Santa’s coming to town
Here are a few places you can see the big guy make his entrance.
It’s one of the biggest mysteries of physics: How does Santa show up in so many places in such a short window of time? No one knows, but one thing’s certain: When a crowd’s involved, simply knocking on the front door (or coming down a chimney) isn’t cool enough for the big guy in the red suit.
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Navy Pier
After a long cruise from the North Pole, Santa and the Mrs. arrive by boat to join his biggest fans for a fireworks show to open the holiday season. Dec 4 at 6pm. Navy Pier (700 E Grand Ave, 312-595-7437). Free.
A Dr. Seuss Christmas Santa arrives via a helicopter to spend the afternoon at the Apollo Recreation Center. Pick up free tickets for visits with Santa at 11:30am, and enjoy a Christmas story told by “Dr. Seuss” and his favorite characters (on display throughout the center). Dec 3 at noon. Apollo Recreation Center (12521 S Kostner Ave, Alsip; 708-389-1003). Free.
Santa’s flight Kids can wait in the Schaumburg airport’s hangar while eating a buffet breakfast, then chat with the old fella once he gets his bearings after landing by helicopter. Dec 4 at 9:30am. Schaumburg Regional Airport (905 W Irving Park Rd, Schaumburg; 847-923-3859). $16, kids ages 3–12 $9, under 3 free.
Taste of the Holidays Santa lives out every kid’s fantasy, arriving with Mrs. Claus via fire truck for the official opening of the Lansing Santa House.Nov 25 at 5pm. Lansing Chamber of Commerce (3404 Lake St, Lansing; lansingsanta.com). Free.
Toys for Tots motorcycle parade Western Avenue—the longest continuous street in the United States—is the site of the annual motorcycle parade led by Easy Rider Santa, beginning at 8300 South Western Avenue and heading north almost 20 miles within the city. Dec 4 at 9:30am. (chicagolandtft.org). Free.
Santa Sleigh 5K Run and 1- Mile Walk
All participants in this popular annual event receive a Santa outfit—including a white beard—before the fun begins. We’re sure it’s because the real Santa doesn’t want anyone to recognize him on the run. Kids ten and under do a Reindeer Run at 9:15am—with complimentary antlers and red noses, of course. Dec 3 at 10am. Downtown Arlington Heights (Corner of Campbell St and Vail Ave; rotarysantarun.org). $33, kids ages 12 and under $23; Reindeer Run $5.
Skate with Santa Santa and his elves hit the ice on the last Sunday before Christmas. It’s good training for all of the work he’ll be doing in the week to come. Dec 18, 11:40am–1:10pm. Oakton Ice Arena (2800 W Oakton St, Park Ridge; 847-692-3359). $6.
Sledding with Santa Bring sleds (and a camera) to Memorial Park’s north end sledding hill to race against Santa and see if living at the North Pole gives him an unfair advantage. Dec 23, 4–5:30pm. Memorial Park (12804 S Highland Ave, Blue Island; 708-385-3304). Free.
For more Santa sightings visit santainchicago.com.