New Christmas at Cantigny event includes skating, lights, and McCormick House reopen

McCormick House at Cantigny Park lit up with holiday lights for Christmas at Cantigny event
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Christmastime at Cantigny Park in Wheaton will have a whole new look this year. The park is debuting its Christmas in Cantigny event, a celebration that will last from Dec. 1 through Dec. 23.

McCormick House reopens at Cantigny

The new offering is a chance for Cantigny to show off the newly renovated McCormick House, which has been closed down since 2020. Inside visitors will find a 20-foot Christmas tree sparkling within Freedom Hall, the home’s library, along with lavish décor on the first floor.

The house was formerly the residence of Robert R. McCormick, the former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, who helped establish Cantigny as a public park.

“We look forward to welcoming guests, just as Colonel McCormick did during the holidays many years ago,” said Matt LaFond, Cantigny executive director in a news release. “McCormick House was the final phase of our Project New Leaf renovations, and we know people are eager to step back inside. The mansion has never looked better.”

Light display along garden and grounds

Cantigny also plans to light up its garden and grounds, pumping out holiday music for visitors to enjoy as they walk along the path. Guests can also view hundreds of fresh poinsettias from Cantigny’s greenhouse with many on display within McCormick House, and others for sale at the Visitors Center, while supplies last. There’s currently an online presale underway for those who want to secure their holiday flowers early.

Ice skating rink and cocoa cabanas

More fun is planned outside the Visitors Center, in the form of a 100-by-40-foot ice rink. Skate rentals will be available, or guest may bring their own. A heated hospitality tent by the rink will offer a spot to warm up, as will private “Cocoa Cabanas” that are available for rental.

Visits from Santa during Christmas at Cantigny

There will also be some special days during the celebration, including photos with Santa on Dec. 2 and 3. The man in red will also be on hand for special Santa brunches on those same days, as well as Dec. 16 and 17 at the Cantigny Golf clubhouse.

Guests can also expect some pop-up activities, such as musical performances Tuesday and Wednesday nights, gift shops, and a cookie and hot cocoa station.

The fun will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, with extended hours on weekends and for ice skating.

Basic admission to the event is $15 for an adult (16 and older) and $5 for a child (ages 4 to 15). Those 3 and younger will be admitted for free. There are also additional costs for several of the activities, such as cabana rental, admission to the ice rink, and skate rental, as well as parking fees for non-members. A full rundown of costs for the event and online purchase information can be found on Cantigny’s website.

Photo courtesy: Cantigny, Facebook

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