This year we got a head start with our holiday activities, plus we were able to try a few new things. We heard that Oakbrook Center has started a new Santa program and we were able to take advantage of ice skating, and good food!.
- Fun interactive experience with Santa’s Naughty or Nice Book. Before our visit, I registered the kids for a new program SantasNaughtyAndNiceBook.com. I entered their wish lists items, pet name, and their favorite subject. Plus, I was able to rate how naughty or nice they have been. Then I was given a code and entered it in at the kiosk at Santa’s glass house. The kids were pretty excited to find their name in the book! They also had another interactive kiosk where the kids could take pictures of themselves.
- Seeing Santa! The kids’ faces lit up as they stepped into Santa’s glass house. It was beautifully decorated all around, but it became even more real as they snuck a peek of the jolly old man. The check-in process with Santa’s elf was seamless, and we waited no longer than 5 minutes. (Make free reservations!) Santa chatted with each of them making sure to listen to everyone’s Christmas wish list, while the photographer snapped the photos..
I totally loved that they even included cute props! In the end, we chose this photo (Yay, no screaming child!)
The photographer was kind enough to ask if we wanted any certain types of photos, so we asked for silly ones. At the end of the visit, Santa gave them special 3D glasses where they could see snowflakes and candy canes.
If you do decide to purchase a package, you’ll get all the digital photos too. Yay! (Hello, Christmas cards!) The best thing? You don’t need reservations or to buy a photo package to see him!
- Ice skating fun! They unveiled a brand new ice skating rink located on the Village Green with new holiday décor. The Holiday Market also surrounds the ice skating rink.
The kids had never ice skated before, but they ROCKED it. And even though they fell, they got right back up. They all had a blast, and have already requested to go again!
- Outstanding Dining at The District. We definitely worked up an appetite after ice skating and seeing Santa, so we made our way to The District, their food hall. This is definitely NOT your typical food court. The decor is super trendy and houses restaurants like Freshii, Greek House, DMK, and Stan’s Donuts.
They have great options for everyone — some healthy and some not-so-healthy, but oh-so-delicious! The hard part is choosing where to eat. But you can do what we did, and choose a few things from each restaurant. We love burgers so we opted for a burger, hand cut fries, and a thick and rich milkshake from DMK.
My husband opted for a healthier meal so went to Freshii. Don’t forget to try their frozen kefir! And I ended up with a Gyros platter from Greek Kitchen. Everything we had was pretty delicious!
- We were able to have seen their holiday market. We were a little early since it opened a week after our visit at Thanksgiving. They’ll have unique gifts from local artisans like homemade pet treats, custom holiday ornaments, one of a kind jewelry and art. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a wine tent!
- Don’t forget to sign up for Santa’s Naughty and Nice Book before visiting Santa. It’s free!
- Save money on Santa packages. Reserve your time Monday – Wednesday and save $5 through December 9th. Make your reservations at CelebrateYourHoliday.com
We definitely recommend heading to Oakbrook Center for holiday fun. We had a wonderful time getting a kickstart to our holidays. The kids adored seeing Santa, had a blast ice skating, and trying out new restaurants at The District. What more could we ask?
Location: 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL; Santa is located at the Glass Pavillion (across from Starbucks); Ice Skating is located at the Village Green.
Hours: Check website for schedule.
Prices: Ice Skating – November 10th, 2017 – February 28, 2018. Monday – Saturday 10am – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm. Pricing: Admission for adults is $9 and Children (12 & Under) is $7. Skate Rental is $5.
Parking: Plenty of mall parking. Park close to Crate & Barrel.
Disclosure: Our family was provided a complimentary holiday package to facilitate this review. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own