November 20th, 2009 | Published in Sales + Events
Every year, I get to write about wonderful homes that get all holidayed up so friends and friends-to-be can visit and savor it all. This year, I’m going!
It’s just about impossible to see them all because they’re pretty much all at the same time. My strategy is to pick two and devote a day to each. The beauty for this Christmas-Shopping Grinch is that I can do some gift-getting at these housewalks since many have gift boutiques and markets too.
Some are also located in towns known for their lovely small shops filled with artisan-made goodies (my kinda places).
If you go to any of these housewalks and take a camera with you, send me pix. I’ll post ‘em since we all can’t get to all the walks!! Who knows, maybe I’ll find a prize at a holiday market and turn this into a photo contest!
Winter WonderWalk and Holiday Gift Boutique / Lake Forest
December 1 (preview) and 2: The WonderWalk, put on by the Mothers Club of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, will feature four Lake Forest homes decorated for the holidays, including an “Idea House.” The gift boutique will be held at the Woodlands Academy.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 WonderWalk Cost: $60; a $100 V.I.P. ticket includes round-trip shuttle transportation to the homes from Woodlands Academy and a gourmet lunch at the school. Event benefits the Woodlands’ scholarship funds. Holiday Gift Boutique hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boutique cost: free; boutique shoppers can attend Preview Night, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Info: 847-234-4300, ext. 226, or woodlandsacademy.org
Christmas in Park Ridge Housewalk / Park Ridge
December 4: In its 33rd year, the Park Ridge walk will feature four houses decorated for the holidays. The owners of one of the homes say it was called “Audrey’s House” by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who used to come to play there when she was a child.
Hours: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of event; proceeds benefit Maine Center, a non-profit organization that provides mental health and substance abuse services. Info: 847-232-2908
Oak Park/River Forest Infant Welfare Society’s Holiday Housewalk and Holiday Market
December 4 and 5: This year, five homes in the historic district will be featured in the tour that starts at the 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. The Market is new this year and, in addition to 40 artisans and craftspeople selling jewelry, art, home accessories and more, there also will be live entertainment and a raffle. The 11th annual walk benefits The Children’s Clinic, which provides medical and dental care and social services to children whose families cannot afford private care.
Preview brunch (and early Market shopping): 9:30 a.m. Dec. 4. Cost: $50. Housewalk hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 5. Market hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5. Cost: $35 in advance, $40 day of event, includes market; $5 for one-day market pass. Info: The Children’s Clinic, 708-848-0528, ext. 300, or childrenscliniciws.org.
Christmas Walk & House Tour / Geneva
December 4 and 5: Walk through five Geneva homes decorated for the holidays (I hear my friend Debra Phllips of Scentimental Gardens is doing one of them!!!), then enjoy a traditional tea at the Congregational Church and take home a booklet on entertaining and decorating. The Walk kicks off when a horse-drawn carriage delivers Santa Lucia, the symbol of the season in Sweden, and her attendants—and Swedish cookies for visitors. Then there’s a tree lighting, Santa visit, chestnut roasting, caroling and, yes, Virginia, there’s shopping.
Tour hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. Walk begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 4. Cost of house tour: $28 in advance; $30 day of tour; proceeds benefit the town’s annual holiday decorations. Info: 630-232-6060 or genevachamber.com/christmaswalk.html.
The Holiday Housewalk / Marengo and Union in McHenry County
December 5 and 6: Features about 25 homes with a food-pantry drive at each house. The walk was started 18 years ago with the mission of helping people get back to the “real sense of an old-fashioned Christmas,” says Neel Kintz. The walk also features about 70 craftspeople, selling their wares.“We have two rules and they are: the host home must be decorated for Christmas and all items must be handcrafted.”
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Cost: free; food contributions for the food pantry in Marengo/Union are requested. Info: A map showing homes and crafters (and telling what they make) will be available at holidayhousewalk.com.
Norwood Park Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour
December 5 and 6: Start at the Norwood Park Field House, 5801 N. Natoma Ave., and make your way through six houses. Among the homes is the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House where you’ll find the Victoria’s Holiday Craft Boutique & Café in the third day of its four-day run. While the house tour is a walking tour, a free shuttle bus is also available.
Tour hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5. Boutique hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 6. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of event (benefits the non-profit Historical Society); $1 admission to boutique. For info and to purchase tickets in advance, 773-631-4633 or norwoodparkhistoricalsociety.org.