Gurnee Mills features over 200 stores for your holiday shopping needs. Visit top-notch stores to shop for family and friends and make their holidays merrier than ever. 

Thursday-Sunday, November 28-29. Thurs: 6 p.m.- midnight, Fri: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.. Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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Vipers Pro Basketball 

“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – a quote from the NBA’s winningest coach, Phil Jackson. Gurnee just recently received their own basketball team in the Vipers. The Vipers are a semi-pro ABA hoops team consisting of former D-I athletes, international players and local ballers with hopes of moving to the NBA hardwood. Catch these players on their new homecourt at Warren High School and view their talent as they move their way up the ranks. During the holiday season, you can catch the hoopers host Chicago Steam on November 30, the Southern Illinois Monarchs on December 8 and the Chicago Angels on December 22.

November 30, December 8 and 22; 5:30 p.m. Tickets: $5-$25. Warren Township High School Almond Campus, 34090 N. Almond Rd., Gurnee.
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Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

Oh, the weather outside could be frightful, but inside Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the temperature is 84 degrees. Enjoy the warmth and festivities—come celebrate Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge. The resort transforms your stay into a winter wonderland with visits from Santa (times vary), Snowland arts & crafts, Snowland Story Time, and the NEW POLAR BEAR PLUNGE, a water park event where kids draw their own polar bear on an "iceberg" and bring it to the water park and send it down one of the slides (with one winner receiving a special treat every day). Plus, enjoy the Snowfall Celebration, Frosty Fest, and more. Book your family vacay now!

November 30, 2019-January 5, 2020. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, 1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee.
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Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train in Viking Park

The train horn can be heard in the distance. That’s the sound of the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train making its annual stop at Viking Park in Gurnee. This vastly illuminated 14-car train partners with local communities to raise food and funds for local food banks as well as raise awareness about hunger issues. The train will blare live holiday music, conduct a brief ceremony and will pass out candy canes for the kids. The choo-choo features live performances from Meghan Patrick, Tanika Charles and Kelly Prescott. There is a charter pickup from Saratoga Square (southeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue) and Riverside Plaza (northeast corner across from Six Flags Great America's employee entrance). Free parking at Saratoga Square and Riverside Plaza runs from 2-7 p.m on December 2.

Monday, December 2; 5:10-6 p.m. Train arrives at 5:15 p.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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Six Flags Great America Polar Coaster Challenge

Up for a challenge? Six Flags Great America invites you to kick off the holiday season with the Polar Coaster Challenge. The Gurnee amusement park is challenging participants to ride X-Flight in their summer gear. All riders are expected to provide winter gear for donation. 

Saturday, December 7; 1-2 p.m. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.
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Mark Schultz's Christmas Tour

Contemporary Christian musician Mark Schultz makes a stop with his Christmas tour at the Village Church of Gurnee. The platinum-selling, Kansas native, has provided stellar tunes for almost two decades. Schultz is a three-time Dove Award-nominee taking home hardware for the "Long Form Music Video of the Year" award in 2005.

Saturday, December 7; 6-10 p.m. Tickets: $17-$35. Village Church of Gurnee, 1319 N. Hunt Club Rd., Gurnee.
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Craft Fair at the Gurnee American Legion Post 771

The Gurnee American Legion hosts a craft fair for shoppers to explore and find spectacular holiday presents. The free admission event is also highlighted by a bake sale, raffle and lunch.

Saturday, December 7; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.  Gurnee American Legion Post 771, 749 Milwaukee Ave., Gurnee.
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Girls Night Out Holiday Shopping at The Chocolate Sanctuary

"Oh yes it's ladies night, oh what a night!" Visit the Chocolate Sanctuary for a night jam-packed with arts and crafts from local vendors. The event also will host a raffle and be sure to devour some of the tasty goodies the cocoa cabana offers.

Thursday, December 12; 6-9 p.m.  The Chocolate Sanctuary, 5101 Washington St., Gurnee
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Gurnee’s Breakfast with Santa

This breakfast date may be your kiddie's only opportunity to meet the man in the red suit this season. Head to Viking Park and have a unique breakfast with Santa Claus. Share your holiday wishes with Kringle. Your youngsters can take home an early holiday gift.

Saturday, December 14; 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 10:15-11:15 a.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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D56 Holiday Shop Craft Show 

Sift through arts and crafts created by local vendors to present the perfect present for a special someone this holiday season. 

Saturday, December 14; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Viking Middle School, 4460 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Disney Junior Holiday Fun 

Visit Gurnee Mills for the Disney Junior holiday party. The first 100 attendees receive an exclusive character card. 

Saturday, December 14; 1-3 p.m. Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.  
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Dinner at Timothy O'Toole's Pub

At this point in the holiday season, time is almost up, but the man in the big red suit is still taking a list and checking it twice. Indicate to old Kringle whether you've been naughty or nice this holiday season over dinner at the Gurnee pub. The event offers Santa's favorite treats like hot cocoa, cookies and candy canes. Reservations are encouraged.

