Holiday Events Brighten December Days

Holiday Events Brighten December Days

While the holiday season will look different this year, local businesses and organizations are finding innovative ways to promote a festive spirit.  Socially distanced, drive thru, and virtual opportunities are available to entertain your family safely.  Be sure to check out these special events:

Let It Shine:  Experience a new drive-thru lightshow now open outside Northbrook Court.  Described as “a symphony of sight and sound,” Let It Shine guides guests in their cars through a dazzling series of light displays synchronized to musical holiday classics. Advance tickets are required. Combine your visit with holiday shopping or carryout dinner from Northbrook Court businesses.

Visits with Santa: Santa returns on Friday, November 27 to his traditional location near Neiman Marcus at Northbrook Court for visits and photos with guests.  A number of safety practices have been introduced, including social distancing, face coverings for Santa, staff members and guests, daily health and temperature checks for all staff, and convenient hand sanitizing stations. Guests are strongly encouraged to make a reservation for their visit.

For those who are not comfortable visiting Santa in person, Northbrook Court has partnered with Jingle Ring to provide an immersive, virtual Santa experience to enjoy at home. Users can pre-schedule and completely personalize their contactless visit with preferences for language, faith, ethnicity, and more. Each visit can be joined by up to four guests, from multiple devices, bringing grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other loved ones together for the experience. More details and reservations available through the Northbrook Court website.

Nutcracker Performance and Behind-the-Scenes Discussion:  Performances of The Nutcracker ballet are a time-honored holiday tradition.  This year, the Northbrook Public Library offers an online screening on December 12 of a 2016 performance by the Royal Ballet with the Royal Opera House Orchestra.  Take a deeper dive into the world of the Nutcracker with a behind-the-scenes webinar on December 10, when library staff members share the history, production, technical tricks, and music of this holiday classic.

Fun with Food: The Northbrook Park District offers a take-home version of its popular Gingerbread House Workshop, complete with a variety of delicious building materials.  Learn new recipes for a family Hanukkah celebration with a webinar on Jewish food history with author Ellen Kanner, presented by the Library on December 2.

Park District Family Activities: The Park District has also come up with several innovative ideas for families to enjoy together.  Look for snowmen hiding in Northbrook parks during a weeklong scavenger hunt, or have the fun brought to your house with a candy cane hunt set up in your yard by Park District staffers. Join in the monthly virtual Trivia Night and show off your knowledge of holiday movies, or sign up for a “Family Date Night” activity box to share. Visit for details and registration about these events and more.

Artistic Gifts: The North Suburban YMCA will present a Virtual Pop-Up Art Show November 27 through December 6, featuring gifts created by local artists.  A portion of proceeds will support the “Revive Our Y” fundraising effort.

Virtual Holiday Variety Show for Youth Services: Live from Northbrook Court, enjoy a festive night of music, magic and more on Friday, December 4.  Acts will include singer Katie Kadan from “The Voice,” improv comedy by Second City alumni, and magician Luis Carreon. Zoom link tickets, available here, benefit Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook.

Holiday Concerts: Enjoy special performances for all ages from the comfort of home.  The North Shore Chamber Music Festival presents “Children for Children” on December 19, two  livestream concerts featuring gifted music students who perform Haydn’s “Toy Symphony” and other holiday-themed selections. Donations of gift cards will be accepted for a toy drive for children at Lurie Children’s Hospital.  The Northbrook Public Library covers the holiday music spectrum with a classical concert by chamber ensemble Allora on December 13 and a jazz performance by the John Erickson Trio on December 17.

Is your business hosting a December event?  Share the details in the Chamber’s social media!  Contact Carolyn Gessner,, for assistance.