Santa in McHenry – The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Big Guy

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Your kids have a list, and they’ve checked it twice. Now it’s time to find the big guy and whisper it in his ear. Lucky for you we have the ultimate guide to finding the big guy with our Guide to Santa in McHenry county including a map to help you find Santa near you.


Where to See Santa in McHenry County

As with all our listings, be sure to check the link before heading out. Santa needs breaks just like everyone else. Little McHenry 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 McHenry County


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.

The Arboretum of South Barrington
Through Christmas, Hours Vary
The Arboretum of South Barrington, 100 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington
We know you have been on Santa’s nice list so come on down to The Arb and let Santa know what’s on your wish list this year! The Santa House is located between Sur La Table & LOFT.

Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake
30 November – 16 December
FREE {Fox Lake} Fridays – 6 pm – 8 pm , Saturdays – 11 am – 3 pm Sundays – 12 noon to 3 pm. Visit with Santa during the Christmas season and have children’s pictures taken at Santa’s Christmas Cottage in Fox Lake. Note, dates and times listed are tentative check with the Park District at (847) 587-3944 to be sure the above information is correct.

Santa’s House 
23 November – 23 December
25 West Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake
FREE Visits are FREE. The memories are PRICELESS! Our relaxed, living room environment provides a comfortable, inviting place for children to sit on Santa’s knee. Bring your camera, and be prepared to SMILE! Children whisper their wishes during their visit with Santa in the comfort of his house at Brink Street Market.

Happy Holiday Railway
24 November – 23 December
Illinois Railway Museum, Union
Embark on a magical 40-minute train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself! Enjoy caroling, treats on the train, gifts for the kids, and a holiday lights display. Start a new Christmas tradition this year for your family on the Happy Holiday Railway!

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

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Santa’s Arrival Events in McHenry County

Lighting of the Square
23 November 5:00 p.m.
Woodstock Square
FREE Santa make a grand entrance after the lighting ceremony to greet children and pose for cherished pictures at Santa’s Hut in the Park.

Festival of Lights Parade
23 November 7:00 p.m.

Downtown Crystal Lake
FREE Decorated floats, marchers, and music will escort with the guest of honor–SANTA! He (and Mrs. Claus) will arrive at the end of the parade on a sleigh of lights! Watch as Santa throws his magic dust to light the downtown Christmas tree.

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.

A Very Merry Huntley
1 December 5:00 p.m.

Huntley Town Square
FREE Santa arrives on a fire truck at 5:00 p.m. to help with the lighting of the lights. He will be in the gazebo afterward for pictures, don’t forget your camera!

Fox River Grove Tree Lighting Festival
1 December 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Algonquin Rd. School, 975 Algonquin Road, Fox River Grove
FREE Santa arrives on a fire truck at 2:30 p.m. There will be entertainment by CGHS Swing Choir, Viva Voce, and a jazz ensemble. Also, a face painter, a balloon artist, and a holiday train. Plus the usual games, crafts, cookie decorating, and refreshments.

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Special Events with Santa in McHenry County

McHenry County Holiday Fest
18 November 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
McHenry County College, 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake
FREE  Enjoy shopping, games, face painting, crafts and visit with Santa! Kids crafts while supplies last, shopping all day! Bring a new, unwrapped toy and help us fill the Zippy Shell storage container!

18 November 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
Jennifer Ostler Photography, 821. E. Grant highway, Ste C., Marengo
Jennifer is offering a COMPLIMENTARY (one) digital image with the big guy himself and Mrs. Claus too if you wish! This will only be offered for TWO hours. In exchange, you will need to bring a $10 Walmart gift card that will be going to a family in need this time of year. No reservation is required. Just show up with your family ready for your photo with your gift card.
24 November 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Hallmark Gold Crown Store, 2340 N.Richmond Rd., McHenry
Bring a toy to donate to Toy’s for Tots and take your picture with Santa!
1 December 10:00 a.m.  – 1:00 p.m.
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, 451 Coventry Lane, Crystal Lake
FREE Come meet the Jolly Ol’ Soul himself, Santa Claus… at our Toys For Tots holiday toy drive on December 1st. Bring any unwrapped girl or boy gift donation to our Crystal Lake office (451 Coventry Lane) between the hours of 10AM and 1PM, when Santa will be around to welcome and wish a wonderful holiday season to children of all ages. Your gift donations will help give less fortunate children the magic of the holidays. During our event, Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group real estate agents will be on hand, assisting Santa and all visitors. They’ll also be ready to help answer any questions about their real estate services. See you on the 1st
1 December 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 
Woodstock Farm and Lawn Center, 2020 S. Eastwood Dr. Woodstock
$5 per printed picture. Receive a keepsake picture and folder. Lots of fun!
1 December 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. 
FREE Baird & Warner – Far Northwest Suburbs, 230 W. Virginia St. , Suite 400, Crystal Lake
Come one come all! We invite you to join us this year for pictures with Santa. You are welcome to bring your own camera!

