If you haven't put together your Christmas list yet, now you have the perfect motivation: Breakfast with Santa. Here's a sample of where you can dine with St. Nick at suburban restaurants over the next few weekends. But the brunches are filling up fast, so make your reservations now.
Brookfield Zoo: 8400 31st St., Brookfield, (708) 688-8000 or czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Events/Upcoming-Events/Breakfast. Meet and take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and some special zoo costumed characters at the zoo's annual Breakfast with Santa. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Discovery Center with seatings at 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17. Feast on French toast with maple syrup, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, assorted pastries, muffins and bagels, plus fresh fruit and more. The Banjo Buddies will provide entertainment. Seating is limited; reservations are required. $29.95 for adults, $21.95 for kids 3-11 and free for kids younger than 3, including tax.
Catch 35: 35 S. Washington St., Naperville, (630) 717-3500 or catch35.com/ringing-holiday-season-catch-35/. Get dressed up for Breakfast with Santa at Catch 35 Naperville. Seatings are at 9 and 11 a.m. Saturdays, Dec. 16 and 23. The breakfast buffet includes Saint Nick's scrambled eggs, Rudolph's breakfast potatoes, Jack Frost's crabcake Benedict, Tiny Tim's mini yogurt parfaits, Mrs. Claus' cinnamon swirl French toast, Blitzen's apple cinnamon crepes, Prancer's smoked salmon, assorted holiday cookies and more. $30 for adults, $20 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 2 and younger, tax and gratuity not included. Reservations required.
Chessie's Restaurant: 200 Applebee St., Barrington, (847) 382-5020 or chessies-restaurant.com/menu/chessies-santa-breakfast-graphic-2017/. From 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16, enjoy visiting with Santa in a vintage 1927 dining car while nibbling on a special buffet breakfast. Take pictures with Santa Claus and enjoy face painting and music by the Barrington Suzuki Strings. $10. Reservations required.
The Clubhouse: 298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 472-0600 or theclubhouse.com/brunch-with-santa-2017. Santa Claus is coming to The Clubhouse during the holidays to share Sunday brunch with families. Seatings are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24. $39.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and younger. Reservations required.
Ditka's: 2000 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, (847) 496-3800 or ditkasrestaurants.com/. Santa will be heading to Ditka's in Arlington Heights for Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16-17. The brunch buffet wouldn't be complete without a photo with Mr. Claus. $29.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids, and free for kids 4 and younger. For reservations, call (847) 496-3800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drury Lane: 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 530-8300 or drurylane.com/dining/special-events/. Taste holiday favorites like eggnog, signature homemade doughnuts and hand-carved prime rib while catching up with Jolly Old St. Nick at Drury Lane's Christmas Brunch with Santa. Reservations are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Take photos in front of the 20-foot Christmas tree before seeing the musical "42nd Street." $50 for adults, $16 for kids 6-12, $10 for kids 3-5, and free for kids 2 and younger.
Egg'lectic Cafe: 145 N. Hale St., Wheaton, (630) 690-9001, and 221 Town Square, Wheaton, (630) 260-9001, egglecticcafe.com/. Meet Santa during a Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the downtown Wheaton location. Santa also will be on hand for breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Town Square location. Call for reservations.
Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center: 3500 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, (630) 850-5555 or oakbrookhillsresortchicago.com/. The Jolly Old Elf will make an appearance to talk to kids and families and take photos at the annual Brunch with Santa, this year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and 17. Kids will have plenty to do, including cookie decorating and an arts and craft activity. For brunch, the expanded menu includes peppermint pancakes, Christmas tree waffles with toppings (whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate chips and syrup), honey citrus turkey with maple gravy, a ham-carving station with pineapple and cranberry chutney, made-to-order omelets, braised short ribs, fresh sliced fruit, holiday-themed desserts, and a hot cocoa station with marshmallows, chocolate, sprinkles, whipped cream, caramel, cinnamon and peppermint. $43.95 for adults, $18.95 for kids 5-13 and free for kids younger than 5. Tickets include brunch, kids' activities and tax and gratuity. Make reservations at eventbrite.com/e/brunch-with-santa-tickets-39564578720?aff=ehomecard.
Hotel Arista: 2139 City Gate Lane, Naperville, (630) 579-4100. Mr. Claus will be heading to Hotel Arista for Breakfast with Santa Sunday, Dec. 17. Seatings are at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and noon and 1:30 p.m. Take photos with Santa while enjoying a breakfast buffet. $49.95 for adults, $23.95 for kids 5-12 and free for kids 4 and younger. Make reservations at email@example.com.
Hotel Baker: 100 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-2100 or hotelbaker.com/breakfast-with-santa-2017/. Have a jolly time with St. Nick at Hotel Baker's Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Nosh on eggs Benedict, pancakes, sausage, assorted pastries, fruits, juices, coffee and more. $24 for adults, $19 for kids 3-13 and free for kids younger than 3. Reservations requested.
