The Christmas Lights Road Trip Around Chicago That’s Nothing Short Of Magical

For the best Christmas light displays in Chicago, follow this road map! Whether you live out in the suburbs or deep in the Loop, there is something on this list for you. If you want to stay in the city, skip the first two locations, but if you’re ready for a full day (or maybe even a weekend) of holiday fun, these are your must-stop spots. Read on for all the festive details about the best-ever ways to celebrate winter in Illinois:

While you’re exploring the city, you’ll need someplace to eat. Try one of these eight lesser-known Chicago restaurants.

Which of the best Christmas lights displays in Chicago do you love most? Share your favorites with us!

Address: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513, USA
Address: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Address: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 5700 S DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60637, USA

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Best Christmas Lights Near Chicago

October 13, 2022

What are some of the best Christmas towns near Chicago?  

There are plenty of delightful little Christmas towns in Illinois to go around. No matter which part of the state you’re from, there’s probably one or two nearby (at least). About an hour away is the town of Elburn, which is famous for one incredible house that goes all-out every year: it’s the amazing Larsen’s Light Show, and it’s become a holiday tradition for Chicago residents to go delight in. Rochelle is also within two hours drive from Chicago, and it’s one of our favorite small towns in Illinois all year – but ESPECIALLY at Christmas, when everything’s just a little more magical than usual.  

What is Christmas in Chicago like?  

Christmas in Chicago is such a delightful, magical time. You can check out all sorts of fabulous Christmas light displays in Chicago and head to a fun-filled, family-friendly holiday festival. Everyone seems a little nicer – a little happier – these days, and Chicago seems to be the epicenter of happy holidays in Illinois. Every corner and nook is decorated, and when there’s a layer of fresh snow on it all, it’s just that much more awe-inspiring. Well… unless we get too much snow like we’ve done a few times during historic winter storms in Illinois.  

Where can I see the best Christmas lights near Chicago? 

Each and every year, Chicago loves going all-in for the holidays. There are lots of wonderful Christmas lights near Chicago to wonder at and admire, many of which are annual traditions. Some of our favorites include ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo, which features more than two million sparkling lights and all the enchantment you could ever hope for. The City of Chicago Christmas Tree is nothing short of pure magic, and we also can’t get enough of the annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival downtown. Chicago Botanic Garden hosts Lightscape every year, and you can’t miss the Menorah lighting in Daley Plaza!  

Address: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513, USA
Address: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
Address: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 5700 S DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60637, USA

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.