Enjoy family friendly activities throughout DeKalb County all holiday season! There are Thanksgiving runs and community meals, Christmas craft and vendor shows, visits with Santa, and so much more. Check out a list of local events below! If we missed an event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
TFN – Ron & Elissa Jarke from Ace Machine & Tool in Cortland are crafting custom-made holiday decor with all proceeds going to benefit Safe Passage of DeKalb County! They have wooden reindeer and metal Christmas trees available on their Etsy page. Search for AceMachineTool.
Nov 10th – The 31st Annual Wonderful World of Christmas Craft & Vendor Show is on Sunday November 10th at the Genoa-Kingston High School from 10am – 4pm. Shop from over 140 new and returning vendors and visit with Santa from 11:30 to 1! Proceeds will benefit the Genoa Community Women’s Club College Scholarship Fund
Nov 17th – Join Barb City Manor for their first FestiFall Craft and Vendor Fair on Sunday, November 17th from 10am to 4pm. Do some holiday shopping and check out some great furniture sales at the ReSale Shop. There will also be door prizes and raffles!
Nov 22nd – Downtown Sycamore kicks off the holiday season with Moonlight Magic on Friday November 22nd. Stores will be open late with Moonlight Sales while their storefront windows will come alive with performances from local arts, theater and dance groups from 6 – 8 pm.
Nov 23rd – The Elks Lodge Annual Vendor & Craft Fair is on Saturday November 23rd from 10am – 4pm. Shop unique gifts and holiday décor, enjoy free coffee, and a 50/50 raffle to benefit Kishwaukee United Way.
Nov 27th – The DeKalb Police Department’s Benevolent & Protective Association are asking for donations for their annual Heroes and Helpers program which will take place on December 8th at Target in DeKalb. Local police will chose area children and given them them opportunity to shop and choose Christmas presents for themselves and their family. They will also have a photo taken with Santa! Donations are accepted through November 27th.
Nov 28th – The 6th annual Neighbor’s House Giving Thanks 5K is on Thursday November 28th at Hopkins Park. Get a walk or run in before your Thanksgiving meals and help to provide DeKalb County students with literacy and homework help throughout the year.
Nov 28th – The Genoa VFW is hosting a FREE Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday November 28th from 11 am – 1pm. Come together as a community to give thanks over a delicious meal of turkey, sides and desserts.
Nov 28th – New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is hosting their annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner on Thursday November 28th from 11am – 2pm. The meal is free and open to all!
Nov 28th – Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10a – 2p and Black Friday from 9a – 5p. Enjoy 2 games of bowling + shoe rental for $8.50 per person.
Nov 29 – The Egyptian Theatre is hosting 2 free showing of The Grinch! Catch one at 11am and the other at 2pm
Nov 30th & Dec 2nd – The Newman Catholic Center’s 2nd annual Christmas Shop is on November 30th and December 2nd. Kids are invited to shop for gifts for their families from a selection of new and gently used items. Volunteers even help to wrap the gifts at this free event. There are no income restrictions and all are welcome!
Dec 1st – The Egyptian Theatre is hosting a special showing of the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life on 35mm film! The showing begins at 2pm
Dec 1st – The 50th Annual Country Music Show benefiting the Toys for Toys toy drive is on Sunday, December 1st from 1 – 5 pm at the Taylor Street High Rise in DeKalb featuring performances of country, bluegrass, gospel and Christmas songs. Admission is a donation of a toy.
Dec 4th – Root on either the DeKalb Police Department or the DeKalb Fire Department as they face off in a Wing Eating Contest on Wednesday December 4th at Buffalo Wild Wings starting at 6pm! Place your bets on who will win and all money raised will go to support the Heroes & Helpers fund. Buffalo Wild Wings will also donate a portion of all sales that evening to Heroes & Helpers as well!
Dec 5th – The Sycamore Winter Chocolate Walk is Thursday December 5th from 3 – 8pm. Enjoy an evening of shopping fabulous deals for your Holiday gift buying, while indulging in a vast array of fine chocolate desserts.
Dec 5th – Santa Comes to Downtown DeKalb on Thursday December 5th from 6 – 8pm. Enjoy cookies and caroling with the DeKalb High School Madrigals then welcome Santa into Town as he opens his house for the season.
Dec 6th – Walk with Santa in Downtown Sycamore on Friday December 6th! The evening starts with a $2 showing of the 2018 Grinch Movie at the Sycamore State Theater at 4:15 p.m. Then Santa and Mrs. Clause will arrive at about 6:05 p.m. in front of the Theater followed by a parade to the Courthouse lawn for the tree lighting!
