Exciting Holiday Events to Liven Up Your Break

This school year our winter break officially begins, this including reassessment days,  December 18th, 2021 with second semester beginning January 4th of 2022. That means you have over two weeks to get out of the house and into the Christmas spirit!

Thinking of different ideas can be difficult, so I’ve come up with a few things that I believe you, your friends, and family will all enjoy.

The first and nearest event is the Gallery of Trees, which is located in Kankakee at the Kankakee County Museum. The Gallery of Trees is an indoor Christmas tree walk where you will be viewing beautiful and unique Christmas trees that different groups around the community have put together. This exhibit is currently open and remains open until December 30th. However, there is an exception for days that are open, which include the 24th, 25th, and 31st of December. The hours of this exhibit from Monday through Friday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., whereas on weekends the hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. On Friday, December 17, the museum will be hosting their annual hot chocolate and ugly sweater event and will remain open until 7 p.m. All in all, I hope you and your family can attend this free month-long event and create a great holiday experience. 

Another great event revolving around Christmas decorations is the Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic light display. The Brookfield Holiday Magic event is at Zoo Wide which is located in Chicago. The online website lists the Holiday magic dates which are Friday through Sunday, November 26-28. Wednesday through Sunday, December 1-5, 8-12, and 15-19. Holiday Magic Light displays and activities include over 2 million lights, a 41-foot-tall magical tree, illuminated animal sculptures, 600-foot Tunnel of Lights, a drop-off for letters for Santa, numerous photo ops, shops for unique gifts, food and refreshments throughout the zoo, and so much more! The hours every day are from 3 to 9 p.m., and a reminder that the zoo will not be open to guests prior. Another note is that masks will be required throughout any indoor locations within the zoo. It is also required that you make advanced time-entry reservations. The Holiday Magic event is something that has existed and thrived for the last 39 years, making this their 40th annual light display, also being the longest running light display in all of Chicago. So if you’re looking to create a magical night in the city, the Holiday Magic light display is perfect for you!

Finally, we have a simple and affordable winter activity, and that is ice skating. Located in Kankakee at Kankakee Community College is Ice Valley, where many Christmas activities and events will be held throughout the month of December. Admissions for adults and children 12 and up are $7, whereas children 11 and under are $5. I know that one deciding factor throughout all of this is whether or not you have skates. However, don’t stress because Ice Valley can also provide you with a pair of skates for a $4 rental fee. The dates open during winter break are Monday through Thursday, December 20-23 and Monday through Thursday, December 27-30. The hours that they are open are from 1 to 3 p.m., although the hours on December 28th are from noon to 2 p.m. Upcoming special events are on Friday, December 17th  from 7:30-9:30 p.m, when Ice Valley will be hosting their Ugly Sweater Skate. In addition to this there is also a Kid’s New Year’s Eve Bash on December 31st from 1 to 3 p.m. 

I hope these holiday ideas will help motivate and inspire you to experience something you haven’t before throughout this winter break!