Celebrate the holiday season in Evanston with these festive events


Photo by Jonah Elkowitz

There are lots of events in Evanston over the holiday season.

Emily Lichty, Reporter

Whether you hope to celebrate the holiday season with last-minute shopping, warm beverages or live music, you don’t need to look any further than Evanston for seasonal events to add to your winter agenda. Those in town during the month of December can bundle up, grab a holiday treat and join the Evanston community for festivals, lightings, musical performances and shopping specials. 

Here are some of this year’s events:

Downtown Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk 

Stroll through downtown with a warm beverage in-hand during the Downtown Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk on Dec. 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. Whether you are hoping to grab gifts for loved ones, browse seasonal shopping specials or simply take in Evanston’s magical holiday lights and decorations, this event is a great way to begin the month of December. Attendees will receive a festive mug, map and wristband and spend the evening stopping in participating businesses to shop discounts and grab treats including apple cider, hot chocolate and donuts. While admission for the event is free, registration is required.

Holiday Light Celebration 

Welcome the holiday season with Evanston’s annual Holiday Light Celebration on Dec. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event will be kicked off by a tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. and followed by photos with Santa Claus at The Merion and apple cider and churros. The free event will also include a visit from Mayor Daniel Biss and musical performances from the Evanston Children’s Choir, NU Purple Haze and a brass quintet.

Holiday Open House at the Evanston History Center 

Those looking to both learn something new and get in a festive mood can visit the Charles G. Dawes House, one of Evanston’s most historic landmarks, for their Holiday Open House. The home, which houses the Evanston History Center and is a National Historic Landmark, will be decked out in festive decorations. Attendees will participate in self-guided tours and activities, including live music. This tradition will be hosted for the first time in three years on Dec. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. and is free to attend.

Hometown Holiday Celebration and Stroll 

Shoppers can cross everyone off of their holiday gifting list at the Hometown Holiday Celebration and Stroll from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8. In addition to visiting open houses hosted by a variety of small businesses, attendees can also enjoy community caroling, sip on hot chocolate and vote in a tree decorating contest. Some of the businesses will offer snacks, drinks, merchandise and the chance to win prizes. The event is free and hosted by Main-Dempster Mile.

Menorah Lighting & Hanukkah Celebration 

While winter evenings might be dark, experience the light of Hanukkah on Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting of a 10-ft-high public Menorah in Fountain Square. The event will be complemented with visits from a variety of guests including Biss and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston). The event, which is sponsored by Tannenbaum Chabad House, will also include Hanukkah treats, live music and a LED robot dancer. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Chris White Trio and Choir

Those looking for a way to enjoy live music this holiday season can attend the Chris White Trio’s performance of Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Fans of this classic Christmas story can experience the trio’s rendition of the entire soundtrack. The trio, led by acclaimed jazz pianist Chris White, will be accompanied by three singers. The event will take place at SPACE on Dec. 19 at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $15 to $25. 

Kwanzaa Kinara Lighting and Kwanzaa Festival and Storytelling Event 

Gather with the Evanston community for a Kwanzaa celebration at Fountain Square on Dec. 26. The event will begin with the lighting of the Kwanzaa Kinara at 11 a.m. Following the lighting, attendees can browse the Kwanzaa Festival, which will include local artists’ work and food vendors. Performances at the event will include a West African community drum circle and a performance by the Najwa Dance Corps. Additionally, author Angela Shelf Medearis will read her book, “Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story.” 

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Twitter: @emilymlichty

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