McHenry County holiday events

The following events are taking place for the holiday season in McHenry County.

Dec. 1

PIONEER CENTER HOLIDAY LUNCHEON & BOOK REVIEW, fifth annual, 11:15 a.m. Dec. 1, D’Andrea Banquets, 4419 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake. Social hour, raffles, luncheon and book dramatist, Barbara Rinella, will present “Claude and Camille, A Novel of Monet” by Stephanie Cowell. Tickets: $35 a person. Raffle tickets: $10 each or $50 for six. Proceeds benefit Pioneer Center. Reservations and information: 815-759-7144 or

LIVE INDOOR NATIVITY & MUSIC, 6:15 p.m. Dec. 1, The Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 Bull Valley Road, McHenry. Children’s crafts, Festival of Praise celebration and retelling of the Nativity story, and joyous music. Refreshments. All are welcome. Information: 815-385-5673.

HOLIDAY FLORAL EXTRAVAGANZA, 7 p.m. Dec. 1, McHenry West High School, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry. Designers from local florists will create floral arrangements. Presented by McHenry Garden Club. Tickets: $8 through Nov. 28, $10 at the door. Tickets available at Chapel Hill Florist, Countryside Flower Shop in Crystal Lake, Locker’s Flowers, Mary’s Flowers of McHenry and Renee’s of Ridgefield. Information: 815-344-1965.
Dec. 3

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Reese’s Restaurant, 206 S. Main St., Algonquin. Holiday shopping with gifts for all featuring May Kay cosmetics, Tastefully Simple, Sandy’s gifts, skin care instruction, floral decor, food tastings and more. Free admission. Information: 847-658-8550.

ARTIST’S HOLIDAY SHOP, 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4-5, The Inspired Art Studio, 1316 Spring Beach Way, Cary. Nine artists will sell jewelry, blown glass, paintings, prints, cards, holiday crafts and other handcrafted items. Hot coffee, cocoa and holiday cookies. Information: 847-516-2384 or

FESTIVAL OF TREES & FOOD DRIVE, ninth annual, Dec. 3-25, Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive 5 p.m. Dec. 3 to perform the tree-lighting ceremony. Decorated trees on display through Dec. 25. Accepting donations of non-perishable food for the Lake in the Hills/Algonquin Food Pantry and Grafton Township Food Pantry. Host: Lake in the Hills Parks & Recreation Department. Information: 847-960-7460 or

CANDLE LIGHT CHRISTMAS PRESENTATION, third annual, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Colonel Palmer House, Route 176 and Terra Cotta, Crystal Lake. The Crystal Lake Historical Society invites you to join the Palmer family as they celebrate Christmas in the Centennial year of 1876. Reservations required. Tickets: $8 adults, $5 seniors and children younger than 12 at 815-455-1151.

CHRISTMAS AT THE DOLE, Dec. 3-4, Lakeside Legacy Arts Park (Dole Mansion), 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake. Schedule: 6 to 10:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Home for the Holidays cocktail reception with holiday music and dance performances, art, raffle and 7 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony (tickets $35 a person, $60 a couple); 8 to 10 a.m. Dec. 4, North Pole at the Dole family event with Elf Workshop arts and crafts, 10 a.m. to noon Cooking with Mrs. Claus, and 1 p.m. McHenry County Youth Orchestra performance (tickets $10 adults, free for children younger than 7 with an adult). Tickets and information: 815-455-8000 or

Dec. 4

ANNUAL BREAKFAST WITH SANTA, 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4, Marlowe Middle School, 9625 Haligus Road, Lake in the Hills. Games, craft, pictures with Santa, raffle baskets. Host: District 158 Foundation. Tickets: 5 a person available at all District 158 elementary schools. Free for children 12 months and younger. Information: 847-659-5800 or

SNOW ANGELS FAIR CRAFTS, COOKIES & QUILTS, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4, Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 dean St., Woodstock. Many types of crafts, woodworking, jewelry, candles, Christmas cards, books, cookie walk, annual quilt sale by the Redeemer Quilters and a visit from the Dickens Carollers. Free admission. Information: 815-338-9370 or

ANNUAL HOLIDAY BAZAAR, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4, Riverwood School, 300 S. Driftwood Trail, McHenry. Crafters will be selling holiday gifts and other items for the home. Host: City of McHenry Parks & Recreation Department. Admission: $1 per person donation. Information: 815-363-2160.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA, 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 4, Indian Oaks Park, 825 Indian Oaks Trail, Marengo. Light breakfast and visit with Santa for children up to age 8 with an adult. Free. Host: Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce. Information: 815-568-6680 or

NATIVITY LUTHERAN CHURCH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BAZAAR, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4, 3506 E. Wonder Lake Road, Wonder Lake. Crafts, silent auction featuring theme baskets, cookie walk, raffles, kids corner craft table. Mrs. Claus will hand out candy canes. Food available. Portion of proceeds benefit Wonder Lake Neighbors Food Pantry and Youth Group RINGS. Information: 815-653-9782.

