We know where Santa Parks his Sleigh – Where to See Santa in Lake County {2018}

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Santa Claus is coming to Lake County! We have rounded up a list of all the local places where your child can see him and ensure their spot on the nice list this year. So gather your cameras and have your child check their wish list before visiting the jolly man before he makes his trip back to the North Pole!

where to see santa in lake county

Where to See Santa in Lake County

As with all our listings, be sure to check the link before heading out. Santa needs breaks just like everyone else. Little Lake County is not responsible for changes or sold out events.

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Daily Santa Visits | Special Needs Santa Visits | Santa’s Arrival Events | Special Events with Santa | Find Santa Near Me

Daily Santa Visits in Lake County

santa visits in lake county

Santa’s Wonderland 
Daily until Christmas, Hours vary

Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee Mills, 6112 West Grand Ave., Gurnee
FREE {Gurnee} Come to take a free picture with Santa, make a craft, and more.

Gurnee Mills
Daily until Christmas, Hours vary
Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee
It’s time for holiday photos with Santa. Santa will be near the Dining Pavilion in the Macy’s Wing. Reserve your FastPass and skip the line to see Santa, see link above for details.

Hawthorn Mall
Daily until Christmas, Hours Vary
Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
Get your holiday photos with Santa! Santa takes a daily break to feed his reindeer twice a day, check the link above for hours.

Northbrook Court
Daily until Christmas
2171 Northbrook Court, Northbrook, IL
Santa’s in the house at Northbrook Court. Skip the line and book online first, reserve a spot Monday-Wednesday and save $5 on your package.

Ice House Mall
Every Saturday in December, Noon – 3:00 p.m.
200 Applebee St., Barrington
FREE Photos with Santa are free and a courtesy to our customers. Please bring your camera to take photos with Santa. Donate to our “Meals of Hope” holiday food drive to benefit the Northern Illinois Food Bank when visiting Santa.

Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake
25 November – 23 December

Millennium Park, 6 Rollins Rd., Fox Lake
FREE {Fox Lake} November 25 – December 23, hours vary, see link for days and times. Visit with Santa during the Christmas season and have children’s pictures taken at Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake.For Questions- please call (224) 225-1404

Santa’s Cottage 
30 November; 6:00 p.m. & 1,8, & 15 December 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Mundelein Village Hall, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein
 FREE Santa’s Cottage is one of Mundelein’s most cherished events in the eyes of children and their parents. Hosted by the Mundelein Community Connection, a visit to Santa’s Cottage is a memorable experience year in and year out. Bring your camera as no photographer is on site.

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Santa’s Arrival Events in Lake County

santa's arrival in lake county

Santa’s Arrival Parade
15 November 6:00 p.m.
Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee
FREE The parade will begin with Santa’s arrival at Entry A new Dick’s Sporting Goods and end at the Santa set near the dining pavilion south in the Macy’s wing. Enjoy cookies and milk while Santa reads “Twas the Night before Christmas.

Grayslake Tree Lighting & Santa Visits the Oasis
23 November, 3:00 -8:00 p.m.
Downtown Grayslake
FREE Every year, Santa rides to town courtesy of the Grayslake Fire Department, and turns on all of the Holiday Lights in Grayslake! Although Santa turns the lights on right at 5:30pm, everyone is welcome to gather and enjoy the festivities prior to that. Once the lights are on, Santa walks over to the Grayslake Oasis, where his elves have transformed our space into a wonderful winter wonderland.

Round Lake Beach Holiday Tree Lighting
23 November, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m
Round Lake Beach Village Hall
FREE An evening of fun as the Village of Round Lake Beach hosts its annual Holiday Tree Lighting! The evening begins at the Village Hall with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on a Fire Truck at approximately 6:15 p.m. Shortly thereafter, the annual lighting of the tree will begin. Afterward, everyone is invited to follow the illuminated path back to the Cultural & Civic Center for more fun with your family, friends, and neighbors

Santa’s Grand Welcome!
1 December 11:00 a.m.
Ice House Mall, 200 Applebee Street, Barrington
FREE Start with a magical storytime and performance with Mrs. Claus. Santa arrives at noon leading a Holiday Parade with Mrs. Claus and characters from the Nutcracker. Please bring a canned or boxed food item to donate to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Holiday Walk on Main Street & Santa’s Arrival
1 December 2:00 p.m.- 7:00p.m.
FREE Santa will arrive on a fire truck to light the tree and kick off the holiday season with a brief Fireworks display. After Santa arrives, join us in the Community Center for crafts, games, stories, and refreshments.

