Best Holiday Lights Displays in and around Chicago

It may only be October but with the way summer and fall activities were selling out, you better bookmark these holiday lights displays asap.

Better yet, buy those tickets NOW or you will regret it later.

Tickets to one of these would make a great gift but what a great date night or family night. I just can’t wait to take the kids and check this off our winter bucket list.

Here are the best of the best HOLIDAY LIGHTS DISPLAYS for 2020.

Morton Arboretum Illumination

November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021

Tickets on sale now for all guests

See trees in a different light at a reimagined Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. Designed with your safety in mind, this year’s new driving experience (30–40 minutes long) features an unparalleled spectacle of color, light, and music you won’t experience anywhere else. 

You will be delighted to see returning favorites reenvisioned, including Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder, and Crystal Promenade, and five newly designed sights displayed along a two-mile road among the Arboretum’s magnificent trees. Immerse yourself in a captivating tunnel of lights, an awe-inspiring magical woodland filled with dazzling color and starlike light, and a landscape filled with thousands of lights dancing to a musical soundtrack, all from the warmth of your car. 

Ticket prices are per car. 

Members: $39 peak night, $29 standard night 
Guests: $49 peak night, $39 standard night 
15 Person Passenger Van: $64 peak night, $54 standard night

Let It Shine, Northbrook Drive Thru Lights

Jason Cameron - Getty Images

Let It Shine is proud to present North Shore’s largest drive thru world of lights at Northbrook Court! Guests are invited to stay in their cars and immerse themselves in a wonderland of light displays that are synchronized to holiday classics. There’s no denying the holiday cheer as you cruise past dazzling archways, sparkling candy canes, glowing snowmen and more illuminated installations.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

Lincoln Park ZooLights and Its More Than Two Million Lights Are Back | WTTW  Chicago

Celebrate the holidays with us at ZooLights Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ! This one-of-a-kind, festive holiday experience offers a merry, family-oriented tradition in the heart of the city.

ZooLights will feature hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of millions of illuminated lights, plus reduced capacity admission to keep your family safe.


November 21–January 3

4–10 p.m.

$5 and for all ages

Lightscape at Botanical Gardens

Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden | Enjoy Illinois

Enter a captivating world of light, color, and sound in an all-new trail designed with your safety in mind. Bask in the glow of thousands of twinkling lights in favorites like the Cathedral of Light and new delights you’ve never seen before. Make new family holiday memories at Lightscape.

Book early to guarantee your preferred dates.

Ticket Prices

TicketsStandard member/nonmemberPremium member/nonmember
Child under 3FreeFree

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo

See the Dazzling Light Displays at Holiday Magic
* A brilliantly lit 600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music
A giant 20-foot-lit orb ideal for Instagram selfies and holiday photos
* A 41-foot-tall tree to celebrate the holidays
Larger-than-life LED animal sculptures of a bison, bear, and giraffe.

Play the Game of Gnomes
New this year, guests of all ages can play the Game of Gnomes. Embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt in search of 24 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes, measuring 12 – 20 inches that will be located throughout the park. Check the map for general locations. Happy hunting!

Decorated Trees
The zoo’s malls and Roosevelt Fountain are all decked out for the holidays, thanks to local community organizations and corporations that decorated 660 LED-lit trees with ornaments, many of them homemade.

Santa’s Rock N Lights Drive-Thru Light Show 

Lake County Fair Grounds
Chicago (Northwest Suburbs)
Tickets go on sale 10/20

Bigger Santa's Rock N Lights to return; Garden of Lights adds nights
  • Experience almost double the lights.
  • Over 700 feet of tunnels including our new techno rainbow tunnel.
  • Re-imagined layout with themed worlds of light including dinosaur world
  • Longer route in every location.
  • Socially distanced touch-free experience from the safety of your car tradition.

I am sure there are many more light show displays in and around Chicago but these are the ones that caught my eye. Comment below if you know of any other ones and I will be sure to add them.

Thank you and have a great holiday season!

About Author

Here is to honest motherhood, fun family adventures and parenting challenges. I can be sassy, moody and sarcastic but all with good intentions. Stick around and let's have fun together.

x, Dijana

(1) Comment

  1. […] displays. Our neighborhood really outdid themselves this year. But there are so many free and paid drive thru lights that are spectacular as well. I just can’t get […]

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