‘Tis the season to be jolly…. so what are you waiting for? This weekend is packed with jolliness for kids and adults alike!!

Still need to work off that Thanksgiving dinner?  Or perhaps you’re a Christmas lover and enjoy overplayed holiday music! Then come and experience the magic of the Santa Hustle 5K this Saturday (9:00 a.m.) at Soldier Field (1410 S. Museum Campus Dr.) in the South Loop.  Cookie and candy stations, along with holiday music and cheer, will be plentiful along the course.  And, this year’s swag is sure to make your jingle tingle even brighter with a Santa Hat, Santa Beard, Finisher Medal, and a Performance Hoodie!  Add on the Mrs. Claus Package to your registration and get a red tutu, arm warmers, candy cane socks, and two face tattoos.  Awards will be given at the after party at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  All bars will open at 10:00 a.m. for the Santa Hustle runners so be sure to bring your race bib to receive awesome food and drink specials!  Remember, it’s not just a race but a magical experience!!

The Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark St.) in the Andersonville neighborhood is once again hosting their annual Julmarknad – Christmas Bazaar this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.).   Traditional Scandinavian and modern handicrafts will be available for purchase.  Visit the Children’s Museum for crafts, games, and a special visit from Santa!  It’s entertainment for the entire family and includes a kaffestuga, Lucia processions, and folk dancers.  Plus, local Andersonville businesses will be offering Swedish specials all weekend long!!

St. Viator’s (4140 W. Addison St.) in the Old Irving Park neighborhood is hosting a huge 3-day community event known as Winterfest.  This event features outdoor activities such as an ice-skating rink, a Mistletoe Market craft fair (indoors), fresh wreath & trees for purchase, activities with Santa, cookie decorating, Elf Village bouncy houses, a North Pole bar, a Snowflake Café & Hot Cocoa Bar, and more!  Come and snack, skate, sip, and shop your day and/or evening away!!

Rail Events Productions is proud to announce the return of The Polar Express at Union Station!  This magical experience opens November 30th and runs through January 1st.  Passengers will relive the magic of the classic story on a magical one-hour trip through the tunnels, rail yards, and neighborhoods along the Chicago River.  During the trip, characters on each car lead passengers in caroling and onboard entertainment – just like in the film!  Each ticket includes fantastic entertainment, delicious hot chocolate, a scrumptious cookie, and a keepsake sleigh bell to bring home.  Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride!!  Please note:  advance reservations are required; this event is expected to sell out quickly!

Brookfield Zoo’s (8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL) Holiday Magic, now in its  37th year, is Chicagoland’s largest and longest-running lights festival featuring more than one million twinkling lights, animated light displays, a video light show, a 41-foot talking tree, a skating rink, carolers, and much more!  And each evening includes a full schedule of live entertainment in the Holly Jolly Theater, singing to the animals, professional ice carving demonstrations, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through December 23rd), and a “Rudolph Rides the Rails” model train display.  Enjoy your holiday experience while visiting your favorite animals!!

Have a Holly Jolly Weekend!