Santa Arrives
8 December , 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Market Square, Lake Forest
FREE Welcome Santa to Market Square!

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Special Events with Santa in Lake County

special events with santa

Pictures with Santa
17 November 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
St. Dismas Catholic Church, 2600 Sunset Ave., Waukegan
FREE Take a picture with Santa and visit the St. Dismas Holiday Bazaar! Solo pictures or family…All are welcome!

Visit with Santa
17 & 18 November 1:00 p.m.
Hawthorn Gardens, 24481 N. Old McHenry Rd., Hawthorn Woods
Bring the whole family and your camera to visit with Santa.
Pets Welcome too!

Lights around Wheeling
18 November 4:30 p.m.
Friendship Park, Northeast corner of Dundee Road and Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling
FREE Usher in the Holidays with Lights Around Wheeling Stop by for some hot cocoa, and a visit with Santa, and experience the beautiful lights turning on to mark the beginning of the Holiday Season.

Selfies with Santa Paws
24 November 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Foster’s Healthy Pet’s, 831 E. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake
FREE Fun for the entire family! No sign-ups, just stop by and bring your camera! Well behaved pets welcome on leash. Selfies with or without Santa. Hot cocoa and pup cups. Raffles and so much more!

Norman Rockwell Holiday
24 November 2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
City Hall Park, 17 Highwood Ave., Highwood
FREE Celebrate the start of the holidays at Highwood’s 5th annual “Celebrate Highwood” tradition as they kick off the 2018 holiday season with their “Norman Rockwell Holiday Celebration”. Enjoy pictures with Santa, a family cookie walk, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday music and more!

Santa is Coming to Visit
1 December 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Lake County Barnwood, 36961 N. Rt. 83, Lake Villa
FREE Come take pictures with Santa, enjoy some Hot Cocoa and coloring for the kids. There will be a professional photographer on site to take photos, and you will receive a FREE digital file and have printing writes. You can also order prints from the photographer for a cost. Please feel free to take pics with your phone also.

It’s A Wonderful Life…In Lake Bluff
1 December 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Lake Bluff History Museum, 127 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff
FREE Santa arrives at the Museum on a Fire Truck and will spend the afternoon, talking to local children.

Hometown Holiday
1 December, 6:00 p.m.
Village Barn, Hawthorn Woods
FREE Usher in the holiday season with the Hawthorn Woods community at the first annual Hometown Holiday event. Enjoy a visit with Santa and horse-drawn wagon rides while snacking on cookies and listening to the sounds of the Stevenson High School Choir. Be sure to join us for this traditional holiday event!

Dickens of a Holiday 
1 & 8 December, 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. & 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Cook Park, Libertyville
FREE Santa will be in town to spread cheer throughout.  Visit Santa in his sleigh and have your picture taken.  Donations to MainStreet appreciated!

Frosty Fest
1 December, 4:00 p.m.
Barrington Park District
FREE  Enjoy winter games, trackless train rides, ice skating with Santa’s elves, visit with Santa in his hut, and BHS Madrigal Choir Performance 6:00 – 7:00pm Appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. $25 per child

Winter Wonder Walk
1 December, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Rd., Round Lake
FREE The Winter Wonder Walk (formerly Holiday Festival) has a new time and will take place both indoors and out. Bring your walking shoes and join us for photos with Santa, sleigh rides, holiday lights walk, and so much more. Grab your camera and stop by for some holiday cheer!

Santa Visit with Live Reindeer & Live Nativity
1 December 11:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. . & 8 December 2:00 p.m. – 5:0 p.m.
Reds Garden Center & Fireplace Logs, 3460 Dundee Rd., Northbrook
Santa is coming to Red’s with Live Reindeer and Live Nativity! Your kiddies (and you) can say “Hello” during both events. Mark your calendars now! Live Nativity Scene will take place on Saturday, December 1stand Live Reindeer will be there on Saturday Saturday, December 8.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!
8 December 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Helen Oliveri Real Estate, 101 Gilmer Rd., Hawthorn Woods
FREE Stop by for cookies and hot cocoa and to take pictures with Santa Claus himself.