Magnolia Cafe & Bakery at Lambs Farm: 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, (847) 362-5050 or lambsfarm.org/marquee-events/breakfast-with-santa/. Share brunch with Santa Claus at seatings at 9, 10:30 and noon Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17. Kids can make a picture frame, decorate a gingerbread man, make sand art ornaments and more, plus take a picture with Santa. $16.95, $7.95 for kids younger than 2. Reservations required.
Morton Arboretum: 4100 Route 53, Lisle, (630) 725-2066 or mortonarb.org/events/breakfast-santa. Breakfast with Santa has been filling up quickly this year. As of press time, there's only one date with openings: 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. Meet Santa in Ginkgo Restaurant in the Visitor Center from 9 to 11 a.m. where he will visit with the children, take photos and hand out holiday cookies. The breakfast includes Stuffed Stockings (strawberry and cream cheese-stuffed French toast), North Pole Scramble (scrambled eggs), Prancer's Potato Hay (hashed browns), Lovely Branches (apple wood smoked bacon), Naughty and Nice Brisket (smoked beef brisket hash with mushrooms and potatoes) and Tucked Snuggly (all-beef franks wrapped in puff pastry). $37 for members, $42 for nonmembers; kids 3-12: $32 for members, $36 for nonmembers; free for kids younger than 3.
Pheasant Run Resort: 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6300 or pheasantrun.com/breakfast-with-santa.aspx. Have Breakfast with Santa in the New Orleans Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Kids can decorate cookies and leave their lists with the man in the red suit. After brunch, take a walk through Bourbon Street to see the Christmas Light Spectacular presented by iPANiC Escape Rooms. The buffet costs $24.95 (not including tax and service charge) for adults, $12.95 for kids 5-12 and free for kids 4 and younger. Reservations requested.
Pinstripes: 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323 or pinstripes.com/. Santa will be visiting suburban Pinstripes during brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3 and 10, to hear wish list requests and to snap photos. During the buffet, indulge in made-to-order waffles, carved prime rib, omelets, smoked salmon, bagels, shrimp, flatbreads, a salad bar and a Kids Corner with chicken fingers, mac and cheese and more. Don't miss the chocolate fountain, cheesecake, brownies, cookies, marshmallows and fresh fruit. $30 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, free for kids 5 and younger. Mimosas are $4 and Bloody Marys cost $7. Call for reservations.
Rainforest Cafe: 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee, (847) 855-7800, and D121 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, (847) 619-1900. rainforestcafe.com/. Bring the kids to see Santa while diving in to a buffet breakfast that includes omelets, sausages, pancakes, fruit, muffins, doughnuts and more. The Gurnee event runs from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. The Schaumburg breakfasts are 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 16-17, and Saturday, Dec. 23. For the kids, there will be crafts, story time, visiting Cha-Cha the Tree Frog with Santa, plus raffles, prizes and goody bags. Gurnee: $18.89 for 11 and older, $13.30 for kids 4-10, and free for kids younger than 3. Schaumburg: $20.41 for 11 and older, $14.67 for kids 4-10, and free for kids 3 and younger. Reservations required.
Shaw's Schaumburg: 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722 or shawscrabhouse.com/. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Santa will be on hand at Shaw's Schaumburg to take photos and visit with kids and families. The full Shaw's Crab House brunch will be happening at the same time, featuring traditional breakfast items, shellfish and seafood stations and a sweets table. Nosh on Christmas cookies, plus get in line for the build-your-own hot chocolate bar. In the spirit of giving, diners are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy in its original packaging for Toys for Tots. For every toy donated, receive $10 (up to $50 total) in givebacks. Brunch is $45 for adults, $10 for kids 7-12, and free for kids 6 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Steak + Vine: 37 S. La Grange Road, La Grange, (708) 579-0520 or steakandvine.com/. Meet St. Nick at the Santa Brunch, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. Photos with Santa are free and guests are encouraged to bring their own camera. Menu items include eggs Benedict with two poached eggs, Canadian bacon, English muffin, breakfast potatoes and hollandaise sauce ($11); and Pound Cake French Toast with strawberry jam and fresh whipped cream ($10). Children's brunch menu items include pancakes and bacon ($6); and waffles with fresh strawberry jam ($6). Reservations are recommended.
Wheatstack: 5900 S. Route 53, Lisle, (630) 968-1920, option 2, or wheatstacklisle.com/. The whole family is invited to meet Santa at Wheatstack's Brunch with Santa. Seating begins at 9:30 a.m. Sundays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. Fill up on made-to-order omelettes, French toast and maple syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy, breakfast potatoes, mini muffins, lemon chicken, pasta, fruit, a chocolate fountain and more. Don't forget your camera. $19 for adults, $13 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and younger. Reservations required.