Tis the season! When the holiday season goes into high gear, Lisle goes hog wild with a non-stop calendar of holiday happenings. There will be a parade, tree lighting, food trucks, ice-carving, concerts, trains and more. Join us in Lisle as we celebrate the magic and wonder of the season with some great holiday events. The Top Ten things to do this 2014 holiday season in Lisle, not surprisingly, are the same old, same old, traditional favorites that the Village of Lisle celebrates annually with a few new twists.

Prepare to be dazzled… We’re kicking off our holiday happenings with a GLOW of lights!

1. Illumination Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum – The grounds of The Morton Arboretum will glow again with dazzling LED lights and trees that respond to touch and sound from November 21, 2014 through January 3, 2015. Stroll over a mile of innovative lights and projections and you will experience trees that respond to your hug or voice and enjoy the new Symphony of Light with music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This is a one-of-a-kind family activity you won’t want to miss! Ticket prices can be found on their website mortonarb.org.

2. Lights of Lisle – To prepare for Santa, Downtown Lisle is decorated with beautiful holiday decorations. Festivities begin when the Santa Parade brings Santa to Main Street, then on to the Museums at Lisle Station Park campus. Join Mayor Broda for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, held at 6 PM at the community holiday tree on the grounds of Village Hall. Watch an ice carver transform a block of ice into a beautiful creation. Be sure to take a trolley ride through the downtown to view over 15 hundred luminaries that line the streets and PrairieWalk Pond. Food trucks are new this year – Golden Eagle Hot Dogs and Best Truckin’ BBQ. A heated tent with seating with festive background music will also be a new addition. Between the Village and the Lisle hotels, assorted cookies will be available to satisfy your sweet tooth!

3. Once Upon a Christmas –The Lisle Heritage Society celebrates old fashion holiday fun on Saturday, December 6 with children’s crafts, music, brick oven baking, and blacksmithing. At the Black Smith Shop, kids are able to pump giant bellows to give oxygen to the flames where the iron is being formed to make horseshoes, nails and other small artifacts. If you are a train enthusiast, HO gauge model trains will be on display in the Netzley /Yender House. The kids can also meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Depot Museum while munching on some sweet snacks.

On Sunday, December 7, several of Santa’s reindeer will be making a personal appearance! The reindeer will make a brief stop at the museum park from 11am – 1pm. Their appearance is being timed to give the children on The Lisle Christmas Train something extra special to see when it pulls into the Metra station at 11am on Sunday.

4. Lisle Christmas Train- formally known as The Polar Express, will leave on two trips to the North Pole and back beginning at 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, from the Lisle Metra train station. The 11-car double-decker Metra commuter train will recreate the trip enjoyed by the award-winning children’s book penned by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express.” Train Conductor Jack Kelly, dressed in his conductor’s suit and hat, will help young people and Santa board the train and shout “all aboard” when The Christmas Train is ready to begin its trip. He along with the Christmas Train Engineer, Wayne Dunham, will collect tickets from the children. Between the live reindeer at the museums at Lisle Station Park and a make believe train ride to the North Pole, a fun time will be had by all! Expect to find costume characters on board, volunteers such as the Girl Scouts, Lisle Teens with Character and Lisle High School Key Club will be leading Christmas carols. Sleigh bells will be passed out and of course Santa himself will be traveling in every car to see the kids!

5. Hilton Lisle- Award-Winning Allgauer’s Restaurant, located in the Hilton has an amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas Day brunch every year and 2014 is no exception. The Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet features snow crab legs, butternut squash bisque, deviled eggs, herb-crusted leg of lamb, honey-glazed ham, sage-roasted turkey, lemon meringue tarts and more. The Champaign will be flowing and be sure to expect special tantalizing items for their Christmas extravaganza!

Have you registered for Hilton’s Breakfast with Santa? It is an annual event, held in the Regency Ballroom that features a grand breakfast buffet. Children are able to visit with Santa all morning and each receives a special gift. The highlight is a magic show designed just for kids! The magician has the kiddos sitting right up front on the carpet where he involves them every step of the way and leaves everyone is awe. Reserve early as this annual tradition sells out every year. Call 630.245-7600 for reservations.
Don’t forget to pick up Hilton’s own Signature Allgauer’s Toffee. It makes for a perfect holiday gift! This delicious toffee is made from scratch by Allgauer’s Executive Chef. It is available for purchase at the restaurant hostess stand and the front desk. A 1/2 lb. bag sells for $9.95.
Bring in the New Year by going to Hilton’s New Year’s Eve Gala! It begins with an opening reception with butler passed hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy either a 3 to 5-hour open bar “Shaken … Not Stirred” Martini Bar until 10pm. Feast on a custom five-course duet dinner created by their Executive Chef. Celebrate the New Year with a champagne toast at midnight and dance all night with entertainment by the Michael Heaton Band® and DJ by Sounds Abound — plus, another DJ and dancing in a second ballroom!

6. Lisle Hotel Specials – For me, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without enjoying a festive cocktail or two. Hyatt Lisle will be offering special Peppermint Martinis in their lobby bar! Make sure to check out the Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton Holiday Hotel Packages on the Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website www.StayinLisle.com for special pricing for your out-of -town guests! Also make sure to check out their Special Offer page for other discounts in Lisle.

7. Evviva! Bar & Eatery – Wanna party? Evviva! kicks off their holiday season with their annual Black Wednesday Party with holiday drink specials and a DJ on November 26. They are hosting a Toy Express Party on December 13 – bring an unwrapped toy to donate and expect great music and drink specials. Celebrate NYE at Evviva! with a DJ and balloon drop. At midnight you will receive a Champagne toast and their award winning pizza buffet, all for a set price.

8. Mullen’s Bar & Grill – Meet me at Mullen’s for the best in live music! Thursday before Christmas, Pete Ellman Big Band will be playing at their Holiday Concert combining with their Toys for Tots Drive. Mullen’s is a drop-off for unwrapped toys. Live music and drink specials are on the regular every week in October, November and December. Join the fun at their annual NYE Party, the band is still to be determined. You can expect party favors, a Champaign toast at midnight and a late night pizza buffet. Celebrate safely with an overnight package at Sheraton Lisle.

9. Rayme’s Steak & Fish House- Home of the king-size cocktails, this Route 53, Downtown Lisle landmark recently opened their new restaurant in late September. The prairie-style motif includes stained glass in the woodwork and lamps near the bar, warm wall colors and a modern exterior. If you are looking to hold your holiday event in a cozy atmosphere, it now has double the seating of the original location, with space for about 120 people in the main dining room and a small semiprivate room, along with nearly 40 seats in the bar area. They missed Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, and are ecstatic to be opened this holiday season. Make sure to save room for their scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake dessert for Thanksgiving and they will be serving a Candy Cane Martini closer to Christmas.

10. Wheatstack –A Midwestern Eatery & Tap serves up the BEST Midwestern cuisine and has breathtaking views of River Bend Golf Club. Keep Calm and Gobble On – Turkey-To-Go has to be ordered no later than Tuesday, November 26. This year you will have plenty of time to meet with Santa and enjoy brunch. Brunch With Santa dates are December 7, December 14 and December 21. Reservations are needed as they sell out. Call 630-9668-1920.

Happy Holidays!

So many wonderful memories await you and your family this holiday season. Remember to celebrate safely – Eat, Drink and Be Merry…in Lisle during the most wonderful time of the year. Cheers!