2021 Chicagoland Holiday Light Displays
Welcome to your go to guide for Holiday Light Displays in the Chicagoland area!
The holiday season is upon us and with so much uncertainty, many people are planning farther ahead for their
holiday plans and winter fun. Make sure to buy tickets and pre-register as soon as you can
before tickets and time slots sell out!
Let It Shine: Drive Thru Holiday Light Show
- “Let It Shine is Chicagoland’s premier drive-thru Christmas light show experience. Guests are invited to safely stay in their cars and immerse themselves into a wonderland of light displays, all synchronized to fun holiday classics.”
- Aurora, Northbrook, Schaumburg
- **** One (1) Ticket Per Vehicle ****. Tickets can be purchased online only
- “Create memories that will last a lifetime at Amaze Light Festival located at Impact Field in Rosemont. Enjoy one of the largest holiday lighting events in the country, with spectacular themed light shows, festive music, and so much more. Don’t miss out on this truly amazing experience!”
- November 26th – January 2nd
- “Brighten the winter season with Chicagoland’s biggest indoor, temperature-controlled light garden, featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays; an Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, gift market, Merry Main Street Presented By Brach’s—and, of course, a visit with Santa. Nov. 26 through Jan. 2, in Festival Hall.”
- Best viewed on The Chicago Riverwalk between Wells and Lake St.
- “Our winter program will be shown nightly at 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. through December 30 featuring Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” After School Matters’ “Shaping the Future” and Ouchhh Studios’ “Harmonic AI.”
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
- “Now in our 40th year, get ready to visit Chicagoland’s longest-running lights festival featuring over two million twinkling LED lights!”
- Play the Game of Gnomes! Embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt in search of 24 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes, measuring 12 – 20 inches that will be located throughout the park.”
- Nov 26th – Jan 2nd
- Camp Big Timber in Elgin
- “Big Timber Brilliance is an illuminated winter trail walk. Celebrate the holidays on a trail featuring 10 light installations harmonizing light, music and nature. We invite you to bring your family and friends to experience the magic.”
Six Flags Great America: Holiday In The Park Lights!
- Select days November 26th – December 30th
- 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee
- The Holiday In The Park Lights experience will include:
- Over 3 million sparkling lights
- Continuous twinkling holiday light displays throughout our property
- Themed entertainment for open-air viewing such as holiday shows and character storytimes
- Special socially-distanced photo ops
- Delicious holiday treats and other exciting surprises
- Santa visit & mailbox, holiday fun house, roaming holiday characters
- The thrilling rides will be hibernating but the family rides will be operational!
- “Pick up your s’mores kit and get ready to toast some marshmallows at one of our fire pits throughout the park for the merriest and meltiest treat this side of the North Pole!”
- The Drive Thru Experience is available December 3rd – January 9th. Enjoy Holiday Park Lights from the comfort of your car!
Jack Frost Winter Walk Pop-Up & Christmas Tree Farm
- Goose Island Chicago. 1467 N. Elston Ave
- Dec 2nd – Jan 2nd
- “Jack’s Winter Walk & Christmas Tree Farm Pop-Up is located on over 2 acres of land in the historic Goose Island. Pick a perfect Christmas Tree, grab a memorable Instagrammable moment, or just get out of the house and get some fresh air on a perfect midwinter evening, as you get lost in the largest, and only, evergreen forest in downtown Chicago. In accordance with Chicago’s Department of Health Safety standards wearing a mask is always required, visits are limited to 1.5 hours and there is no food & beverage available for purchase.”
- 410 Veteran Memorial Drive, La Crosse Wisconsin
- “Nearly 160,000 visitors per year enjoy this holiday tradition while driving, walking or taking a carriage ride through Riverside Park. Santa will be in the park every night through December 23, again this year there will be no lap visits with Santa, however children will be able to talk to him like in 2020. A couple of Santa’s reindeer will be in the park through December 23. Stop by to see the Live Nativity on select nights. The ice rink and free skate rental will be available to use when the weather allows. Carriage rides will be available on select nights. Free s’mores will be available at the fire pit. This has been so popular we are adding a second pit! Helicopter rides will be offered again this year. New this year is All Abilities Night on November 29th. We will be adjusting the lights and music to accommodate individuals that may not have been able to experience the show in the past due to flashing lights and loud music. Events are on select nights, check out the Event Schedule for more details.
With over 3,000,000 lights, you can imagine the breadth and depth of this holiday display. And remember, it’s FREE.”
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum :
- “The ninth annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum returns as a walking experience. Explore 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees during this one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound. You will be awed and delighted to see returning favorites and surprising new sights, including a special Human+Nature display and an experience featuring 150 colorful lanterns. Journey along a one-mile paved walking path amid festive music and lighting effects that highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Along the route, warm up by a crackling fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores, or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage. Illumination will highlight the many gifts of trees: natural beauty, increased feelings of peace and calm, homes for wildlife, and the air we breathe.”
- Advance purchase is recommended as many nights will sell out. Please note that any ticket purchases made on-site during Illumination and Illumibrew will be credit card only.
- November 20th – January 2nd
Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden:
- November 12th – January 2nd
- “The popular holiday event is back, with a new path and exciting new delights! We’ve got inventive new installations and all your favorites too. Hum along to the melodic tunes of the singing trees. Surround yourself in the twinkling glow of the Winter Cathedral, and find new features that shine with all the colors imaginable. This holiday season, set a merry mood with friends and family. Book early to guarantee your preferred dates. Tickets sold out last year!”
- “ZooLights will feature hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of millions of illuminated lights, plus reduced capacity admission to keep your family safe.”
- “New this year: sensory-friendly visit times and an impressive 18-foot holiday tree sure to inspire festive oohs and aahs.”
