Winter WonderFest

Done. Ready For Next Year.

After nearly two weeks of re-organization, our Ivan Carlson Elves had not only re-organized & re-prepped everything, but we also tackled designing the theme trees for NEXT year’s Winter WonderFest. Whoo-hoo!!! The decorations for each theme tree are packed up, stacked on skids, wrapped, labeled and waiting for another year. Kinda like the scene at • Read More »

It’s Not Quite Over Yet…

The holidays may have come & gone… but our work at Winter WonderFest is not quite over yet. After weeks of giggling children playing throughout Festival Hall, it was finally time to take everything down again. We had a couple days of careful strike & deconstruction Our team of Elves promptly moved into “organization mode.” • Read More »

An Annual Favorite From Around The World

It’s a yearly tradition for Santas From Around The World to make an appearance at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest. This year eight Santas from eight different countries were featured. Special thanks to our favorite milliner & costume maker Laura Whitlock for her help in making our Santas look incredible. We love having Laura as part • Read More »

Getting Into The Holiday Swing

New this year down at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest is a chilly miniature golf course in the Lobby area for the kids to play… and their parents too. A frozen golf course complete with polar bears, penguins, igloos & reindeer. Families are encouraged stop by the Pro Shop to grab their foam golf clubs and • Read More »

Not Your Normal Christmas Trees

The Ivan Carlson Elves have been working hard getting ready for the holidays. And for the fourteenth year, we we thrilled to again be part of the magic at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest. One our favorite design challenges every year is coming up with thirty different theme trees. Each year, we re-design & re-employ the • Read More »

Mayor Burl Evergreen

The Mayor has decreed… Winter WonderTown is open! Yep, Mayor Burl Evergreen has declared that Winter WonderTown is open to children of all ages. Stroll through the quaint holiday town and interact with all of the festive residents. Meet the Mayor, sing with strolling carolers, or even do some calisthenics at the gym. But by • Read More »

Take A Ride On Reindeer Express

While playing at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, children of all ages have the chance to take a leisurely train ride aboard “The Reindeer Express.” Travel through a cute village of shops to see what’s going on “up North.” The kids even get to ride around Santa’s House, exit through the Train Depot and then sit • Read More »

Winter WonderFest Opens Today !!!

After months of planning, prepping & decorating… Winter WonderFest officially opens to the public today! Make plans today for a trip to Navy Pier with the kids. They’ll love all of the activities that await them in Festival Hall. A full size ice skating rink, full-size amusement park rides, rock climbing walls, a new tubing • Read More »

Let The Games Begin…

Today was the first day of installation at Navy Pier for this year’s Winter WonderFest. Not much holiday cheer in the room yet… but give us another eight days to make it all come to life! If you look closely, you can just about see some of our skids of ornaments piled up & waiting • Read More »

A New Theme Coming Together…

Christmas at Winter WonderFest is not always “traditional.” Many of the trees are decorated with wacky themes, witty concepts and timely pop culture references. As plans are being made & ornaments are being sorted & allocated, one of our Holiday Elves came up with this brilliant plan for a trio of trees. It’s a holiday • Read More »