If there’s just one thing that makes the bitter cold of a Chicago winter just a smidgen better, it’s how gorgeous she is all decked out for the holidays. We’ve scoured the city and gathered up all our favorite lights displays here!Less
The most wonderful time of the year deserves the most wonderful event of the year. For that, join Lincoln Park Zoo for their annual celebration of ZooLights. This one-of-a-kind, festive holiday experience offers a free, merry, family-oriented celebration of joy right in the heart of the city. ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights.
With more than 1 million twinkling LED lights, Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic is Chicagoland’s largest lights festival. In addition, it’s most likely the only place you’ll encounter a 41-foot talking tree. Besides the chatty evergreen, you’ll find a 20-foot-lit orb you can stand inside and snap a memorable holiday photo. Guests of all ages can play the Game of Gnome, a fun-filled scavenger hunt with 27 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes located throughout the park.
Wander into a festive world of wonder and light at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape. Along a 1.25-mile, one-way path, the night comes alive with color, imagination, and sound, from a playful choir of singing trees to a spectacular waterfall of light. At times, you’ll find yourself in the center of it all—stepping inside a cathedral of golden light, walking down an avenue of luminous linden trees, moving through colorful ribbons of light.
Returning for the tenth year is this crowd-pleasing dazzler at Morton Arboretum. “Illumination: Tree Lights” will dazzle visitors with its unparalleled spectacle of color, light, and synced musical soundtrack they won’t experience anywhere else.
Located on Naperville’s beautiful riverwalk, you’ll find the 9th Annual Naper Lights display. Lights on Water Street trees and the Foyo plaza will be synced to music with an enhanced sound system that will project music across the DuPage River.
Check out Chicago’s biggest holiday adventure, Navy Pier’s Light Up the Lake. This indoor, temperature-controlled experience features a sprawling light garden of large-scale sculptures comprised of more than 600,000 twinkling lights, a massive Alpine ice rink, authentic beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa’s Merry Main Street and gift market, and other family friendly and date-night activities.
What began in 1942 as a single tree, is now an international winter wonderland at Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light. The family is going to be enchanted by the trees and displays that are decorated to represent the rich multicultural heritage of Chicago. The crown jewel will be the floor-to-dome Grand Tree with 30,000 twinkling lights, sparkly ornaments and all of the trimmings. This year, The Art of the Brick exhibit is getting in on the action with new pieces as well.
Kids take charge in Kohl Children’s Museum’s holiday light display. Using glow stick learning wands, they can control and change the lights, so it’s a different lightacular experience every time. Your kids won’t even realize they’re learning while they play with light and color to create new hues and patterns.
Impact Field is transforming into the ultimate holiday destination with five illuminated villages with millions of sparkling lights, custom 3D holiday features, an ice tube slide, a holiday train adventure, festive fare, and more. Plus, there’s a Rudolph’s Kids Zone and Deck the Walls maze, both new this season.
Historic Downtown Long Grove invites holiday revelers to take a break from online shopping and rediscover the magic of the holiday season. Discover bright festive lights, quaint shops, old-world charms, and family memories. Organized by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association (HDLGBA), Vintage Holidays 2022 features light displays, merchant open houses, holiday music, horse-drawn sleigh rides and more!