Carlinville Christmas On The SquareCarlinville Christmas On The Square: Carlinville's historic downtown comes alive with the sights and sounds of the holidays at Carlinville Christmas On The Square. This annual event features holiday lights, a petting zoo, reindeer, Santa, holiday treats, trolley rides, and vendors. The small-town charm of Carlinville makes it one of the best small towns in America, as route 66 is the crown jewel of the historic district. The Carlinville Christmas event spreads cheer Friday, Dec. 3 from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and lastly, Sunday, Dec. 5 from noon to 3 p.m.

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2nd Annual Hot Chocolate Walk for Wishes: Make-A-Wish Illinois invites the community to create hope through wishes for local children at the 2nd Annual Hot Chocolate Walk for Wishes on Friday, Dec. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 914 Main Street, in Highland, IL. For more information and to register, visit https://wish.org/illinois/hot-chocolate-walk-wishes.

First Fridays Late Night Art and Shopping Experience: Alton Main Street and Jacoby Arts Center's First Fridays, a late-night art and shopping experience which spans 13 locations across Downtown Alton, continues this Friday, Dec. 3. The 13 participating businesses are offering a variety of discounts, refreshments, and giveaways. Have your passport stamped at each location to receive a $10 gift certificate to the participating business of your choice. Free parking is available in the lot at 627 E. Broadway, in Alton, IL, and a free shuttle bus will be provided from 5 to 9 p.m., running a continuous loop. Additional details can be found here.

Alton Band & Orchestra BuildersABOB Olde Alton Arts & Craft Fair: ABOB's annual Craft Fair is back Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Alton High School. Breakfast will be served on both days; Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. Saturday admission is $2 and Sunday admission is $1 (cash only both days). Masks are required. Strollers are not recommended. Kids 12 and younger are free. ABOB provides the funds so all students have access to Alton School District's outstanding music program. For additional information, please contact Dave and Paula Fritz by phone at 618-474-6996 or email abobcraftfair@gmail.com.

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Winter Market Downtown EdwardsvilleWinter Market Downtown Edwardsville: The annual Winter Market in Edwardsville happening Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, is a fabulous place to shop local for the holidays. This year's market will feature artisans, baked goods, crafters, locally grown items, and unique, boutique gifts and products. Downtown businesses also host open houses as well as sidewalk sales during this holiday shopping event. Additional details can be found here.

Santa's Chocolate Express in GraftonSanta's Chocolate Express: Santa's Chocolate Express returns to Grafton on Saturday, Dec. 4 with registration taking place at the Visitor's Center at 950 E Main Street, Grafton, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are required for this event and include a free shuttle service, a complimentary treat at each participating business, specials, and discounts at Grafton businesses, and a holiday shopping bag with a small selection of chocolates, and a holiday wine glass. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.graftonilchamber.com/chocolate-express.

Bethalto's Christmas Village: Walk through thousands of lights while enjoying themed glass cottages. Santa is in the gazebo; also on-site is a live nativity, barrel rides for children, vendors, and a s'more station. The park is open on Saturdays and Sundays through December 19. Bethalto's Christmas Village is free to attend.

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