Things To Do
Although Wheaton is only 25 miles from Chicago, you will find that there’s no need to leave Wheaton to find something to do, whether it's in the vibrant downtown, several shopping districts or elsewhere.
Gingerbread House Contest
Nov. 29-Dec. 21
Participating downtown Wheaton businesses will decorating gingerbread houses and displaying them for people to vote for their favorite on the Downtown Wheaton Association's website.
Festival of Lights and Trees
Nov. 29-Dec. 30, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (lights on 3-9 p.m.)
See 20,000 twinkling lights and spectacular displays transform Cosley Zoo into a fairy tale winter wonderland from the day after Thanksgiving through December 30. Lights are on from 3 p.m. daily until the zoo closes at 9 p.m. Visitors can visit the animals and also purchase a cup of hot chocolate, tree, wreath, and holiday gifts. Note: Tree sales will be Nov. 29-Dec. 24; open 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 24 and Dec. 30; closed on Dec. 25. More information
Dickens of a Christmas Carriage Rides & Visits with Santa
Saturdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 21
Carriage rides and visits with Santa will take place Saturdays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 21, at Martin Memorial Plaza (on Front Street, just west of Main Street in downtown Wheaton), with special activities happening on those days. For more information, see the Downtown Wheaton Association’s website.
Dickens of a Christmas Stroll
Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Downtown Wheaton Association will host the Dickens of a Christmas Stroll, featuring holiday treats and surprises in downtown Wheaton shops. Enjoy complimentary roasted chestnuts, cider, hot chocolate, holiday sweets, ice carvings, caroling, visits with Santa, eggnog, wine tastings, complimentary carriage rides and tea tastings. For details, go to www.downtownwheaton.com.
Monthly Electronic Recycling
Second Saturday of each month, 9 a.m.-noon
Bring your unwanted electronics to the Public Works Storage Yard, 820 W. Liberty Drive, between 9 a.m. and noon. It is a drive-through event; volunteers will unload items from your car. Household batteries no longer accepted (only rechargeable batteries accepted). No refrigerators, air conditioners or other items with refrigerant/coolant liquids. Read the list of items that will be accepted.
Saturdays through Dec. 21: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wheaton's popular outdoor French Market takes place each Saturday through Dec. 21 near the intersection of Main Street and Liberty Drive, just south of the railroad tracks in downtown Wheaton. Inspired by the outdoor markets of France, vendors at this weekly event sell much more than your typical farmers market. Find pastries, flowers, art, jewelry, handmade gifts, locally grown produce and many specialty items at the French Market. A special extended season schedule will be Nov. 16-Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.