A Little Time and a Keyboard: 2023 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

2023 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

Monday, November 27, 2023

2022 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

Holiday Light Shows and Awesome Home Displays in the Chicago Suburbs 2023

Holiday light shows and displays sparkle magically throughout the Chicago suburbs every year! This year promises to be one of the most brilliant yet, so be sure to catch some of these 2023 Chicago suburban holiday light shows (please note I will be updating this list as more information becomes available):

Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs:

Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden now through January 7, 2023; Lightscape has returned for the 5th season complete with new designs, old favorites, and reimagined experiences. Tickets go fast. So, purchase them soon!

Illumination Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, now-January 6, 2023. 
 Enjoy interactive holiday cheer along 1-mile hiking path where you will see the Arboretum's trees highlighted with lights and music as you have never seen them before! See website for more details and tickets. 

Santa's Rock N Lights, Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake -- Now through December 31, 2023 enjoy Chicago's longest running, synchronized drive-through light show. See website for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets may be purchased online only. 

Willow Hill Lights, Northbrook, drive-through light event featuring over a million lights, ongoing through January 6, 2024 starting at 5PM nightly. Currently, there is a promotion for a free flatbread at Pinstripes when you order tickets.

November 17 - December 31 Christmas Lights Show, Sonny Acres Farm, West Chicago

Be sure to check the Road Trip section below to see some additional nearby displays in Wisconsin!

All Aglow at Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, November 25-January 7; beautiful free outdoor light display in the outdoor gardens, donations appreciated. The stars and candy cane displays have been loving crafted by the staff!

Holiday Magic, more than 2 million lights will dazzle visitors during Brookdale Zoo's 42nd year of Holiday Magic, November 24-26, 30 December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-23, 26-31, see website for more info on ticketing, times and prices, must reserve tickets. This is the longest running show in the area! There will be interactive displays, ice carving, roaming carolers, and more.

Festival of Lights Cosley Zoo, Wheaton; November 24 -December 30 (closed Christmas Day), AM-9PM, 9AM-12PM December 24. Pick up your fresh Christmas trees and garland at the Christmas sale! Light displays interspersed with animal exhibits will decorate the zoo. 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 24 - December 25, 5PM-9PM, free but donations accepted.

North School Park, Arlington Heights, November 24 - early January, free!

Holiday Lights Lilacia Park, Lombard, December 2-January 1, enjoy a winding path through magical light displays in the park. Daily 4:30PM-10PM. See website for info on Santa visits. The tree lighting is on December 2. December 17 5PM-7PM is Polar Express Night - all participants receive a bell when they visit Santa.

McCormick House and Garden: Lights and Music December 1-23 at Cantigny Park features dazzling light displays throughout the garden. The first floor of the historic McCormick Mansion will be decorated. New ice rink. Pop-up attractions certain days. $10 parking, $15 per adult, $5 per child. Tuesdays-Saturday. Tickets available online.

Naper Lights -- Thanksgiving - New Years, enjoy wandering through light displays on Water St.

Sparkle Light Festival, Rosemont, through December 31, Impact Field, walk through light displays, two story ice slide, train, ice skating, more, general admission $24 pp for 13+, $18 ages 2-12, see website for tix and more options. The Alpine Ice Slide is a separate fee.

Lights Around Wheeling, starts November 19

Goebbert's Winter Wonderland, Pingree Grove, November 23 - January, Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 5PM-10PM, Fridays & Saturdays 5PM-11PM, not open Mondays and Tuesdays until 12/18, $25/car, online tix required

Larsen Drive Up Light Show November 23 - January, Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 5PM-10PM, Fridays & Saturdays 5PM-11PM, not open Mondays and Tuesdays until 12/18, $30/car, online tix required

Festival of Lights Show, The Promenade, Bolingbrook, through December 31, tree lights will dance to music at 5PM, 6PM, 7PM, 8PM and 9PM, run time about 20 minutes.

Kohlights, Kohl's Children's Museum, Glenview, Dec 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, interactive outdoor display, with indoor experiences, $37 per person, $15 off for members, must purchase timed entry tickets

Winter Wonderland at Usher Park in Itasca,  free

Night of Lights, Adams Park, Wheaton, through 1/7/24

Illuminated at Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, open Thursday-Sunday November 30-December 10, Daily December 14-30 (closed Christmas Day), 5PM-8:30PM, Non-Member:  Adult $13 | Senior $12 | Student & Military $11 | Five & Under FREE
Basic Member: $8 | Premium Member:  FREE

Impressive Home Displays

    Rolling Meadows-Schaumburg-Elk Grove Village-Elmhurst
    Carol Stream-Hanover Park-Roselle
    Elgin-South Elgin-Gilberts-South Barrington-Streamwood
    Libertyville-Mundelein- Lake Forest
    Lombard-Villa Park
    Fox River Grove-Cary-Crystal Lake
    Wheeling-Buffalo Grove-Palatine-Hainesville
    Arlington Heights - Mount Prospect
  • Check Vail Ave and Highland Ave between Lillian-Maude-Thomas, lots of houses and consider adding on Thomas and North Chestnut nearby in Arlington Heights
  • Near downtown after checking out downtown lights head to the Sigwalt/S Vail intersection, some nice houses on South Vail in Arlington Heights
  • 823 N Walnut in Arlington Heights
  • Mount Prospect Holiday House Decorating Contest -- on a map
    Antioch - Lindenhurst
    Lemont-Homer Glen


Road Trip Ideas

Christmas Holiday Lights Tour in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, December 12-26. Pull up Pleasant Prairie's online map of dazzling home holiday light displays, sip some hot cocoa and enjoy a holiday light tour. Vote for your favorites! Winners will be announced on December 30. This is a free, fun and festive tour!

    Jerry Smith Holiday Light Walk in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the farm is decorated with light displays, November 24-December 17, Santa visits on weekends, live reindeer, a cozy fire, s'more kits and more, open daily 5PM-9PM, $7 pp above age of 2.

      Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights in Caledonia, Southeastern Wisconsin's largest light show; November 18-January 1 enjoy 2 million lights over a 1.6 mile drive through path, $30 for passenger car, $45 for large passenger van, $55 for limo/camper, must reserve tickets online, add-ons available. Rent a sleigh on certain days. Golf cart rental also 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. Trolley tours are free for guests and $10 pp for nonguests. They fill up, so reserve a spot soon.

          Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville is back for its 27th year! November 26-December 30 on certain days -- November 30 - December 3, 7-10, 14-23, 26-30. Stroll through a magical wonderland of over 1.5 million lights including themed light displays and animations! Check website for latest details and to purchase tickets. $12 per person ages 13+; $5 per person ages 3-12; 2 and under free.

            47th Annual Lake Geneva Electric Christmas Parade, December 2 5:00PM, down Broad and Main St.

            2023 Holiday Light Shows in the Chicago Suburbs Including Large Scale and Awesome Home Displays

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