Arriving in America 14 years ago from Northern Ireland, Stuart and Tracey McCarroll have made Hinsdale their home for the last five years. Their holidays are rich with tradition as they look to keep their Irish heritage alive. Here are some of the McCarroll’s favorite ways to celebrate the holidays.
- Carter, 13 years old, likes to find a Christmas tree farm where they can choose the perfect tree and chop it down as a family.
- Lynden, 11 year old, still loves to have “family Gingerbread decorating night.” He insists it take place two weeks before Christmas so he can “smell the good ginger smell” when he gets home from school.
- Stella, 7 years old, makes sure that all of the McCarroll Christmas lists are mailed to Santa in a timely fashion.
- Lillah, 3 years old, answers that she loves getting presents! (And who doesn’t?)
There truly is no place like home for the holiday. Here are some fun ways to take in the season this December.
Best Places to get in the Holiday Spirit
Hinsdale Christmas Walk
Friday, December 5 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Santa will arrive by fire truck and you can visit him at the Santa House in Burlington Park where you will also meet “Cookie the Gingerbread Man.” The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. at Village Hall. Stores and restaurants will be open and there will be ice carvers, holiday carolers, a trackless train, giveaways, and more!
Clarendon Hills Christmas Walk
Friday, December 5 at 6 p.m.
Tree lighting ceremony at Village Hall on the corner of Burlington and Prospect roads. Follow Santa on down to the Triangle, visit with him, and have your picture taken. Stores and restaurants will be open. Come get your taste of roasted chestnuts and candied nuts roasted by the local firefighters.
Best Places to go for Hot Chocolate
Toni Patisserie and Café
51 S. Washington Street in Hinsdale, 630-789-2020, tonipatisserie.com
Café La Fortuna
46 Village Place in Hinsdale, 630-537-1586, cafelafortuna.com
Best Places to Go Sledding
Oak Brook Public Library Snow Hill
600 Oak Brook Road in Oak Brook, 630-368-7702
Prospect Park in Clarendon Hills
315 Chicago Avenue in Clarendon Hills, clarendonhillsparkdistrict.org
Best places to see Holiday Lights
100 Oakbrook Center Road in Oak Brook, 630-573-0700, oakbrookcenter.com
Best places to go Ice Skating
Burns Field in Hinsdale, 304 N. Vine Street in Hinsdale
Best Place to Ring in the New Year
Ring in the New Year at midnight Dublin time (6 p.m. in Hinsdale!) this New Year’s Eve at Walsh’s Bar & Grille. For the last 17 years, this has been their tradition. Toast 2015 with the luck of the Irish! Walsh’s Bar and Grille is located at 202 W. Naperville Road in Westmont, 630-968-5957 walshsbarandgrill.net
– Ann Marie Scheidler // Photography by Joel Lerner