Dec 6th – The YMCA Family Christmas Extravaganza is on Friday December 6th from 5 – 8pm. Enjoy an outdoor train ride on Santa’s North Pole Express. Bring your camera for photos with Santa! Decorate cookies, make reindeer food and check out the holiday craft and vendor fair! The event is free and open to the community.
Dec 6th – The Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Hometown Tradition, “Celebrate the Season,” will take place on Friday, December 6th from 6 – 8pm in downtown Genoa. Enjoy the Jingle Bell parade, the annual tree lighting ceremony, free wagon rides, a live petting zoo, Christmas caroling, free hot chocolate, cookies, coffee, and more!
Dec 6, 7, & 8th – The Celebration Corale’s Christmas Cantata ‘Sing Christmas’ will take place on Dec 6 & 7 at 7pm and & Dec 8 at 2pm.
Dec 6, 7, & 8th – Beth Fowler’s production of The Nutcracker returns to the Egyptian Theatre at 7pm and & Dec 8 at 2pm.
Dec 7th – The DeKalb Park District is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday December 7th at the River Heights Clubhouse. Come talk to Santa, participate in holiday crafts, visit the story telling corner and enjoy a light breakfast.
Dec 7th – Do some holiday shopping at Tails Humane Society’s ‘Not Your Grandma’s Yard Sale’ on Saturday Dec 7th from 9am – 1pm. Shop hundreds of new or like new household and pet products with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the animals in Tails’ care!
Dec 7th – Shop great holiday gifts and decor at the Holiday Craft Fair at The Warehouse on Park in Genoa on Sat Dec 7th from 10a – 3p. You can also indulge in some snacking and cocktail tasting!
Dec 7th – Celebrate the holidays in Downtown DeKalb with complimentary carriage rides on Saturday December 7th from 11am– 2pm. Rides will begin at the Egyptian Theatre. After your carriage ride, visit Santa in his Santa House in Van Buer Plaza! Hot chocolate will be provided.
Dec 7th – The DeKalb County History Center is hosting a Holiday Open House on Sat Dec 7th from 1 to 3 pm. Enjoy free tours of the exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” craft activities, hot chocolate, cider, and sugar cookies.
Dec 7th – Shabbona’s 1st Annual Holiday Festival of Lights will be on Saturday December 7th from 3 – 7pm at Water Tower Park and United Church of Christ. Enjoy a visit from Santa, meet an alpaca, shop the indoor vendor market, and catch the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30!
Dec 7th – The Cortland Fire Department is hosting their annual Spaghetti with Santa event on Saturday Dec 7th from 4 – 7pm. Food will be served to all for free. Donations will be accepted.
Dec 7th – The DeKalb Library is hosting a free holiday concert: Carol of the (Berim) Baus with Arcomusical on Saturday Dec 7th at 6:30pm. Holiday snacks and refreshments will be provided while supplies last.
Dec 7th & 8th – The annual Holiday Lane Craft & Home Business Market is on December 7th and 8th in Sandwich. Crafters and Home Businesses will help you find something for everyone of your shopping list. Stroll through the ‘Festival of Trees’ and enjoy ‘A Sandwich Christmas’ on Saturday December 7th with a Tree Lighting Ceremony at Smores and Veterans Park.
Dec 7th & 8th – Sycamore United Methodist’s will perform their ‘FAVORITES’ Christmas Choral Celebration on December 7 & 8 at 5 p.m. The show takes the form of a Prairie Home Companion-style radio show for the fictional KSPR Spirit Radio and features a hugely eclectic selection of music from their 35-voice Adult Choir.
Dec 8th – Local singer/songwriter Barb Sorensen will bring her Community Christmas Concert series to St John’s United Church of Christ Harmony in Hampshire on Sunday December 8th. The show is free and begins at 2pm.
Dec 9th – The DeKalb Police and Fire Department are teaming up to face off against District 428 Staff in a basketball to support Toys for Tots! The game will take place on Monday December 9th at Huntley Middle School starting at 7pm. Admission is an unwrapped toy for donation to Toys for Tots.
Dec 10th – The Sycamore Library is hosting a Holiday Open House on Tues Dec 10th from 5:30 – 7pm. Enjoy live music, visits with Santa, homemade treats, and holiday crafts and activities for both families and adults! All ages welcome. No signup required.
Dec 11 – The Huntley Middle School Chamber Orchestra and the Clinton Rosette Band of Stringz will drop by the DeKalb Library to perform holiday tunes and more in the main lobby on Wed Dec 11th starting at 6:30pm! The musical event is free and open to all.
