December Events in Illinois

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Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas

Dec. 2, 9, and 16, 2016, Newton

Celebrate the voice of Sam the Snowman, Burl Ives, with family-friendly activities including bonfires, hot cocoa and cookies, horse rides and much more at the annual Jasper County Holly Jolly Christmas.

Let the kids come along for a visit with Santa, Mrs. Claus and several characters from the famous “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” movie. Cap off the fun event with carolers and musicians playing Christmas favorites at 7 p.m. in the town square. To learn more, call (618) 783-3399 or visit

Fulton Christmas Walk

Dec. 2, 2016, Fulton

Enjoy the sights and sounds of this holiday season in downtown Fulton by participating in a 2-mile Christmas Run/Walk through the heart of the city and along the riverfront. In addition to the walk, get into the holiday spirit with the tree lighting, free horse and wagon rides, carols ringing through the streets and a live nativity scene. Stop in local businesses to warm up and get free refreshments plus great gifts for the holidays. Learn more about this event and how to register at or by calling the Fulton Chamber of Commerce at (815) 589-4545.

Chocolate in Grafton

Taste of Chocolate

Dec. 3, 2016, Grafton

Chocolate lovers unite!

Visit the southwestern Illinois town of Grafton during its annual Taste of Chocolate event to enjoy dozens of homemade chocolate creations from local businesses and residents.

Sponsored by the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and held at the Grafton Winery, this event takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and costs $8 per person. Guests can enjoy free hot chocolate and coffee with their chocolate creations. Anyone with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss this delicious event.

For more information, call (618) 786-3001 or visit

Christmas at Willoughby Farm

Dec. 4, 2016, Collinsville

Get into the holiday spirit at Willoughby Farm, which dresses up for the Christmas season.
Visitors can sip warm cider or hot chocolate and nibble on holiday treats while visiting with Santa Claus in the farmhouse. Remember to bring your camera to snap a photo of Santa with your little one.

Gather in the Bank Barn for a holiday sing-along while making ornaments to take home. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. and costs $3 per person ($10 maximum per family). Children 3 and under can attend for free.

For more information visit or call (618) 346-7529.

Holiday Home Walk & Tea Tour

Dec. 4, 2016, Jacksonville

Jacksonville sparkles during the holiday season with homes adorned in twinkling lights and enchanting displays. Experience the magic of it all by purchasing a ticket to the 33rd Annual Holiday Home Walk & Tea Tour sponsored by the Pilot Club of Jacksonville. Five beautiful Jacksonville homes will be decked in holiday splendor, and tour-goers can walk through each home at their leisure. Select homes serve tea, hot chocolate and cookies. Tickets to the festive event cost $15. For more information, call (217) 243-5678.

Access Illinois Christmas Lodge

Christmas at Pike County Lodges

Dec. 5, 9, 2017, Pittsfield

Experience five Pike County lodges while they’re decorated for the Christmas season. A group tour sets off from Pike County Visitors Center, taking guests to Heartland Lodge, Sunset Valley Lodge, Historic William Watson Hotel, Kinderhook Lodge and Illinois Xtreme Lodge.

At each destination, a diverse selection of talented musicians will perform seasonal music, and floral arrangements from various florists will be on display, available for purchase. The tour includes brunch, lunch, wine tasting, dessert and appetizers.

For more information, call Access Illinois Outdoors at (217) 285-2464 or visit

Lewis and Clark arrival event

Arrival at Camp River Dubois

Dec. 10-11, 2016, Hartford

Celebrate the 113th anniversary of the arrival of the Lewis and Clark expedition to Camp River Dubois, which took place Dec. 12, 1803. The annual commemoration features historic re-enactors from the Lewis and Clark expedition, artillery, vintage tools, guns, period artifacts, rocks and minerals, and 19th century doctoring. Tours will be offered every hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Find it at the Lewis & Clark State Historic Site located at the intersection of New Poag Road and Route 3 in Hartford. Events and parking have no cost, though the site appreciates donations. For details, call (618) 251-5811 or visit

Glow of the Season in Galena

Night of Luminaria and Living Windows

Dec. 10, 2016, Galena

Residents of Galena light up the night each year during the city’s old-fashioned Christmas celebration.

With more than 5,000 candlelit luminaries on streets, steps and sidewalks, Galena glows with the magic of the season. And through the town’s Living Windows, storefronts on Main Street come to life. Businesses also offer extended hours so visitors can finish up their holiday shopping and then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. In addition, one lucky couple will tie the knot that evening as winners of a destination wedding giveaway.

The streets will be lit from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call (815) 776-9200 or go to


  1. Shirley

    August 31, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    can not access page… interested in recipes referred to on page 4 of latest Partners issue.

    can you help?

    • Rachel Bertone

      September 1, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Hi Shirley,

      Sorry for the inconvenience! Looks like we were having some technical difficulties. Please try again or you can access the recipes here: Hope this helps!

      Rachel Bertone
      editor, Illinois Partners

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