MARENGO–UNION HOLIDAY HOUSEWALK, 19th annual, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5, throughout the Marengo and Union area. Featuring more than 50 crafters and artists in 27 locations offering handcrafted items, decorated antiques and primitives and holiday decor. Donations of non-perishable food items for the local food pantry accepted at each stop. Information: 815-568-0443 or

HOLIDAY SHOP, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4,  Lake in the Hills Elementary School, 519 Willow Road , Lake in the Hills. Featuring local crafters, artisans and business offering holiday décor, jewelry, candles and more. Santa will be there 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for visits and photos with children (nominal fee). Hot cocoa and coffee will be available. Chili Cook off Contest, for $5 you can taste and judge the chili entries, all proceeds to benefit LITH ES. Sponsor: Lake in the Hills Parent Teacher Council. Free. Information:

ANNUAL HOLIDAY CRAFT & VENDOR FAIR, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Community Church of Richmond, 5714 Broadway St., Richmond. Wide variety of crafters and vendors and holiday cookie sale. Soup and sandwich lunch available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Information: 815-678-6521 or

JIM MAY BOOK READING & SIGNING, 11 a.m. Dec. 4, Read Between The Lynes, 129 Van Buren St., Woodstock. Local storyteller and author, Jim May, will read and sign his “Christmas in Illinois” book. Information: 815-206-5967 or

NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4, St. John Lutheran Church, 405 W. Route 176, Island Lake. Come roam ancient Bethlehem. Meet the people that live and work in Bethlehem while you do some crafts and receive the Christmas message as a family. Experience what  the very first Christmas may have been like. Free. Information: 847-293-1387.

CHRISTMAS BAKE & GIFT SALE, 4 p.m. Dec. 4 and 7 a.m. to noon Dec. 5, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Parish Hall, 2302 W. Church St., Johnsburg. Sponsor: Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus Council 9167. Information: 815-344-0322.

HOOVED ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY HOLIDAY PARTY & ADOPTION DRIVE, noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Hooved Animal Humane Society, 10804 McConnell Road, Woodstock. Pony rides for children, baked goods, hot beverages, wagon rides and pictures with Santa. Free admission. Information: 815-337-5563; or

LAKESIDE SINGERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT, 8 p.m. Dec. 4, Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Tickets: $29, $32, $35 at 815-356-9212 or

Dec.  5

BREAKFAST WITH ST. NICHOLAS, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 1023 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake. All-you-can-eat breakfast, games, crafts, Christmas carols and stories, meet and learn about St. Nicholas. Cost: $9 adults, $8 seniors, $5 children ages 4-12, free for children 3 and younger. Information: 815-459-3096. Registration: Cassandra Lauinger at

SANTA COMES TO HAMPSHIRE, 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 5, Hampshire Middle School, 560 S. State St., Hampshire. Featuring 25 crafters. Sponsor: Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce. Information: 847-514-3657; 847-683-1122 or

“SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM,” 3 p.m. Dec. 5, St. Mary Catholic Church, 1401 N. Richmond Road, McHenry. The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. It’s CSI: Bethlehem when Sister invites her audience to be characters in a living nativity crime scene. Tickets: $20 a person. No reserved seating. Tickets and information: 815-385-0024.

ANNUAL WINTER POPS CONCERT, 4 p.m. Dec. 5, Holiday Inn, 800 S. Route 31, Crystal Lake. Christmas music, pops, vocal and instrumental solos presented by the Crystal Lake Community Band. Tickets: $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $70 group of 10 at 815-477-2263 or

Dec. 6

POLISH AMERICAN CLUB CELEBRATES ST. NICHOLAS, noon Dec. 6, Port Edward Restaurant, 20 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin. Special holiday luncheon. Friends of members welcome. Cost: $22 a person. Send checks to Martha Mirek, 12870 Crestview Drive, Huntley, with your choice of entree. Reservations and information: 847-669-7075.

Dec. 7

BOOKS ARE FUN HOLIDAY BOOK FAIR, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8, Centegra Hospital - Woodstock lower level lobby, 3701 Doty Road, Woodstock. Wide variety of books for all ages, stationery, scrapbooking, music and more. Sponsored by Centegra Hospital - Woodstock Auxiliary to benefit Gavers Breast Center in Crystal Lake. Information: 815-814-3264.

