MEET SANTA’S EIGHT LEGENDARY REINDEER FRIENDS IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS
Celebrate the season in Illinois and discover a wonderland of holiday events and wintertime festivals across the state. Here are some of them.
Get close to Santa Claus with a visit to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul in Central Illinois to see the famous herd of Alaskan reindeer. The ranch plays host every year to visitors from across the nation who come to see the beautiful relatives of Santa’s eight legendary friends. The 100-year-old barns, which have been recently restored, house the animals and five acres of fertile farm grounds produce more than five thousand Christmas trees. Take your family for a day in the country to see the reindeer and pick out a magnificent tree to cut down and bring home to decorate.
The Northern Illinois sky will light up in festive colors throughout the 21st Annual Holiday Festival of Lights display in Rockford through to December 31. More than 50 lighted displays are featured throughout Sinnissippi Park. Drive through the scenic park to view breathtaking seasonal exhibits and see why this festive drive hosts more than 120,000 spectators each year.
Peoria in Western Illinois welcomes the spirit of the holidays with the East Peoria Festival of Lights holiday light show through to December 31. Some 30 floats are showcased throughout the city at various holiday festivals including Filipe’s Wonderland, where cars can drive through to marvel at the floats from their cars.
Celebrate 20 years of holiday magic and whimsical lights in Kewanee at the 21st Annual Windmont Park Lighting/Drive of Lights through to January 1.
Get up close and personal to beautiful eagles in Southwest Illinois as they take flight at the Locks & Dam Eagle Meet and Greet, Jan. 17, 24, 31 and Feb. 7. Visitors will have an opportunity to see, learn and ask questions about the eagles and their habitats at the National Great Rivers Museum. Afterwards, enjoy eagle viewing in the area by taking a 75-minute trolley tour where you can watch eagles in their natural habitat.
The city of Belleville in Southwest Illinois honors everyone’s favorite holiday cookie with the annual Gingerbread Walk through to January 4. Take a leisurely stroll along East Main Street where dozens of edible gingerbread creations are displayed in shop windows.
For more information about top events in Illinois, take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois at http://www.topeventsusa.com/state-events-illinois.html
Or, take a look at the official web site for Illinois at http://www.enjoyillinois.com