Above / …And what to my wondering eyes should appear? See it to believe it during Naperville Trolley tours…Trolley-la-la-la La-la-la-la! Find this holiday display at the corner of Williamsburg and Vicksburg in Hobson West. Thanks to everyone who contributes to our city’s grand illumination N.E.W.S. and downtown happenings!

Keeping track of Santa and his many helpers in Naperville is a challenge.  He’s everywhere!  He’s everywhere!

But first, before we get ahead of ourselves, we’re hopeful families, friends and neighbors gather together to celebrate the wonders of the season with an attitude of gratitude and hope for peace.

Special thanks to everyone who works on holidays so folks can travel safely to count their blessings.

Little Friends Parade of Lights (Gallery of Photos from 2016)

Since 2003, Jolly Old St. Nicholas officially has arrived in this City along the DuPage River at the end of the Little Friends Hometown Holiday Parade, now known as the Parade of Lights. Even dating back to 1831, well-behaved children of early settlers waited with anticipation on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to find them with good cheer by Christmas morning. Ho. Ho. Ho.


Above / For 2015, Santa, accompanied by Mrs. Claus, returned for a quick visit during the annual Little Friends Parade of Lights, when Ray Kinney and Katie Wood served as emcees for the popular community event to kick off the holiday season. The 2017 Little Friends Parade of Lights begins at 7PM Sat., Dec. 2, in downtown Naperville.

Santa visits & breakfasts through the years with 2017 updates

What’s more, whether at the Santa House along the Riverwalk, Santa Breakfasts, holiday parades, Toys for Tots collection parties, traditions and mansion tours at Naper Settlement, complimentary photo sessions at local businesses or bell ringing for the Salvation Army, that jolly old bearded elf in the big red suit has made the rounds in Naperville for years, always shining in the spotlight, eager to pose for pictures with the young at heart!

This small sampling of PN’s collection of Santa’s helpers is just another example of folks you likely know creating simple joys. Thanks to all who share the giving spirit from one season to the next. God bless us every one.


Above / Find Santa along the Riverwalk, Jackson at Webster, in the Santa House, hosted by the Naperville Park District. This 2015 photo shows Santa with Cory and Molly Huard at the Santa House, open certain days from Dec. 1 until Dec. 23, 2017.  


Find the 2017 Santa House along the Riverwalk, Jackson at Webster.  Hours begin Dec. 1 and are 4-8PM weekdays and noon to 6PM on weekends until Dec. 23.  Listen for the Ho! Ho! Ho! (PN Photo, Nov. 22, 2015)


Above / When this little guy gave Santa his Christmas list at Quigley’s Irish Pub in downtown Naperville, Illinois, on the second Sunday in December 2015, he wasn’t taking any chances. To be sure Santa would find him on Christmas Eve, he asked Santa if he wanted to know which state he lived in— and then told him he lived in Michigan. (Annual Pictures with Santa, 10AM to 2PM on Sun., Dec. 3, 2017, at Quigley’s Irish Pub)


Above / Visiting Santa is an annual tradition for everyone who believes from 10AM to 2PM on Sun., Dec. 3, 2016, at Quigley’s Irish Pub, another fun place for free photos with Santa and the Leprechaun. (PN Photo, Dec. 13, 2015)

Thanks to all for making the season bright

With the legendary spirit of St. Nicholas living deep our hearts, here are a few of Santa’s helpers PN caught on film years ago and more recently on digital.


Above / Back in 2000, Santa had breakfast with a bunch of good little girls and boys. For 2017, a special Breakfast with Santa will be hosted at Catch 35 Naperville on December 16 and December 23. Santa will be sharing good cheer and accepting gift lists during two seatings on two consecutive Saturdays, first at 9AM and again at 11AM, Sat., Dec. 17, then Sat., Dec. 23. Catch 35 is located at 35 S. Washington St. at Van Buren Ave., just steps from the parking deck in downtown Naperville.


Back in the day, Santa and a Naperette got their kicks on a golf cart during one of the holiday parades.


“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmastime.”

—Charles Dickens


Above / Father Christmas and Scrooge shared the stage for many years during Christmas Memories at Naper Settlement. (Photo circa 1999)  This year enjoy a fun-filled morning with Mr. & Mrs. Claus on Saturdays, Dec. 2, 9 & 16, along with the Christkindlmarket and Naper Lights beginning Nov. 24, 2017.

For 2017, create a new Christmas Memory during a Dinner with Santa at the Kroehler Family YMCA in downtown Naperville from 6:30PM to 8PM on Dec. 8. This event for members costs $48 for a family of four, $5 per person for more. The evening includes a full dinner, dessert, goodie bags for kids, crafts, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” and time for individual visits with Santa. Santa photos, too! Register early because space is limited. For more information or to RSVP call (630) 420-6270.


Above / In 2013, to officially kick off the holiday season, Santa and Mrs. Claus attracted thousands to the Little Friend Parade of Lights in downtown Naperville. Santa’s arrival is set for Sat., Dec. 2, 2017.

Naperville Park District Board

Above / Santa posed with members of the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners, decked out for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, before he set up visiting hours in the Riverwalk Santa House. For 2017, the Santa House opens on Dec. 1.  (PN Photo 2013)


Above / Santa and Skip Junkins helped members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves during the 2012 Toys for Tots Collection at Hotel Arista in CityGate Centre. Santa also returns for Breakfast with Santa at 9AM, 10:30AM, 12PM and 1:30PM the Hotel Arista on Sun., Dec. 17, 2017. Spots fill up quickly.  Click here for complete details. For info or to reserve a spot, email santa@hotelarista.com.


Above / In 2013, Santa arrived at the landmark Naperville Woman’s Club to assist Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise President John Nania with the inaugural illumination of Naper Lights in Central Park.

In 2014, Naper Lights moved to Naper Settlement. For 2017, the Grand Illumination for Naper Lights began Nov. 24. Then the event runs 5-9PM Thursday through Sunday and all during the week before Christmas until Dec. 23. Take a stroll!


Above / Santa shows up once a year for photos with guests and staff at Quigley’s Irish Pub on a Sunday in December. (10AM to 2PM on Sun., Dec. 3, 2017, at Quigley’s Irish PubCheers and Happy New Year!  (PN Photo, 2013)


Above / And in case you didn’t hear…  Even on Christmas Eve, you’ll find Santa putting in a shift to help all the other bell ringers who volunteer to help raise funds for the Salvation Army.

Above / Civic Plaza along the Riverwalk is aglow in the evenings as a place to pause and reflect about peace on Earth. For 2017, Chanukah (used interchangeably with Hanukkah) begins on Dec. 12 for eight days, ending in the evening of Dec. 20, 2017. Christmas Day is Dec. 25.

Thanks to all the giving hearts on behalf of the child in everyone during this wondrous holiday season.