For Holiday / Seasonal Fun

Fill your heart with glad tidings and cheer when you make plans to stop by any of these seasonal favorites in our Byway communities.

We recommend calling or visiting each website for up-to-date information on hours of operation, etc.

Northern Leg of the Byway

North Utica

Celebrate the start of the holiday season at Christmas in the Village, held just after Thanksgiving. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, music, activities, shopping and more. Their Fire Department also hosts an annual Santa Parade.

Streator

Imagine a Christmas without electricity when you take a Weber House Tour by Candlelight. You'll get a guided tour through a house lit only by candles and fireplaces while hearing stories about past ways of life and Christmas traditions. Offered Thursdays in December.

Ottawa

The Chris Kringle Market features local artisans, boutiques and restaurants in an open air, euro-inspired event under the twinkling lights in historic downtown. Over 70 vendors make this an enjoyable shopping experience. Held weekends, late November through mid-December.

Ottawa

Reddick Mansion Candlelight Tours offer visitors to tour this historic Mansion in all its holiday glory.

Princeton

Home For The Holidays Christmas Drive-Through Lights Display featuring special guests on select dates at the Bureau County Fairgrounds. Runs Friday and Saturday nights, late November through Christmas Eve.

Central Leg of the Byway

Peoria

Christmas in the Village at Peoria Riverfront Museum runs the first weekend in December and boasts one of the area's largest trees. Waltz through the “village” and see Peoria Ballet Nutcracker Ballerinas flit about as you listen to carolers sing, sipping hot chocolate or cocktails, and taking pictures with Santa. More festivities include carriage rides, a holiday laser light show and live animals. The Museum also offers a Polar Express Breakfast with Santa.

Peoria

The Peoria Park District's Poinsettia Show at Luthy Botanical Garden is held mid November through the end of the year. Candlelight Walks are also held here each weekend.

Peoria

On Saturdays in December, get tickets for Winter Wonderland at Glen Oak Park. It's all aboard as you’re whisked away on the Glen Oak Express for a ride through the park, take a trip to Santa’s workshop at Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum and ride on over to Peoria Zoo to take photos with Santa, view the grand lighted tree, decorate Christmas cookies and write letters to Rudolph.

Peoria Heights

On the longest night of the year, take a guided tour along a wintery wonderland at Forest Park Nature Center's Winter Solstice Hike.

Peoria Heights

The Kris Kringle Market is held at Tower Park in early December. Visitors to this open air market can expect to check hot chocolate, cocktails, and live entertainment off their Christmas list.

Outside Peoria in Hanna City

Set up your North Pole departure time to take the Express Train through the Enchanted Forest at Wildlife Prairie Park's Santa's Wildlife Express . Usually runs on weekends in early December.

East Peoria

Load the family up for The Festival of Lights where you'll experience a spectacular display of lights while you listen along to Christmas music on the radio. You’ll see the 70-foot long float of the famous Clydsdale horse team, a 95-foot-long Chinese dragon, and a 160-foot- long steam engine train just to name a few. Opens the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs nightly through the end of the year.

Southern Leg of the Byway 

Pekin

Christmas on Court allows you to explore the charming historic Downtown Court Street, with local retailers and Pop-Up Markets for a unique shopping experience.

Canton

Enjoy an entertaining and animated light show from the comfort of your car when you attend the Holiday Lightshow in Big Creek Park. Begins November 25 and runs through December 30 on selected evenings.

Canton

A day at Snowman's Reindeer Farm, open mid November 11 – just after Christmas, is unlike any other. Meet Santa’s reindeer up close while you hand feed them, visit Santa in the Holly Jolly Barn, take family photos, play reindeer games and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere. (Reservations required)