A Little Time and a Keyboard: 2020 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

Sunday, October 25, 2020

2020 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

2020 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

2020 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

Holiday lights will dazzle us this year although festivities will be slightly different than in the past. I have been working on putting together a list of holiday light shows, holiday light experiences and home holiday light displays in the Chicago Suburbs. I will be continuing to up date this post as details become available because this year is all about being flexible and changes keep coming. However, I wanted to provide you with a list that included options where you will need to purchase advance tickets so you can order them it time. Enjoy this festive list and look for updated throughout the season!

Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs:

  • Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden November 13-January 3; this year's walk through light show event will feature displays designed by Chicago area artists! Enjoy old favorites and new delights! Procedures are in place to keep us safe while enjoying the fantastic displays. See website for ticket info and pricing. This will fill up, so reserve soon! **Event is Sold Out.**
  • Let It Shine Drive Thru Light Show at Northbrook Court, November 15-January 9; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas; light installations synchronized to music, $29.99-$39.99; fast pass can be added on for $15; see website for more more information and tickets.
  • Illumination Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, November 20-January 3. This year's event is reimagined and will be a festive drive through experience including old favorite displays and new spectacular displays. New displays will be highlighting the woods in delightful and innovative ways. Synchronized lights, music and more will be featured. Ticket amounts vary, so check online. For the first year ever, the show will be open Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve AND New Year's Day. Tickets will go fast, so reserve yours soon.
Crown of Light Display during Illumination. Image courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.
Crown of Light Display during Illumination. Image courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.

  • Santa's Rock N Lights, Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake, drive through light show of nearly 1000 elements, November 20 - January 3; 4:45PM-11PM, see website for more information and to purchase tickets.
  • Festival of Lights Parade, Crystal Lake, November 27 7PM-8PM, holiday lights on parade!
  • All Aglow at Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, November 27-January 6; standard admission rates apply; reserve advance tickets; indoor and outdoor gardens will be aglow with holiday splendor!
  • Stroll on State in Rockford; to accommodate the times, Rockford's Stroll on State will be extended over the period of November 28-December 24, decorations will be brighter and bigger than ever. Events will be both online and in town, so see what is in store!
  • Holiday Magic, Brookfield Zoo will delight visitors in its 39th year of Holiday Magic with more than one million lights, a gnome hunt and more, November 27-29, December 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 26-31, see website for more info on ticketing, times and prices, must reserve tickets.
  • Festival of Lights Cosley Zoo Wheaton; November 27-December 30 (closed Christmas Day), fresh Christmas trees and garland for sale, the event will be different than past years to keep everyone safe but just as festive, see website for more info, event is free and donations are very much appreciated.
  • Holiday Festival of Lights, Phillip's Park Zoo, Aurora, Northern Illinois' largest drive-thru display, November 27 - December 26 free but donations accepted.
  • North School Park, Arlington Heights, November 24-early January, free!
  • Holiday Tree Trail St. Charles November 28 - December 24 (at least), come and see trees decorated by community members, November 28 also includes the window decorating contest, holiday events in St. Charles are different than in years past.
  • Holiday Lights Lilacia Park, Lombard, December 5-January 3, magical array of musical lights, check website for more details AND how the park district will be keeping visitors safe while having fun.
  • Naper Lights -- downtown Naperville 4PM-9PM through January 9 (already on)
  • Willow Creek Wonderland Walk, South Barrington, 10 miles of lights on 55 structures, free but you must register to maintain safe numbers, December 1-24
Lilacia Park in Lombard full of holiday cheer!
Lilacia Park in Lombard full of holiday cheer!
  • Incredible Light Show, Randhurst Village, Mt. Prospect, starts December -7-14, free, animated projection light show, runs every half hour 6PM-8PM, see website for more special events and Santa and Ms. Claus visits
  • Rosemont Holiday Lights: Holiday Light Displays including 80,000 lights in Rosemont -- verify these are up first
  • Lights Around Wheeling, Wheeling really has some great lights during the holiday season, this year's display opens on November 22, check out the website for more info on a festive drive you can take
  • Goebbert's Winter Wonderland, Pingree Grove, November - January, Sundays - Thursdays (Closed Mondays) 5PM-10PM, Fridays & Saturdays 5PM-11PM, check website for updates as details are ironed out
  • Festival of Lights Show, The Promenade, Bolingbrook, November 8 - December 31, tree lights will dance to music at 5PM, 6PM, 7PM, 8PM and 9PM 
  • Mooseheart Lights, Mooseheart, November 27-December 31, 5PM-9PM, 1.8 miles drive thru, $20 per car suggested donation, no exchange of money, see website for more info and verify that event is still happening, there is a special day where you can ride your horse on November 24 for $20 per rider and horse -- must RSVP -- see website
  • Christmas Walk Geneva December 4-6: chestnuts roasting, carriage rides and more; December 12-13: carriage riders, carolers December 19-20 cocoa crawl (need to purchase tickets ahead), carriage rides, lights aglow starting at 5PM
  • Kohlights, Kohl's Children's Museum, Glenview, December 11-13, 18-23, 26-31, Jan 1-3, preview Dec 4-6, no touch interactive outdoor display, $25 per person, $22 per person for preview, $5 off for members, must purchase timed entry tickets
  • Holiday in the Park Lights at Six Flags, 3 million sparkling lights, November 27-December 31, $19.99 per person or free if you buy season passes for next year, must reserve tickets ahead of time
Impressive Home Displays


Waterfall Lights at Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape. Image courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.
Waterfall Lights at Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape. Image courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

Holiday Light Show will dazzle at Janesville's Rotary Botanical Gardens. Image credit Tom Rife Photography.
Holiday Light Show will dazzle at Janesville's Rotary Botanical Gardens.
Image credit Tom Rife Photography.


Road Trip

  • Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights in Caledonia, Southeastern Wisconsin's largest light show; November 21-December 31 enjoy 2 million lights over a 1.6 mile drive through path, $25 for passenger car, $35 for large passenger van, $45 for limo/camper, must reserve tickets online, add-ons available.
  • Christmas in the Country at Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva Wisconsin, indoor and outdoor light displays, gingerbread house contest, free, there are other events associated so check the website, this year trolley tours are only for resort guests, likewise Illumination on November 22 is only for guests, see website for more info
  • Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, November 27-December 30 on certain days -- November 27-29, December 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30. Enjoy a wonderland of 750,000 twinkling lights in magically scaped Rotary Botanical Gardens! Details are still being ironed out, so check website for latest details and to purchase tickets when available. $10 per person ages 13+; $5 per person ages 3-12; 2 and under free.
  • 45th Annual Lake Geneva Electric Parade, December 5 5:30PM-7:30PM, redesigned parade where floats are stationary and people walk or drive through
2020 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays


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