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

Christmas in Lake County

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.

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

santa visits in lake county

Daily Santa Visits in Lake County

Santa’s Wonderland 
Daily until Christmas, Hours vary

Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee Mills, 6112 West Grand Ave., Gurnee
FREE 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
Guests of all ages are invited to visit Santa and enjoy a new walk-through Santa set inspired by the popular children’s book “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition”. The new interactive experience, “The Elf on the Shelf: Santa’s Magical Photo Adventure” features a variety of Instagrammable photo opportunities including an over-sized cocoa mug and a sleigh where guests can capture the fun.  With imaginative vignettes like a “Meet the Pets” area based on several related animated specials where visitors can “feed” a reindeer and Saint Bernard pup, the journey to see Santa has just become as much fun as the visit itself! Walk-ups are welcome and always free, but FastPass reservations require a photo package purchase. To make your Santa’s FastPass reservation and alleviate waiting in line please click here

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
30 November – 22 December

Millennium Park, 6 Rollins Rd., Fox Lake
FREE  Fridays 6:00- 8:00 p.m., Saturdays 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Sundays – 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Visit with Santa during the Christmas season and have children’s pictures taken at Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake.

Santa’s Cottage 
6 December 6:00 p.m. & 7, 14, and 21 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

Grayslake Tree Lighting & Santa Visits the Oasis
29 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.

Santa’s Grand Welcome!
7 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.

Santa Arrives
7 December , 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Market Square, Lake Forest
FREE Welcome Santa to Market Square. Bring your letter for Santa, whisper wishes in his ear and take memorable photos with Santa. Enjoy the nativity animals petting zoo, kid’s ornament craft, free hot cocoa and goodies for Santa’s little visitors.

Holiday Walk on Main Street & Santa’s Arrival
7 December 2:00 p.m.- 7:00p.m.
Main Street, Wauconda
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.

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special events with santa

Special Events with Santa in Lake County

Santa is Coming to Visit
30 December 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Lake County Barnwood, 36961 N. Rt. 83, Lake Villa
FREE Bring the kiddos for a FREE digital photo with printing rights taken by Sandra Ortiz Photography. Also, there will be some snacks and fun activities for the kids, while the adults can do a little local shopping for some unique gifts.

Highwood Holiday Fest
30 November 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
City Hall Park, 17 Highwood Ave., Highwood
The celebration will feature family and adult activities including $5 horse-drawn carriage rides, FREE s’ more making, roasted chestnuts, visit from Santa, kids craft station and *glitter bar*, holiday music, the Family Cookie Walk

Tree & Menorah Lighting
30 November 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Dr., Vernon Hills
Help bring the holiday season in by assisting Mayor Roger Byrne flip the switch to the holiday tree. Bring the family, the neighbors, and the kids out for hot chocolate, cookies, and cider. With the assistance of the Countryside Fire District, Santa has been able to clear his calendar in order to attend this event.

Mellody Farm Tree Lighting Festival
1 December 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Mellody Farm, Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
Celebrate the holiday season with a Tree Lighting Ceremony at Mellody Farm. There will be hot cocoa, live music, photo opportunities with Santa and more!

Open House with Santa
6 December 6:00 – 9:00 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. Students with ID free. Children under 12 are free; Paid admission at door only.

Dickens of a Holiday 
7 & 14 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!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!
7 December 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Helen Oliveri Real Estate, 101 Gilmer Rd., Hawthorn Woods
FREE We love giving back to our supporters and community and want to share the spirit of the holiday season. That’s why we’re on Santa’s nice list and he’s coming to visit. Stop by and sign in for goodies and free photos with Santa. We hope to see you there!

It’s A Wonderful Life…In Lake Bluff
7 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
7 December, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Village Barn, Hawthorn Woods
FREE Enjoy a visit with Santa and horse-drawn wagon rides while snacking on cookies and sipping on hot cocoa. Bring your Toys for Tots donation to give to children in need this holiday. With the sound of holiday carols in the background, we will end the evening by lighting our community tree to officially start the Hawthorn Woods holiday season.

Miracle on Main Street
7 December 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Downtown Lake Zurich at Rotary Park
This special evening includes a visit from Santa Claus and is sure to be a memorable event for your child. Returning again this year will be a beautiful 35 foot tree to be displayed for the holiday season, an opportunity to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer. Event entertainment includes Lake Zurich High School’s Bare Voices, a DJ and the Academy of Performing Arts. There will be children’s crafts, sleigh rides, adult beverages, and food vendors.

Winter Wonder Walk
7 December 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 at Reed-Turner Woodland
8 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
wishes.

Santa is coming to the Library!
14  December, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake
FREE Stop by for a short visit, make a craft, and take a picture with Santa! Holly, the Reindog, will be here, too, with a special treat for all!

Holidays at the Hostesses House
14 December 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
National Museum of the American Solider, BLDG 42-2531 Sheridan Rd., Great Lakes
NMAS celebrates the holiday season with a day filled with festive activities! Become one of Santa’s little helpers by assembling a care package for sailors far from home. Meet Santa, craft an ornament to take home, decorate a tasty cookie, and explore a holiday-themed scavenger hunt throughout the museum.

Photos with Santa & Open Jump
22 December 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Bella’s Bouncies Volo, 31223 N. US Hwy 12, Volo
Open Jump from 3:30-7:30 p.m. for ONLY $10 per child. Then visit and take pictures with Santa from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Photos with Santa & Open Jump
23 December 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Bella’s Bouncies Indoors, 1600 N. Milwaukee Ave. #402, Lake Villa
Open Jump from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for ONLY $10 per child. Then visit and take pictures with Santa from 4:30 -5:30 p.m.

Water Wonderland Party Registration Required
20 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 in lake county

Special Needs Santa Events

Soothing Santa Registration Required
1 & 8 December 10:30 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. Stop by Maggiano’s after you get your photo taken for some complimentary refreshments.

Soothing Santa Registration Required
8 December 9:00 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
8 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? 


Find more Christmas events and activities at Christmas in Lake County.

Dance academy of Libertyville
About Tracy Rubel 83 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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