Throughout human history, we’ve found ways to light up the long winter nights, and we’ve created sparkling traditions and customs in the process. For the next several weeks here in Elmhurst, we can enjoy dazzling events that light up the season.

The Museum of Science and Industry began a holiday tradition in 1942 with just one tree dedicated to the Allies of World War II. Today, Christmas Around the World & Holiday of Lights includes a 45-foot tall Grand Tree with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments. The event also features 50 smaller trees representing various cultures and holiday traditions from all around the world. Stroll through the trees with intermittent falling “snow” and take in special performances on the Holiday Stage. School choral groups will perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances will take place on the weekends throughout the exhibit, which runs from 9:30 a.m. ‘til 4:00 p.m. November 15 through January 6.

The Lincoln Park Zoo presents Zoo Lights throughout the zoo grounds beginning on Friday, November 23 and continuing every Friday through Sunday until December 26. From then, the lights will stay on every night until January 6. In addition to an amazing display of lights, this annual family-oriented event will also offer holiday crafts and activities, animal encounters, 3D displays, live ice carving, carousel and train rides, and a musical light show. Santa will also be on hand for photos until December 23, and the first 1,000 attendees each night will receive holiday specs.

The John Hancock Observatory offers Santa in the Sky every weekend from November 17 through December 24. Featuring Santa and his seasonal helper, Observatory mascot Seemore Miles, the event also includes face painting, holiday activities, free family photos, and one free child’s ticket to the Shedd Aquarium. The cost is free with admission to the Hancock.

Right here in Elmhurst, the Park District invites the public to the annual tree lighting at Wilder Park, and also to “join the holiday spirit in an old-fashioned celebration.” From 6 – 8 pm on December 6, participants can decorate a holiday tree of their choice in the park. Pre-registration is required for decorating; go to the Wagner Community Center (630-993-8901) to select your tree and register. On the night there will be entertainment, treats, and a visit from Santa. The district will also be collecting non-perishable food items for the local pantry.

Elmhurst’s location as a suburb of Chicago gives us the best of both worlds. We enjoy the benefits of both a vibrant metropolitan lifestyle and a small city’s sense of community. The Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group can help you take advantage of this, too. With community knowledge, industry experience, and personal dedication, our team is the best place to start on the road to home ownership in Elmhurst. Contact us today at 540 South York St. in Elmhurst, or at (630) 567-5902. Please note also that we are moving in early December to 210 N. York Rd., Elmhurst.