Thursday, December 19; 5-7 p.m. Timothy O'Toole's Pub, 5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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Holidays Around the World

This multicultural program at the Warren-Newport Public Library celebrates the tradition of all winter holidays including, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the Chinese New Year. 

Thursday, December 19; 7-8 p.m. Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O'Plaine Rd., Gurnee. 
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Village of Gurnee Shopping Spree

Gurnee Mills Mall

Experience over 200 retail stores for your holiday shopping needs at Gurnee Mills. Wrap up shopping with a meal at your favorite restaurant or play a few games at 60 to Escape or Tilt Studio. Gurnee Mills features retail favorites like Bass Pro Shops, Macy's, the Disney Outlet Store, the LEGO store, Kohls, Dick's Sporting Goods, Nike, Dine like royalty as Gurnee Mills offers world class eats like Rainforest Cafe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Red Robin and many other eateries. 

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Bass Pro Shops

The super outdoor outfitter, catering to the Lake County lifestyle. Boating, fishing, camping, hunting, the Gurnee store is equipped all-things outdoors for your next adventure on the land of lakes and/or surrounding waters. A perfect gift idea for your outdoorsy family and friends.

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Gurnee Antique Market

A treasure will always find you here, with over 100 dealers of one-of-a-kind vintage furniture and curios to dress up your home or add to your décor.

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Village of Gurnee Cuisine

Barnwood Restaurant

Great Wolf Lodge's full-service eatery offers lunch and dinner for guests of the resort as well as walk-in diners. Craft cocktails, shareable plates and affordable comfort for the entire family in this fully-themed rustic setting.

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Giordano's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

The rich-flavored, deep -dish double-crusted pies are a fan favorite in the Chicagoland area. The Gurnee eatery’s menu also features scrumptious pastas and fresh salads.

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Salutos Pizza & Pasta

The mouthwatering pasta, pizzas, bread and desserts are all freshly-made at this one-of-a-kind, family-owned restaurant.

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Spice Restaurant

Restaurant located inside Holiday Inn Gurnee, that combines traditional American cuisine with Eastern fusion flavors. Spice has a little something for everybody's dining experience.

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Stevens Steakhouse

This family-owned establishment provides a comfortable environment to experience close-to-home cuisine. Their menu offers a wide selection of finely-aged steaks and chops, fresh seafood, extensive wine, and martini lists and more.

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The Chocolate Sanctuary

 

A Gurnee chocolate-inspired restaurant that concocts beautifully-plated main courses, appetizers and desserts that incorporate the restaurant's namesake ingredient. Chocolate Sanctuary is a fun and casual restaurant, lounge and boutique for foodies and chocolate lovers alike.

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Timothy O’Toole’s Pub

This Irish-style pub is famous for its award-winning wings, burgers, fish & chips and 19 different beers on tap.

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Click here for a complete list of dining options in Gurnee.

Village of Gurnee Holiday Attractions

60 to Escape

Need an hour to shop for a specific family member? Escape into your own real-world video game at the Gurnee Mills escape room. This unique immersive adventure relies on your puzzle-solving skills to escape a room in 60 minutes or less. Visit this USA Today, 10Best ranked escape room.

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Extreme Flight Simulation

Their simulator accurately reproduces the flight deck of the 737NG vessel. The facility is open to the public, and no flight experience is required. "We are prepared for lift-off" this holiday season. 

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Launch Trampoline Park Gurnee - formerly known as Jump America

Jump for joy at this indoor fun and fitness trampoline emporium that stretches 16,000 square-feet. The venue features two dodgeball courts and a foam jumping pit. The perfect place to drop your kids off when you’re holiday shopping.

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Only Child Brewing Co.

The small-batch brew company creates premier artisanal drinks with fresh ingredients. The inspiring sips from the Lake County Libation Trail participant are delectable. The Gurnee brewhouse is also a dog-friendly facility.

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Marcus Theatres at Gurnee Mills

Be the first to check out the latest holiday movie at this state of the art cinema. Great food and beverage options from Zaffiro's Express and many more.

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Tilt Studio

This state of the art entertainment center features 180 video and interactive games, virtual reality laser tag arena, 18 holes of glow in the dark miniature golf, and snack bar featuring awesome homemade pizza.

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Stay in Village of Gurnee

Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

This 400-room resort features an 80,000 square-foot indoor water park, an abundance of kiddie activities, restaurants onsite and shopping. The waterpark resort is located right off of I-94 and conveniently located to all Gurnee shopping. 

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Hampton Inn – Gurnee

The 134-room inn features a pool, a fitness center and free breakfast. Conveniently located near Gurnee Mills shopping.

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Holiday Inn Gurnee

The 210-room hotel and conference center features a fitness center, free breakfast and a pool. Conveniently located near Gurnee Mills shopping.

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Wingate by Wyndham Gurnee

The 62-room accommodation features a pool and free breakfast. It's located ideally between multiple Gurnee attractions.

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For more holiday happenings in Lake County, continue here. For more about the Village of Gurnee, click here.

Holidays in Lake County