Holiday Your Way with Gurnee Events

Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things in Gurnee

World of Illumination: Arctic Adventure at Six Flags Great America

World of Illumination at Six Flags Great America

A holiday celebration returns Six Flags Great America. World of Illumination, a light display that makes spirits bright experience, provides its Arctic Adventure drive-through. Your host, is none other than Beti the Yeti, your shy but amiable tour guide to the illuminating outing is in cahoots with the man in the big red suit. Families will be immersed in an astounding snowflake tunnel, synced up to your favorite holiday tunes. The light display on the whole showcases over a million lights, while your drive will be about 20-30 minute experience complemented by your radio. On select days, visitors can go through the Six Flags Great America doors to ride the dolled up Columbia Carousel. Wasselers can also enjoy the eats and drinks from the Carousel Market and marvel at the park staple's lights. 

Arctic Adventure: November 17-December 31; 6-10 p.m. Carousel Lights and Market Nov. 25-26, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee. 
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Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois

“Let it snow” in Lake County for all we care, because inside Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the temperature is a toasty 84 degrees. Book an overnight stay at the resort's event called Snowland for all the season's best like visit’s with Santa, shimmering décor, Snowflake Story Time, Snowland Celebration complete with magical snow, Snowland Yoga Tails, arts and crafts, dance parties, and more. And of course, there's the 80,000 square-foot indoor water park for a splashing good time!

November 18-January 6. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, 1700 Nations Dr., Gurnee.
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Santa's Arrival Parade at Gurnee Mills

Roll out the red carpet, because the generous icon is making his grand entrance to the Gurnee shopping destination. Old Kringle strolls through the mall bumping the holiday slaps by a live DJ, while youngsters enjoy the staple platter milk and cookies. The evening will conclude with a reading of Claus's exploits on at least one British house while reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Stick around for a photo memory with the loveable guy.

Thursday, November 30; 6 p.m. Gurnee Mills near the Macy's Entrance, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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It's Santa Photo Time at Gurnee Mills

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! The man in the big red suit hosts his grand entry, Arrival Parade at the Gurnee mall on November 30. For individuals living with disabilities and/or impairments, Caring Santa may be an option to register for on December 3. 

November 30-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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Germann Light Display 

Some folks take the light show into their own hands. That's exactly what the Germann Family does as they enter their 14th year, making spirits bright. The light show is best viewed from your car with your radio turned to 87.9 FM, as the bulbs are synchronized to the music. The Germann Family also works with Northern Illinois Food Bank and has a drop box for donations. 

December 1-January 1; 5-10 p.m. Germann Light Show, 4968 Prairie Oak Rd., 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 and have your young ones take home an early holiday gift.

Saturday, December 2; 8:30-9:15 a.m., 9:30-10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., 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 gifts. The free admission event is also highlighted by over 30 vendors selling handmade items, a bake sale, a raffle and lunch

Saturday, December 2; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Gurnee American Legion Post 771, 749 Milwaukee Ave., Gurnee.
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Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train in Viking Park  - Photo By: USA Today

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 Tenille Townes and BRELAND. Also, old man Kris Kringle will be there to close out the celebration. 

Sunday, December 3; 5-7:30 p.m. Train arrives at 5:10 p.m. and departs at 5:40 p.m. Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Holiday Lights in Welton Plaza

The village knows how to throw a lit after-party when the choo-choo takes off. Gurnee will illuminate the night sky with its Holiday Lights event that holiday carolers, food trucks, hot cocoa, a live-petting zoo, an ornament-making station, visits with the Santa Claus and of course, the bright lights in the big village highlight. . 

Thursday, December 7; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Welton Plaza, 325 N. O'Plaine Rd., Gurnee. 
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Fifth Annual Gurnee Mills Holiday Craft Show 

Tis the season to be generous. The Lake County mall hosts its fifth installment of the Holiday Craft Show featuring myriad vendors selling jewelry, clothing, home décor and more. Gurnee Mills also invites patrons to experience the live tunes and delectable eats sporadically placed between Bass Pro Shop to Dick's Sporting Goods. 

Friday-Sunday, December 8-10; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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55+ Monthly Mixer - Holiday Celebration at Viking Park

It's always merry around these aprts this time of year. Individuals ages 55 and older should head to Gurnee for the seasons greetings mixer. The holly jolly mixer is highlighted by a roast beef lunch with all the fixins'. The monthly mixer also features
"Singo" - rendition of Bingo using holiday carols as the clues. Attendees are encouraged to bring a $6 gift for the exchange game and registration closes on Dec. 7.

Tuesday, December 12; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Viking Park 4374 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Lake County Symphony Orchestra's "Welcome Christmas!" at Gurnee Community Church

Lake County Symphony Orchestra

'Tis the season to be merry, and the land of lakes orchestra (LCSO) provides a holiday performance to display the season's greetings feels. The LCSO's set list includes the Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire Christmas", baroque tunes from Bach, Handel and Corelli, and more. 

Saturday, December 16; 7:30 p.m. Gurnee Community Church, 4555 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee.
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Breakfast with Santa at Gurnee's American Legion

"Hey, I just met you. And this is Santa. But here's my number, so call me maybe." Get your wishlist ready while your dining down with old man Kringle. Make sure you bring a toy for less fortunate youngsters as they will host a Toys for Tots alongside the breakfast event. Don't forget to snap a selfie with Mr. Claus. 

Saturday, December 16; 8-11 a.m. Gurnee American Legion Post 771, 749 Milwaukee Ave., Gurnee.
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95 WIIL Rock's New Years Eve Big Ball

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind." The jam-packed party is at Holiday Inn Gurnee,  equipped with an overnight stay to ring in the new year the right way. The Gurnee-based classic rock station bash features live performances from Modern Day Romeos and Keith Magnine, a scrumptious buffet dinner, cocktails, New Year's Eve favors, a midnight champagne toast and more. Your favorite 95 WIIL ROCK Morning Show hosts Tom and Stino will be in attendance MC'ing the event. 

TBA. Holiday Inn Convention Center, 6161 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee. 
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For other holiday happenings in Lake County, continue here. For more about the Village of Gurnee, click here.


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