Get in the Holidays Spirit
Whether it is twinkling lights, festive tree decorations, holiday gift shopping or visits with Santa that you enjoy best, there are a variety of activities available throughout McHenry County this winter.
Whether it is twinkling lights, festive tree decorations, holiday gift shopping or visits with Santa that you enjoy best, there are a variety of activities available throughout McHenry County this winter. Best of all, many of these events can be enjoyed at little or no cost, which should bring us all a little added cheer.
One of the time-honored traditions is the lighting of the Woodstock Square, which takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving. The trees and Victorian architecture surrounding the square will be illuminated with hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights.
Santa will share cookies and milk with visitors to his cottage at the Woodstock Opera House. Santa will be available for visits in downtown Crystal Lake through December 23, and a special Breakfast with Santa will be held at 9 a.m. on December 13 at the Old Town Hall in downtown Crystal Lake. For more information or to make reservations for this activity, which includes music, games, gifts and a photo with Santa, call 815-479-0835.
One new event this year is the Jaycee Park Holiday Walk at Silver Lake and Cary-Algonquin roads in Cary. Trees will be decorated by community groups and will be available for everyone to enjoy throughout the month of December.
Doors of businesses and private homes will be opened December 6 and 7 for the 17th Annual Marengo-Union Holiday Housewalk (formerly known as the Winter Wonderwalk). Twenty-five locations featuring more than 60 crafters will provide unique products to meet your holiday shopping and decorating needs. Maps will be available at each location.
The traditional Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Celebration will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 7 on West Main Street in downtown Cary. In addition to the parade, family activities will include horse-drawn wagon rides, a children’s train ride, a petting zoo, pony rides, Dickens-style carolers and free pictures with Santa. Food and other festivities will complement this busy event.
Christmas with a distinctive theme will be hosted at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union. Christmas on the Railroad with Santa will be the weekends of December 6 and 7 and December 13 and 14. Call 800-BIG-RAIL for more information.
RavenStone Castle in Harvard invites guests to stop in for a cup of hot cider while hunting for that perfect gift during their annual Christmas Art and Craft Faire. The fair will be held the weekends of December 13 and 14 and December 20 and 21.
Residents in the Village of Trout Valley will be celebrating Christmas this year with their annual children’s holiday party, which includes games, crafts, a special holiday performance by the Cary-Grove High School Swing Choir and gifts from Santa. Additional holiday traditions include a caroling singalong with a bonfire at the Riverfront Lodge, where neighbors share and taste chili recipes, hot chocolate and holiday baked goodies while collecting donations for the Cary Food Pantry. On Christmas Eve, Trout Valley is aglow as residents decorate their homes and streets with hundreds of luminaria. Visitors and residents enjoy walking or driving slowly through the candlelit roads.
If you like theater, you’ll enjoy a musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic family tale, “A Christmas Carol,” performed at both the Woodstock Opera House and the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. Additional events at the Raue Center this holiday season include The Lakeside Singers, who will perform Christmas carols, and the classical holiday ballet beloved by family members of all ages, “The Nutcracker,” performed by The Berkshire Ballet Theatre. Judith Svalander’s “Nutcracker” will be performed at the Woodstock Opera House and will feature both adult and child dancers in the timeless ballet about the magic that can happen to a child on Christmas Eve./p>