Santa’s House is coming to town; Dec. 1 opening planned
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org November 9, 2012 2:04PM
Caesar Hernandez from Aurora, bottom right, carries over a wall as he and a crew from the Naperville Park District put up Naperville's Santa house at the Free Speech Pavilion in downtown Naperville on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:31AM
Naperville Park District employees were putting finishing touches Friday on the Santa House, returning soon for the 11th year to the Free Speech Pavilion on the Riverwalk, at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street.
The three-day construction process gets the seasonal structure ready for visitors, who will begin stopping by to see the jolly old elf when his local spot opens to the public on Dec. 1.
Weekend hours are planned through the early part of the month, but several special nights have been carved out for specific populations, who make arrangements to take part through the district’s website.
On First Responders’ Night, Dec. 5, military members and public safety professionals will have their time to visit with St. Nick. Dec. 6 is Pet Night, set aside for those with furry friends.
“People love having their pets’ picture taken with Santa,” said Sue Omanson, the Park District’s community development manager.
During the following week, three consecutive evenings are reserved for visitors who have special needs.
Everybody can come on weekends, and there is no admission fee. After opening night, when the house will welcome visitors from 6 to 8 p.m., the hours will be noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. And during the week before Christmas, Dec. 17-21, Santa House will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. each evening as well. The final open house night will be Dec. 23.
“Santa is extremely patient with all the children, and he is glad to visit the Riverwalk,” Omanson said. “He’s staying until Dec. 23, and then he has to rush back to the North Pole.”
Presented with help from some 100 community volunteers, Santa House is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, with additional support provided by Firefly Nights Photography, the Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and BlackFinn American Saloon.