Brightening the community!

Thu December 1, 2022

DeKalb, IL- The holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year. A time to reflect, celebrate together, and make new memories with loved ones. The DeKalb Park District is excited to offer winter event traditions once again with Breakfast with Santa and the DeKalb Holiday House Decorating Contest, and offer a brand-new Grinchmas Winter Carnival and Indoor Movie event. 

“The holiday season is here, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you! Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit more than seeing all the twinkling lights of the DeKalb houses during the Holiday House Decorating Contest,” said Recreation Supervisor, Chrissy Tluczek. “From blow-up displays to fun holiday themes, DeKalb never fails at bringing the joy. I’m most excited about our new Grinchmas Winter Carnival and a FREE indoor screening of the Grinch! The Grinch-themed activities are enough to make anyone’s holiday heart grow at least three sizes.”

DeKalb residents are invited to channel their inner Clark Griswold and sign up for the 3rd Annual DeKalb Holiday House Decorating Contest. Brighten the community by signing up for just $5 and compete in three categories: Best Overall Theme, Light Up the Town, and People’s Choice. The deadline to participate is December 6 and is for DeKalb residents only. All displays will be judged by DeKalb Park District staff on December 7, between 4:00 and 9:00 pm. Best Overall Theme and Light Up the Town category winners will be announced on December 8. 

If decorating isn’t your thing, help us vote for the People’s Choice category winner! Decoration displays will be judged online through the District's Facebook page, December 8 - 15. Staff also encourages voters to hop in their cars and check out the participating houses in person. The image with the most “likes” by 9:00 pm on December 15 wins! The People’s Choice winner will be officially announced on December 16.  All category winners will receive a prize package and yard sign. Addresses of entries will be posted in local media unless otherwise specified at the time of registration. 

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa is coming to town on Saturday, December 10 at River Heights Golf Course Clubhouse, located at 1020 Sharon Drive. From 9:00-10:30 am, families can enjoy a light buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, pastries, muffins, milk, coffee, and more. Not only will kids get to see the Big Guy himself, but they can also participate in a craft, listen to a holiday story, and receive a special gift from Santa. The fee is $15 for residents and $19 for non-residents. Tickets will be sold until full or by December 7, so be sure to sign up soon. Parents, don’t worry about snapping the perfect photo- personalized photographs are included in your ticket fee so you can kick back and enjoy breakfast!  

NEW! Calling all Whos from Whoville for an evening of Grinch-themed games, crafts, and activities at our inaugural Grinchmas Winter Carnival on Wednesday, December 21! The green man himself will be making an appearance from 4:30-6:30 pm at the Sports and Recreation Center, located at 1765 S. 4th Street, for a meet and greet with all Whos. The fee is $17 for residents and $21 for non-residents (ages 2 and under are free). Pre-registration is highly encouraged to avoid event day registration lines. Afterward, from 6:45-8:15 pm, a FREE screening of The Grinch (PG) will be projected indoors on a giant inflatable screen for all ages to enjoy. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs.

December is a busy month for all, but we hope that you take a moment to join in the fun. Learn more about these upcoming events, sign-up for programs, or see more winter park district offerings at or call (815) 758-6663.

Back to News