See the Top 10 Santa   Events in Chicagoland

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Offbeat, Unusual & Fascinating Chicago Area Santa Events

Photo courtesy Arlington Heights Rotary Club

Dates, times & cost for all events listed are subject to change


Arlington Heights

Santa 5K Run/Walk
Arlington Heights Rotary Club
Event location and details can be found on the Rotary Run website.                                                                                        

Santa Event and Hours 2018

Saturday, December 1st, 10 am

Entry Fees: Check website

The Rotary Club of Arlington Heights “Santa 5k Run/Walk is a local tradition. This fund raising event will have over 2000 Santa Clauses running and walking through the streets, something you won’t want to miss. One of the requirements is that everyone who participates wears a Santa outfit, yes that includes a white beard, which they receive before the fun begins. Seeing all those red suits at one time is sure to confuse young children watching the race—how will they ever know who is the real Santa? Anyone interested in being part of this event can find an on-line entry form at the Arlington Heights Rotary site listed above.


Breakfast with Tomten in Chicago
(Sweden's version of Santa)

Swedish American Museum
5211 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 728-8111 ext. 26 reservations required

Santa Event and Hours 2018

Saturday, December 8th - 9am

Sunday, December 9th - 9am

Admission: $15 for both children & adults - museum members, $20 for non-members and their children - Be sure and bring your camera, there is no photographer on site. Children under one are free. This event can be booked online at the museums website. Note: Pre-paid reservations are required.

Every Christmas Season, The Swedish American Museum hosts a Breakfast with Tomten for children. Enjoy Swedish pancakes, crafts and time on Tomten's lap. Tomten is a mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore and much like Santa Claus is a legend that grew, changed and expanded over time. The modern Swedish version comes from Viktor Rydberg's 1881 poem Tomten, where the Tomte is alone on a frosty Christmas evening pondering life’s universal mysteries. In the poem which was originally published in the Swedish magazine Ny Illustrerad Tidning the Swedish artist, Jenny Nyström created a picture of warm Tomten to go along with Rydberg's poem. He was an old man with a white beard who just happened to wear a red cap. Since that time Tomten has been part of the Swedish Christmas tradition in the same way that Clement Clarke Moore’s, “The Night Before Christmas” has shaped the American legend of Santa Claus. There will be a Swedish pancake breakfast, and of course, a special visit with Tomten at this event as well as dancing around the Christmas tree!


           Photo courtesy Swedish American Museum

Santa at Holiday Delight and Kodomo Matsuri
(Children's Festival) in Chicago
Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago
4427 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 275-7212

Santa Event and Hours 2018

Saturday, November 10th: 10 am - 4 pm


East meets West at the JASC’s Holiday Delight and Kodomo Matsuri—Children's Festival. Santa is at this annual festival to see the children, have pictures taken and listen to what they would like for Christmas. At the same time the young ones can experience first hand Kodomo Matsuri, a traditional Japanese children’s festival. Here the kids get to learn about Japanese classical cultural performances and enjoy hands-on craft workshops. This holiday event offers a wide variety of Japanese and unique handcrafted goods and other gift items. You’ll find homemade baked foods and Japanese favorites such as teriyaki beef sticks, sushi and other gourmet delights.


Santa Hustle Chicago 5K
Adrenaline Sports Management
Event begins at: Soldier Field (SE Side)
1410 Museum Campus Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(847) 829-4536


Santa Event and Hours 2018

Saturday, December 1st: Race starts at 9 am

Entry Fees: check website

The Santa Hustle 5K Run & Walk, now in its sixth year is an event you have to see with thousands of Santas running through the streets of Chicago. Participants receive a Santa long sleeved shirt, plus a Santa hat and beard. There are plenty of awards for every age group from kids to adults over 80. New this year is a terrific after the race party at Navy Pier. Register online through the Santa Hustle website.


                                                           Photo courtesy Santa Hustle


Santa at Christmas at the Brewery

Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
1035 Sterling Avenue
Flossmoor, IL 60422
(708) 957-2739 while reservations
are not required, they are recommended

Santa Event and Hours 2018

Sunday, December 23rd - 4 pm to 8 pm                                                             Note: While we think the day and times listed above are correct, check with the Brewery to be sure.

Admission: FREE SANTA EVENT Normal dining prices apply

While we don’t think you’ll find Santa downing any brews—he sticks to his milk and cookies—you’ll find him at the Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery with his elf, Jingles for a great evening of holiday fun. “Christmas at the Brewery” is an annual event that offers diners free carriage rides through the downtown streets of Flossmoor. The kids get free pictures with the ol’ guy, with plenty of time to let him know what they would like to find under the tree.


                                        Photo courtesy Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

Oak Park

Breakfast, Lunch and Tea with Santa at the Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion in Oak Park
The Cheney Mansion
220 North Euclid
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 383-2612
For additional information click on this LINK

Santa Event and Hours 2018

Saturday, December 1st                                                                                          Times - 9am - 4pm

Admission: Check website for prices

Want to go to a Santa event that offers something different for the kids? Take them to a Breakfast, Lunch or Tea with Santa at the Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion in Oak Park. Designed by the architect Charles E. White, Jr. in the style of a gracious old English Country home, it is located in the historic district of Oak Park. This is a good chance to see how the “upper crust” lived in past times and experienced Christmas. The event includes live music, as well a model train layout. Of course you will meet with Santa in very elegant surroundings. It would be appreciated if you would bring a children's toy or gift which will go to a local charity.


                                                 Photo courtesy Oak Park Park District


Photos with Santa on a Harley in Palatine
City Limits Harley-Davidson
2200 North Rand Road
Palatine, IL 60074
(847) 358-2112

Santa Event and Hours 2017

Saturday, December 9th, 2017 - Times11 am to 3 pm


Has Santa traded in his sleigh and reindeer for a Harley? Come in and bring the kids to see the Big Old Guy and find out. He will be will be in Palatine where children get a free photo on a Harley. There will be small Christmas stockings with sweets for the young ones, hot cocoa, cookies and hot apple cider for mom and dad.

   A future Harley rider is checking Santa out

St. Charles

Miracle on 34th Street the Radio Play                                                         Steel Beam Theatre
111 W. Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
(630) 587-8521

For additional information or to purchase tickets online click on the above link.

Show Runs From Friday, November 23rd                                                    through Sunday, December 23rd 2018

Show Days - Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays - Show Times check with the box office 

Admission: check with the box office

In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle fills in for the intoxicated Santa in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a big hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain's main store. But Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus and it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly his authenticity. This family friendly adaptation is sure to please kids. Directecd by JoAnn Smith.


                                                                  Steel Beam Theatre

Santa Arrives on a Sled Pulled by Huskies for Woodland Santa’s Holiday Workshop in St. Charles

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in the James O. Breen Community Park
3795 Campton Hills Road
St. Charles, IL 60175
(630) 513-4399

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Times: 10am to 11:30am - Santa arrives at 10:15 am

Admission: $5 per child residents; $8 non-residents

Here’s an event that is a little offbeat and unusual. What happened to Santa’s reindeer? You’ll find him arriving pulled by sled dogs for his Woodland Holiday Workshop. This is you chance to get pictures with the bearded one, enjoy snacks and make an ornament.


                                                     Photo courtesy St. Charles Park District


Please note—all of the above events are subject to change without notice


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