The 8 Best Holiday Lights Displays in Chicago

Addison Aloian | December 8, 2020 | Culture Holiday Latest

Chicago Christmas Lights

In a year that has been bleak to say the least, the holiday season offers a welcome chance to brighten up. Travel may still be discouraged, but with Christmas and Hanukkah lights spread across this great city, there's plenty of safe ways to spread holiday cheer.

Decorating for the holidays is one of the best ways to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, right next to special Christmas and Hanukkah feasts and gifts.

If you want to see the lights in Chicago but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered with this list of the eight best places to view holiday lights in the city. Don’t miss out on this chance to make your 2020 a little brighter. Visit one or all of the locations below!

See also: 20 Virtual And Socially Distanced Events For A Very Merry Chicago Christmas

1. Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532 | Website

The Morton Arboretum’s holiday lights are enjoyed as a 20 to 30-minute driving experience. It's an unparalleled spectacle of color, light and music unlike anything you’ve ever seen. There will be five newly-designed displays lining the Arboretum’s magnificent trees, so you won’t want to miss out on this experience. Tickets can be purchased online for showings now through Jan. 3, 2021.

2. Holiday in the Park Lights

1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031 | Website

Calling all theme park lovers – Six Flags Great America is back at it with their walk-through light extravaganza, Holiday in the Park! Along with the lights display, there will also be shows, holiday-themed photo ops and many delicious treats to try. Tickets can be bought online, while the event runs through Dec. 30.

3. Macy’s on State Street

111 N. State St. | Website

Macy’s on State Street prides itself on beautifully-lit holiday windows and over the top indoor decorations, including a whole Christmas tree display. Peruse the lights and windows for free, then pick up some gifts for the family.

4. Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light at Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S Lake Shore Dr. | Website

If you’re looking to stay inside to keep your family safe but still want to see lights this holiday season, never fear! The Museum of Science and Industry will host two livestream tours of its lights on Friday, Dec. 18 at 3:30 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 24 at 4:30 p.m. Each tour is 45 minutes long and free to enjoy!

See also: 22 Luxury Stocking Stuffers

5. City of Chicago Christmas Tree - Millennium Park

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Michigan Ave. & Washington St. | Website

A Christmas classic, you can’t miss out on seeing Chicago's official Christmas tree in Millennium Park. This year, the City of Chicago hopes the tree will “provide a bright spot in what has been a trying time for all.” The display will be up until Jan. 7, 2021, so don’t miss out!

6. Aurora Festival of Lights

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1000 Ray Moses Dr., Aurora, IL 60505 | Website

The annual Festival of Lights in Aurora is open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. This outdoor, drive-through holiday light festival will dazzle the whole family and run through Dec. 27.

7. Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513 | Website

Brookfield Zoo provides fun for the whole family at their annual lights event, Holiday Magic. Open on weekends, plan your visit for Dec. 9 to 13, Dec. 16 to 20, or Dec. 26 to 31 from 3 to 9 p.m. Timed tickets are required for entry and can be bought online, so make sure to purchase them right away in order to see the lights, play holiday games and even meet Santa!

8. Let It Shine Drive-Thru Lightshow

1515 Lake Cook Rd., Northbrook, IL 60062| Website

Another drive-through lights festival, Let It Shine features a gorgeous set of lights and music that will make your holidays jolly. Tickets are required and must be bought online before you leave your house. Hours of operation are 4:30 to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 4:30 to 11 p.m. on weekends, so you will have plenty of time to visit.

See also: The 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Chicago



Photography by: Anadolu Agency