 Santa is coming to the Library!
8  December, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake
FREE Come talk to Santa and get your picture taken. Please bring your camera to capture the moment. Santa will be in the Youth Services department to meet you.

Deerfield’s Annual Winter Celebration
8 December 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Downtown Deerfield & Deerfield Square
FREE Deerfield will be celebrating the holidays with festive holiday activities for every age. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, carolers, warm treats, live animals and more. Santa Claus will be in attendance to offer photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, including dreidel games, petting zoo, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating and much more.

Toy Drive & Pictures with Santa
9 December 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Only Child Brewing, 1350 Tri-State Parkway, Gurnee
FREE with toy donations. Santa, his elves, and his reindeer (at least some of them) will be here for pictures! Pictures will be free with the donation of at least one unwrapped gift for our toy drive so that we can help some kids in the Gurnee community have a great holiday! Activities for the kids as well as free hot cocoa, apple cider and snacks will be available.

Santa at Reed-Turner Woodland
9 December 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Reed-Turner Woodland, 3849 N. Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove
FREE Free but everyone is asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Boys and girls – be sure to bring your wish list because Santa is looking forward to seeing you and to hear about all your

Open House with Santa
15 December 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Loyola’s Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, 1350 North Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
Admission covers a visit with Santa Claus in the Great Hall, craft stations for children, self-guided mansion tours, hot chocolate and cookies. Please bring canned goods for the Vernon Hills/Libertyville Townships and/or an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots. Admission is $10 adults and $9 seniors/students. Children 12 and younger are free.

Photos with Santa & Open Jump
16 December 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Bella’s Bouncies Volo, 31223 N. US Hwy 12, Volo
Open Jump from 3:30pm-7:30pm for ONLY $9 per child. Then visit and take pictures with Santa from 4:30pm-5:30pm

Go Grayslake Winter Wonderland Walk
16 December 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Central Park, Grayslake
FREE Join the Grayslake Community for a festive walk with holiday lights, carolers, and a visit with Santa in the performance pavilion. Please bring an item to donate tot eh Avon Food Pantry.

Photos with Santa & Open Jump
20 December 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Bella’s Bouncies Indoors, 1600 N. Milwaukee Ave. #402, Lake Villa
Open Jump from 3:30pm-7:30pm for ONLY $9 per child. Then visit and take pictures with Santa from 4:30pm-5:30pm

Water Wonderland Party
21 December 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Lakeview Fitness Center Pool, 700 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills
$3/$4 R/NR pre-registered, $5 at the door. The weather outside is frightful, but the water inside will be delightful! Come to Lakeview Fitness for an exclusive open swim with a winter theme. Santa will even stop by to get his feet wet!

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Special Needs Santa Events

Sensory Friendly Holiday Party
1 December 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Lake Villa Community Center, 37908 N. Fairfield Rd., Lake Villa
FREE Event will have Santa, Food, Games, and raffles, sensory items, quiet areas and more. Please bring canned goods to be donated to North Point food pantry.

Soothing Santa
2 December 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
Soothing Santa is a sensory-friendly opportunity for children with all spectrum’s of special needs to enjoy the time-honored tradition of the Santa Photo Experience with their family in a calming environment prior to public hours.

Soothing Santa
2 & 8 December 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
The Arboretum of South Barrington, 100 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington
Individuals with all spectrums of special needs and their families are invited to a private photo session where extra care is taken to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs to make this a magical holiday experience.  Registration Required.

Caring Santa
2 December 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Gurnee Mills, 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee
Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. Gurnee Mills will make necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.

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Find Santa Near Me

Find Santa near me.

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Where will you be seeing the jolly old man? 

Disclosure: Some links in this story are affiliate links. Little Lake County will earn a portion of sales made through these links and use it to cover the cost of running the site. Thank you for clicking!

Dance academy of Libertyville
About Tracy Rubel 89 Articles
Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden. She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.

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