Looking for some fun, family-friendly events to start your holiday festivities? Plan a trip to Starved Rock Country, where you’ll find elaborate light shows, artisan vendor markets and many more seasonal events sure to put you in the spirit of the season.
Ottawa’s Chris Kringle Market Returns
Get into the festive spirit with the seventh annual Chris Kringle Market in downtown Ottawa. The popular attraction features artisan gift vendors, tasty holiday treats, traditional German-style beer and memorable activities for the whole family to enjoy.
This year’s Chris Kringle Market, which runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 18, will feature more than 80 curated vendors each weekend. These talented vendors include returning fan-favorites such as Albo Acres, specializing in alpaca wool accessories and real wool toys, alongside exciting newcomers like Unpossible Mead, which will serve up authentic small-batch mead made from fresh fruit and local honey.
Each weekend of the Chris Kringle Market also will showcase special seasonal activities and free performances throughout Ottawa’s festive downtown. From children’s crafts and carriage rides, to free Christmas movie screenings and photos with Santa, there is no shortage of exciting family-fun events happening during the market. New this year, the market will open up at 1 p.m. on Black Friday (11/25), giving you extra hours for your artisan holiday shopping.
La Salle’s Celebration of Lights Is Back
The city of La Salle’s spectacular Celebration of Lights has made its triumphant return to Rotary Park. One of the largest holiday attractions in north central Illinois, the massive collection of illuminated displays is back and bigger than ever before. Conveniently located near I-39, the astounding drive-thru light show will run every night from now through New Year’s Day.
The Celebration of Lights is free to view, but donations are encouraged to continue to grow the community-led project. The drive-thru display will be open to the public from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Now in its 10th year, the lights parade has expanded from having 17 displays to nearly 450. There are multiple new attractions this year, including a motion piece that will be the largest the event has ever featured. Cars will meander along a winding path through the park, where you can get a good look at the hundreds of larger-than-life displays – each sponsored by an area business or organization. Don’t miss a chance to start a new holiday tradition at this beautiful and festive light show.