Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

A wealth of holiday happenings and fantastic hotel rates combine for a perfect North Shore holiday experience.

Use Destination North Shore to fill your December calendar with the best in holiday fun in the northern suburbs.

Winnetka is Happening!

Start with Breakfast with Santa at the Winnetka Community House Saturday, Dec. 7, then return to Winnetka December 8 to shop their retail districts at the annual Red Invitation Holiday Sunday Sale, where enticing discounts, spectacular service and gorgeous holiday decorations will abound.

Evanston is Evergreen!

If something unusual is what you’re after, the Native Arts Holiday Bazaar at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian on Central Street in Evanston takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8. While you’re there, check out the Central Street Holiday Open House Sunday, Dec. 8, where Central Street retailers open their doors to holiday shoppers with raffle prizes, discounts, refreshments and strolling entertainers on the street.

Breakfast with the Big Guy

If your young children want to greet Old Saint Nick before the big day, why not treat them to breakfast with Santa? On most weekends leading up to Christmas, you will find a busy Santa eating his favorite meal. Check out the local Breakfast with Santa events at Maggiano’s at Westfield Old Orchard, Allgauer’s at the Hilton Northbrook, and the Book Market at The Glen Town Center.

Follow your meal with a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Wonderland Express to view the miniature garden-scale trains winding their way past waterfalls and intricately detailed landscapes featuring more than 80 miniature versions of Chicago’s favorite landmarks including Navy Pier, Solider Field and Willis Tower.

Winter Wonderland

Burn off your breakfast calories by checking out the Ice Rink at Westfield Old Orchard. Located adjacent to Bloomingdales, the setting is perfect to enjoy a spin around the rink, and then shop and eat at the Center. Want to see a live reindeer? Then Downtown Skokie is the place to be Saturday, Dec. 14. In addition to the reindeer, you can also enjoy photos with Santa, ice carvings, lively carolers, the lighting of the Menorah, merchant specials, incredible dining deals, and a “cash mob” raffle drawing.

Holiday Performances for the Family

Special holiday performances bring the magic of the season to life. Salt Creek Ballet performs the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15. For less traditional holiday fare, check out Piccolo Theatre’s “The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over!” in Evanston through December 21. If you’re nostalgic for a Christmas story from long past, don’t miss Glenview’s Oil Lamp Theater production of “It’s a Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play” through December 22. Last, but definitely not least, Light Opera Works astounds with their December show, “Annie Get Your Gun,” at Northwestern University’s Cahn Auditorium December 21–31.

It’s not too early to make your New Year’s Eve plans. Spend the evening with Kurt Elling for a New Year’s Eve Concert at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts and spend the night next door at the DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago/North Shore. Looking for family fun on New Year’s Eve? Evanston is bringing back First Night! More than 30 locations will offer family music and fun.

Detailed information on all of these activities, plus attractive hotel rates to plan your North Shore Staycation, can be found online here.



Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau
8001 Lincoln Ave., Suite 715, Skokie