Your Lakefront Destination for Arts, Culture and Recreation

Holiday Happenings!

santa claus with a little girl in a burgundy dress holding a doll

Come home to Waukegan for the holidays!  Start off at the Genesee Theatre when both Chris Isaak and Amy Grant bring their holiday tours to this beautifully renovated theatre, or enjoy the holiday show at Three Brothers Theatre. Festivities continue with the Kris Kringle Market featuring small gifts and more, along with a visit from Santa. Bundle up with the Waukegan Park District for a Winter Wonder Walk to admire the lights and decorations in Downtown Waukegan which ends with a sing-along before the Mayor and Santa throw the switch to light the majestic tree.
 Waukegan Symphony Orchestra and Concert Chorus host their annual, joyful Carol Sing-along and Do-It-Yourself Messiah in the Orlin Trapp Auditorium.  Come and listen – or sing with the choir!  Dandelion Gallery’s monthly all ages workshops lean toward gift-making and ornaments this season while live musical performances fill the air.  Santa takes a break from the North Pole on Sundays to spend time at the Belvidere Mall, listening to the little ones’ wish lists and taking pictures.  Complete your shopping at the Mall’s annual Holiday Shop Pop-Up before heading to the retro cinema for free family movies.

 Waukegan welcomes in the New Year like no other – by hosting the annual Polar Bear Plunge on Waukegan Beach January 1st!  Hundreds show their bravery by plunging into Lake Michigan in support of the Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County.  Spectators cheer on the plungers then everyone joins the annual pub crawl.  Splash into the New Year in Waukegan!

Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee Street - Holiday Shows!

Genesee Theatre is a cornerstone of the Downtown Waukegan Arts and Entertainment District.  Opening on December 25, 1927, the theatre had several upgrades and renovations to keep the beauty but the latest technology.  The Genesee hosts nearly 100 shows per year that include children's show, comedy - Jo Koy, George Lopez, Brian Regan, and Jay Leno will all be here in December! - music, and the occasional musical.  In addition, the Genesee hosts private parties, weddings, and conferences on 'off' nights.

All the graphics below are hyperlinked, taking you directly to more information and tickets for the shows!

genesee chris isaakamy grant and michael smith sitting side by side in front of christmas trees on left, event info Opens in new window
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Three Brothers Theatre

Three Brothers Theatre just celebrated a decade in Downtown Waukegan's Arts and Entertainment District!  Started by three talented theatrical artists, Three Brothers is a professional, paid theatre, producing over 94 events in 10 years and partnered with other arts organizations to host another 100 events.  The Theatre currently has two spaces, a 100-seat theatre and a 40-seat theatrical lab.  The graphic below are hyperlinked, taking you directly to more information and tickets!

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Waukegan Park District

Our award-winning Waukegan Park District has programs and events throughout the holiday season, many of them much anticipated annually.

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Other Holiday Hits!

St. Mark's Lutheran Church puts on a light display every holiday season - and you're welcome to attend the kick off on Saturday, December 2!  A family-friendly sing-along starts the festivities, followed by hot chocolate and the start of the light show.

green background with snowflakes and st mark's light kickoff description in white lettering

Bonnie Brook Golf Course offers Breakfast with Santa, including a pancake decorating station, hot chocolate bar, and of course, a picture with Santa himself on Sunday, December 17th. 

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Belvidere Cinema Gallery is hosting FIVE free golden movies in this December, starting with the 20th anniversary showing of Elf!  Fun for the whole family with these movie classics!

old fashioned newspaper listing of movies with black type on white background