Dec 12, Dec 13, Dec 14 – North Love Music Ministries in Rockford will host their Christmas Musical “I Heard the Bells” on Dec 12th, 13th, and 14th at 7pm. It tells the story of a newspaper journalist assigned to write a Christmas article about the holiday season in her hometown. The show is free. Donations will be accepted to help purchase new music for the North Love Choir and Orchestra.
Dec 13th – The DeKalb Library is hosting Murder at the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Fri Dec 13th starting at 6:30pm. This event is FREE to attend, but has a capacity limit of 25 people so make sure and secure your spot!
Dec 13th – Enjoy the National Touring production of A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage coming to the Egyptian Theatre on Friday December 13th. The show starts at 7:30pm
Dec 13th & 14th – The Sycamore Park District is hosting cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 13th and 14th. Dress for the weather and enjoy a roaring fire at the outdoor amphitheater patio! Celebrate the giving season by bringing a non-perishable food donation for the Sycamore Food Pantry or an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. The Sycamore Lions Club will also sponsor free vision pre-screenings for children six months to six years of age during this event!
Dec 14th – A Christmas Cookie Sale will be held Saturday December 14th from 9 -11 AM at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeKalb. Choose from a variety of delicious homemade cookies, candies, and snack mixes. All items will be $8.00 a pound. All proceeds will go to support the Voluntary Action Center Meals on Wheels program.
Dec 14th – Crossview Church in DeKalb is hosting a Community Christmas Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 14 at noon. This free holiday meal is for community members who are in need or alone for the holidays. Live music and a traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie and more will be served.
Dec 14th – The Sycamore Park District is hosting pet visits with Santa on Saturday December 14th from 12:30 – 1:30pm. Bring your furry friends to share their holiday wishes and pose for a free photo op! Dogs must be leashed and vaccinated. Only 2 dogs per person, please.
Dec 13th & 14th – Christ Community Church’ annual Christmas Concert is on December 13th and December 14th. Enjoy a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, and singing along to some Christmas favorites, both old and new. The Saturday matinee show will include pre-show family fun like a bounce house, games, face painting, and a make-and-take gift station!
Dec 13th & Dec 15th – The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Wonderland concerts will be on Fri December 13th at 7pm and Sun December 15th at 2pm at the NIU Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. Enjoy holiday favorites at this family friendly show!
Dec 15th – Experience an incredible tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as The Prophecy Show takes over the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday December 15th at 7pm
Dec 16th – Enjoy Milk & Cookies with Santa at the DeKalb Library on Mon Dec 16th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Parents are welcome to take photos. Library staff will also be available to take a picture of the whole family with Santa.
Dec 16 – Dec 21 – Camelot Christmas Trees in DeKalb (located at 16380 Somonauk Road approximately 3 miles directly south of Cortland) is offering free holiday pre-cut trees, wreaths, roping, and swags to veterans while supplies last. Donations will be accepted to support St Jude’s Hospital. Items are set up in a self-service fashion until Saturday December 21st
Dec 17th – Santa visits the DeKalb Library between 10:00 am and 11:30 am in the children’s department of the library. Parents are welcome to take photos.
Dec 17th – The DeKalb Library is hosting a free showing of the movie ELF on Tues Dec 17th starting at 6:30 pm in the Yusunas Meeting Room.
Dec 18th – Santa visits the DeKalb Library between 10:00 am and 11:30 am in the children’s department of the library. Parents are welcome to take photos.
Dec 19th – Fatty’s is hosting DeKalb County’s Largest Holiday Office Party on Thursday December 19th! It starts at 5pm with a free appetizer buffet followed by ‘Office Party’ Santa who arrives at 6pm to hand out gifts for adults! There will also be live music from Craig Mathey and Bob Palmer. $5 donations will be accepted at the door and go directly to support Safe Passage.
Dec 20th – Country legends Diamond Rio are bringing their Holiday & Hits tour to the Egyptian Theatre on Friday December 20th. The show begins at 8pm
Dec 21st – Santa visits the DeKalb Library between 10:00 am and 11:30 am in the children’s department of the library. Parents are welcome to take photos.
Dec 24th – Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb will be open on Christmas Eve from 11a – 4p. Enjoy 2 games of bowling + shoe rental for $8.50 per person.
Dec 25 – Jamrah Middle Eastern Cuisine is hosting their 4th Annual FREE Christmas Day Meal on December 25th from 11am – 1pm. Anyone looking for a place to go for Christmas is welcome to enjoy this free meal. Please RSVP on their Facebook page or by calling 815-517-1495
Dec 31st – Enjoy an early New Years Eve celebration at the DeKalb Library! Their ‘Noon Years Eve‘ party begins at 11am and will feature fun activities, games, and crafts as they get ready to ring in the New Year!