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 www.downtowncl.org.
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 www.hahs.org.
Dec. 5 — 8th annual Festival of Trees,Lake in the Hills Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills, 5 p.m. The 8th annual Festival of Trees will kick off with the traditional Santa Ride-In. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fire truck at 5 p.m. to perform the tree-lighting ceremony and then stay to hear the wishes of girls and boys. Several decorated trees will be on display and residents can vote for their favorite by placing a non-perishable household item under their favorite tree. The items will be donated to the Lake in the Hills/Algonquin Food Pantry and the Grafton Township Food Pantry. For information, visit www.lith.org or call 847-960-7460.
Dec. 6 — Breakfast with Santa at Christmas at the Dole,Dole Mansion and Lakeside Legacy, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Enjoy a tasty holiday breakfast with Santa at the Dole Mansion. For information, visit www.lakesidelegacy.org or call 815-455-8000.
Dec. 6 — Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Celebration,West Main St. in Downtown Cary, 1 p.m. The parade begins at 1 p.m. and heads down West Main St. into the downtown area ending at Jandus Road and Cary St. Following the parade, there will be horse-drawn Santa sleigh rides, pony rides, petting zoo and visits with Santa, which are all free to the public. For information, call the Chamber office at 847-639-2800.
Dec. 9 — Christmas Bedtime Stories,Rotary Building, 431 Walkup, Crystal Lake, 7 to 8 p.m. Children can wear their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Juice, milk and cookies will be served and Santa might just stop by. For children 2 to 7 years old, cost is $11 for residents and $17 for nonresidents. Register online at www.crystallakeparks.org.
Dec. 12 — Breakfast with Santa,Old Towne Hall, 54 Brink St., Crystal Lake, 9 a.m. Kids can enjoy a buffet breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Old Towne Hall. Music, games, gifts and a photo for each child is included in the price. Tickets are $12.50 for each child age 2 and older. Tickets can be purchased at Heisler’s Bootery, 50 N. Williams St., and Gymboree Play and Music, 30 N. Williams St. For information, visit www.downtowncl.org.
Dec. 12 — Santa Claus is Coming to Town,REC Center Cosman Cultural Center Lobby, 12015 Mill St., Huntley, 11:30 a.m. Santa will be visiting children at the REC Center. For information, call the Huntley Park District at 847-669-3180.
Dec. 18 — Winter Wonderland 2009,Algonquin Middle School, 520 Longwood Drive, Algonquin, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring your children to the Algonquin Middle where they will get a chance to visit Santa Claus, play games, make crafts, listen to carolers and take home some holiday cheer. Children also can mail their letter to Santa from Winter Wonderland. Cost is $5 for children who pre-register, or $6 at the door. Parents are free with a paid child. For information, call 847-658-2700.
The above events are an excerpt from the full calendar of events located on Plan!t Northwest, a new Web site dedicated to events and shopping in McHenry County. Find out more at www.PlanitNorthwest.com.