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12 Big Christmas Events

Tiffany Garavaglia
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Events, Holidays, What's Happening

Ho Ho Hold on a minute…what are you doing this weekend (and the next couple for that matter)?

ILLINOISouth knows how to celebrate the season in style. Don’t take our word for it – we’ve combed through our event calendar and picked 12 unique festivities that will knock your stockings off.

1. White County Christmas
Weekends, Now – December 13
Downtown Carmi
It’s a White County Christmas featuring a Chocolate Tasting on November 21, Reindeer Run 5K and Festival of Trees on November 22 and Craft Shows on November 29 and December 13.

2. Christmas in Carlyle
December 5
Carlyle
The Christmas Season in Carlyle kicks off with a parade and fireworks.

3. Christmas on the River
December 5 – December 7
1331 Swanwick St., Chester
This year’s theme is All Aboard the Polar Express. The bell still rings for those who truly believe. Enjoy a lighted parade, craft show, quilt show, carriage rides and more!

rudolph and sam costumes

4. Holly Jolly Christmas
December 5, 12, 19
Newton, IL
Singer Burl Ives (aka Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer) recorded Holly Jolly Christmas, which has inspired his hometown to plan this event every year. Puppet shows, carriage and wagon rides, carolers in period dress and Santa Claus are just a few of the activities.

5. Christmas Past
December 5 – December 21
Mascoutah Heritage Museum, Mascoutah, IL
Relive the Christmases of your youth! Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season as you view historic Christmas cards, decorations and ornaments, listen to records on our Victrola, and look at our display of old-fashioned toys. You and your family can even have your picture taken in our Victorian parlor, decorated for the season. The Museum is open every Tuesday morning from 9:00 until noon, the first and third Sunday afternoons of the month, and on December 5th after the Santa Claus parade.

 christmas at the barn6. Christmas in the Barn
December 6 – December 7
Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo & Exotic Farm, Nashville
Stop in to see the cows, sheep, donkeys, camel and other farm animals that are waiting for the Baby Jesus to be born.

7. Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour
December 6 – December 7
Okawville
Stroll the activities throughout town – includes a craft fair, “Festival of Trees” display, and flea market/vendor show. The House Tour includes area homes and a church. Museum sites open and decorated surrey rides available (weather permitting). Breakfast with Santa will be at 9am on Saturday.

christmas picture color

8. Old Fashion German Christmas
December 7
Maeystown
Participate in a traditional German holiday with music, food, carriage rides, shopping and more.

9. Christmas at Willoughby
December 7
Willoughby Farm, Collinsville
See a new side of Willoughby Farm: decorated for the holidays! Visitors will sip hot cider or hot chocolate and nibble on holiday sweet treats while visiting with Santa Claus in the farm house. Remember to bring your camera to snap a photo of Santa with your little one. Join un in the Bank Barn for a holiday sing-along while guests make ornaments to take home. From 1-4 p.m.

10. Christmas with Dickens
December 12 – December 14
Lebanon
Enjoy shopping, carolers and characters from “A Christmas Carol” while strolling the streets.

statehouse christmas 11. Statehouse Christmas Open House
December 13
Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site
The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing the doors open to the public. Visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will find the building illuminated by more than 250 candles and trimmed with decorations appropriate to the 1840s, when a young Abraham Lincoln served there. Decorations include fresh greenery and fruits.

12. Christmas in the Park
December 19 – December 20
Charley Brown Park, Flora
Christmas in the Park features horse drawn carriage rides, little toot train rides, petting zoo, Santa Claus in the Santa House, lots of festive light displays and more!

LittleTootCaboose

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great holiday happenings in our area! There are several places to see plays and concerts in the coming weeks. Plus, who can forget the great light displays in the area? Many of them like the Du Quoin Holiday Lights Fair and the Way of Lights in Belleville have live entertainment and indoor activities for all ages!!!

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

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