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Where to spot Santa before Dec. 25

Mrs. Claus and Santa get cozy as they wait for visitors in the Santa House in Downtown Crystal Lake. The couple will return this year and their house will be open Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 23. (Photo provided by the Downtown Crystal Lake Association)

Dec. 3-6 — Santa House Visits,Brink Street Market, Downtown Crystal Lake, 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Santa’s House is open to visitors Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 23. For information, visit

Dec. 5 — Breakfast with Santa,Family Recreation Center, 825 Indian Oaks Trail, Marengo, 9 to 11 a.m. Children can enjoy a light continental breakfast, coloring contest and a complimentary photo with Santa. This free activity is for children 8 and younger. For information, call 815-568-5126.

Dec. 5 — Christmas at Hooved Animal Humane Society,10804 McConnell Road, Woodstock, 12 to 4 p.m. Bundle up and bring the little ones for some Christmas cheer. The Hooved Animal Humane Society will have hot beverages, baked goodies, a craft table, indoor pony rides, wagon rides throughout the farm and pictures with Santa Claus. Admission is free. All proceeds benefit the society’s effort to prevent the abuse and neglect of hooved animals. For information, visit

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