Frosty Fest
1 December, 4:00 p.m.
Barrington Park District
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 Adults FREE but MUST REGISTER.

Christmas in Harvard
1 December 12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
The Starline Factory, Helm Room, 400 W. Front Street, Harvard
FREE Visit with Santa and take photos before heading to the tree lighting.

Christmas Tree Lighting Festival
1 December 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Horse Fair Park, Spring Grove
FREE Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, listen to stories and drink cocoa before heading out to the tree lighting at 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Rock on the Fox
1 December 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Riverfront Park, Algonquin
FREE Celebrate the holiday season with your family and neighbors at the Holiday Rock on the Fox! We will have plenty of free family activities for everyone to enjoy. Toys for Tots donation bins will be available for new, unwrapped toys.

Holiday Walk
1 December 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Jaycee Park, Cary
FREE Kick off the holiday season and join us for the lighting of the Jaycee Park Holiday Walk! Enjoy holiday trees decorated by friends, neighbors, and groups from all over the community, visit with Santa and his live reindeer, and enjoy ice skating (weather permitting).

Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival
2 December 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Downtown Cary
FREE Event includes visits with Santa, petting zoo, pony rides, sleigh rides, carolers and more.

Visit with Santa
5 December 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Foxford Hills Golf Club, 6800 Rawson Bridge Rd., Cary
FREE Santa will be visiting the Cary Park District to hear your child’s wish list! Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the memory of your child with Santa.

1st Friday Art Show
7 December 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
FREE Lakeside Arts Park at the Dole, 401 Country Club Rd., Crystal Lake
An opportunity to enjoy an artistic evening with wonderful featured art, chances to meet and mingle with artists, and the opportunities to purchase an original piece(s) of artwork. December show will feature Photos with Santa, Train Village and much more!

Christmas of Yesteryear
7, 8, & 9 December – times vary
Locations throughout Richmond
FREE A 3 day old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Santa will be at the tree lighting on the 7th and at the Pancake breakfast on the 9th. Other activities include Hay Wagon rides and a holiday shop. See link for complete schedule.

Santa Donate & Skate
8 December 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Xtreme Wheels Roller Skating Rink, 691 Virginia Rd., Crystal Lake
Xtreme Wheels is partnering up with Crystal Lake Food Pantry this holiday season to bring you this special $1 event! Admission: ONLY $1 with a canned food donation! ** Per special request by the pantry, we ask for soup or canned fruit if possible!** There will be Santa pictures, special games planned and Christmas Music playing.

Pictures with Santa
8 December 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Tom’s Farm Market, 10215 Algonquin Rd., Huntley
FREE Santa & Mrs. Claus are coming to TOM’s. Bring your camera & the kids for some memorable pictures with Santa.

Santa Claus is coming to Harms!
15 December 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Harms Farm & Garden Center, 4727 W. Crystal Lake Rd., McHenry
FREE Visit with Santa Claus. He’ll be on his porch in our heated greenhouse, so bring your little ones and/or your pets (!) for a great photo opportunity. All children will receive an ornament hand painted with their name. Enjoy a warm cup of cider and the holiday atmosphere.

Flurry Fest
15 December 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Village Hall, 800 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills
FREE Flurry Fest will include a food drive, family crafts, Holiday Elves Show, deck the deer display, and a visit from Santa. This free event is sure to get your family in the holiday spirit!

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

Santa Party & Parade
23 December 12:30 p.m.
Fox Trail Park, Port Barrington
FREE Parade through town starts at Fox Trail Park at 12:30PM. Party at the Village Hall at approximately 1:15PM!

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Special Needs Santa Events in McHenry County

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.

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Find Santa Near You


Find Santa near me.
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Where will you be seeing the big guy this year? Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments!

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