- November 19th – January 2nd
- 4 – 10PM
- Tickets will cost $5 / guest (free admission on Mondays & Tuesdays)
Santa’s Village Magical Christmas Celebration
- “Enjoy over 2 million lights synchronized to holiday music, dazzling displays, live animals, and Santa himself as you drive through our park, all from the comfort of your car.
- At the end of your drive-thru experience, you’ll be able to purchase funnel cakes and hot chocolate while taking in the breathtaking view of our park.”
- Opens December 2nd!
- Grayslake, IL
- Nov 19th – Jan 2nd
- Online ticket purchase required.
- “Santa’s Rock N Lights is an animated drive-thru light show. You’re invited to experience the themed worlds of light including dinosaur world, over 700 feet of tunnels and a longer route.”
- 1350 Willow Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062
- “Willow Hill Golf Course is proud to present its first annual Willow Hill’s Winter Magic drive-thru Christmas lights event! This family holiday event features over one million lights adorning displays of characters (like snowmen and penguins), beautifully lit Christmas trees (50 of them!), drive through light tunnels, and so much more.
- We are open Nov 20th thru Jan 2nd, seven days a week from 4:30pm to 10:30pm. One ticket is good for one car-full, so load up the entire family for this one.”
- Harvest Tyme, Lowell Indiana
- Nov 26th – Dec 30th
- “Drive through our lighted display, surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights! Our one of a kind light display is over a half mile long and will be sure to make your Christmas season unforgettable.”
MSI: Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
- “It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof. This years theme is the golden age of travel!
- Purchase timed entry tickets for pictures with Santa and / or The Grand Tree!
- Open through January 9th!
- GOEBBERT’S PUMPKIN PATCH & APPLE ORCHARD: 42W813 Reinking Rd, Pingree Grove, IL 60140
- During the week (Monday-Thursday) you can purchase tickets at the gate or online by visiting our website. Weekends are online ticket sales only.
All Aglow: Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
- November 27th – January 9th
- 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford
“Celebrate the holidays at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens! Come see sparkling holiday lights in the outdoor gardens. The outdoor display features familiar favorites, light-wrapped trees and shrubs, as well as new surprises to discover. View elegant illuminated stars and 50 jumbo lighted candy canes, all hand-made by Conservatory staff. All in all, the outdoor grounds will have 300,000 lights, including many “glistening” lights, adding extra sparkle to the displays. Lights are on dusk to dawn. Park closes at 10:00 pm.”
This is a FREE event for the public, but donations are appreciated.
- November 26th – December 30th
- Open 9A-9P daily, with the last entry time at 8:30P; Christmas lights come on at 3PM
- 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton
- Advance reservations are not required.
Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park
- December 4th – January 3rd
- “Join Lombard Park District’s annual lighting celebration on December 4th in Lilacia Park! Charming holiday displays light up Lilacia Park with a magical array of animated light shows, decorated trees, a gingerbread house, and much more.”
- 150 South Park Ave., Lombard
- “Visitors can access the display from the Webster Street covered bridge, Main Street and Webster Street. Strollers can enjoy the outdoors with public parking is available in the Water Street and Municipal Center parking decks. Lights on Water Street tress will be synced to music, as will the arch on the Foyo Plaza, making a drive-through experience for individuals preferring to stay in their cars.”
- “The Celebration of Lights season is finally here! Hours will be from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and Sundays as well as from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and the week of the Christmas holiday. The display is free to view but donations are welcomed in order to ensure the display can continue and grow into the future! Come see the brightest Celebration yet at Rotary Park!”
- November 16th – New Years Day
- “Join us for our 12th Annual Holiday Lights display, opening on Friday, November 26th and running 5:00PM-9:00PM nightly through Friday, December 31st. Holiday Lights at Mooseheart is one of Chicagoland’s largest light displays! The lighted route is approximately 1.8 miles and has more than 80 lighted displays to view.”
- 240 W James J Davis Dr, Mooseheart, IL
- “One of the largest free outdoor drive-through holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Aurora Festival of Lights, returns for its 15th year in 2021 with even more dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children.”
- Phillips Park, Aurora, entrance is Smith Blvd at 5th Ave.
- November 26th – December 26th.
East Peoria Festival of Lights
- 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria
- Opens Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 25, 2021, and runs nightly through Sunday, January 2, 2022.
- 5 – 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (shorter lines)
- 5 – 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- 5 – 9 p.m. December 24 through January 2
- Admission is paid at entrance booth.
- “The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event! Folepi’s Winter Wonderland features the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted display.”
Shelbyville Festival of Lights
- East North 9th Street, Shelbyville
- “Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are also added. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. The Historical Chautauqua Building becomes a huge carousel. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa’s Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others. The lights have been changed to the new and brighter LEDs.”
- November 25th – Jan 2nd
- 42W891 Beith Rd, Campton Hills, IL 60119
- Monday to Thursday: 5-9:30 pm; Friday to Sunday: 5-10:00pm
- 371 Canyon Trail, Carol Stream
- Saturday December 4th – Sunday January 1st
- The lights run 4:30 – 10:00 Sunday – Thursday and 4:30 – 11:00 Friday and Saturday, weather permitting through January 1st
- “Bring your own beverages…
…for the vintage trolley ride! Cups will be provided on the trolley. As soon as we board a vintage trolley, we’ll be whisked off toward Christkindlmarket, The Magnificent Mile, State Street and Macy’s Holiday Windows, and the Christmas Tree at Millenium Park followed by a visit to Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights. We’ll have the chance to get off the trolley and explore the Christkindlmarket and ZooLights.While on the trolley we’ll listen to classic Christmas music, sing Mariah Carey and enjoy whatever beverages we brought!After soaking in the urban winter wonderland, we’ll head back to Matilda and rave about all the seasonal sparkles we just saw.”