Dec. 8

VISIT WITH SANTA, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Community Center, 255 Briargate Road, Cary. Santa will hear your child’s wish list. Children must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian. Host: Cary Park District. Free. Information: 847-639-6100 or

Dec. 10

NORTHWEST INDIANA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA HOLIDAY POPS, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Tickets: $40, $43, $46 at 815-356-9212 or

“AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS,” Dec. 10-18, First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake, 461 Pierson St., Crystal Lake. A Christmas story in music and dance for all ages. Schedule: 8 p.m. Dec. 10-11; 4 p.m. Dec. 12; 8 p.m. Dec. 17; and 2 & 8 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets: $10-$16, free for children younger than 12. Tickets and information: 815-459-6010 or

Dec. 11

ANNUAL COOKIE WALK & GIFT BASKET SALE, 10 a.m. Dec. 11, Faith Community United Church of Christ, 2023 Route 176, Prairie Grove. Fresh cookies at $7 a pound plus an assortment of gift baskets. On display more than 100 nativity sets. Information: 815-479-1307 or

DECK THE JAYCEE PARK TRAIL, 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 11, Jaycee Park, Silver Lake and Cary-Algonquin roads, Cary. Community groups invited to decorate trees to line the trail at the park. Registration: $25 per tree accepted at Cary Park District Community Center, 255 Briargate Road, Cary. Information: 847-639-6100 or

THE LIRA ENSEMBLE, 8 p.m. Dec. 11, Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. “Polish Carols, Song and Dance” Polish holiday concert. Tickets: $30, $35, $40 at 815-356-9212 or

Dec. 12

SANTA’S VISIT, noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 12, Village Hall, 17703 O’Cock Road, Union. Visits, crafts, refreshments and a photo with Santa. All children will receive an ornament with their name on it and a candy cane from Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce. Information: 815-568-6680 or

VOICES IN HARMONY SING-ALONG MESSIAH, 4 p.m. Dec. 12, Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Tickets: $18 at 815-356-9212 or

Dec. 13

“HOLIDAY IN SONG & DANCE,” 2 p.m. Dec. 13, Drendel Ballroom in Prairie Lodge, 12880 Del Webb Blvd., Huntley. Presented by Born to Dance Ensemble of Sun City Strutters with special guests The Prairie Voices. Tickets: $5 a person.

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE, second annual, 6:30 to 8:45 p.m. Dec. 13, Algonquin Area Public Library District, Eastgate Branch, 115 Eastgate Drive, Algonquin. Hosted by Cary Grove Toastmasters club featuring five speakers, networking, The Jingle Bell Game, door prizes, refreshments. All guests welcome. Free. Information: 815-546-9353.

Dec. 16

BREAKFAST & LUNCH WITH SANTA, 9:30 to 11 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16, McHenry Municipal Center, 333 S. Green St., McHenry. Breakfast or lunch, visit with Santa, sing songs, make an ornament and more. Host: McHenry Parks & Recreation Department. Each child to receive a special gift. Cost: $10 per child, free for adults. Registration and information: 815-363-2160.

LAKE IN THE HILLS HOLIDAY LIGHTS DECORATING CONTEST, for those who believe their outdoor holiday decorating skills deserve a little fanfare, contact the Lake in the Hills Parks & Recreation Department at 847-960-7460 to enroll their creation. Homes will be judged beginning at dusk Dec. 16. Winners will be announced in two categories, Best Overall Display and the Clark Griswold Award and each receive a gift certificate to an area restaurant.

Dec. 18

MAD SCIENCE HOLIDAY CHEMISTRY WORKSHOP, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 18, Lakeland Park Community Center, 1717 N. Sunset Ave., McHenry. City of McHenry Parks & Recreation Department event for children ages 5 to 12 to make peppermint ice cream, holiday tree, cocoa physical reaction, glitter polymer and more. Fee: $45 city resident, $55 non-city resident. Registration and information: 815-363-2160.

“CHRISTMAS NEAR AND FAR,” 1 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19, Huntley High School Performing Arts Center, 13719 Harmony Road, Huntley. Sun City Prairie Singers annual holiday concert. Tickets: $10 adults, $3 children ages 2-12 available at Huntley branches of Castle Bank, Citizens Band, Harris Bank and Prairie Lodge in Sun City. Information: 847-669-6319 or 224-569-6491.

“THE NUTCRACKER” BALLET,” 3 & 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 3 p.m. Dec. 19, Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. A Christmas delight with Tchaikovsky’s music presented by Berkshire Ballet Theatre. Tickets: $19, $22, $25 at 815-356-9212 or

Dec. 20

THE DICKENS CAROLLERS, 7 p.m. Dec. 20, Drendel Hall in Prairie Lodge at Sun City, 12880 Del Webb Blvd., Huntley. “A Christmas Visit to Old England” acapella vocal concert with settings and costumes of Victorian London. Tickets: $8 at 847-515-7773.


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