Best Christmas Lights in the Western Suburbs of Chicago!

Gather up the family and get in the holiday spirit by visiting some of the merriest Christmas light displays around the Western suburbs of Chicago!  Our family is a little bit Christmas crazy, and we just can’t get enough of these festive events!  Bundle up, grab some hot cocoa and enjoy!

 Aurora Festival of Lights

Presented by the Rotary Club and City of Aurora, this more than one-mile free drive through display is sure to delight all ages!

When: Day after Thanksgiving through the day after Christmas

Times: Fri & Sat 5-10pm, Sun-Thurs 5-9pm

Admission: FREE (but Rotary Club is accepting donations for local charities)

Where:  Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora, IL

 Holiday Lights at Mooseheart

This is a must see!  Not only do you get to enjoy the 1.8 mile lighted route with more than 80 lighted displays to view, you might also have the chance to visit with Santa and enjoy cookies & hot chocolate on certain evenings!  Please know that all admission proceeds will be directed to Mooseheart’s operation budget and provide for the high quality residential care and academic/vocational training that our children need. This includes food, clothing, shelter, books, computers and recreational activities.

When: November 24 – December 31st

Times: 5:00pm – 9:00pm 

Admission: $10 per car (yes it’s worth it, and proceeds support Mooseheart!)

Where: Mooseheart Child City & School, Inc., Mooseheart, IL 60539

The entrance to Mooseheart is on IL Route 31, two miles north of I-88 marked by a flashing yellow warning light.


 Cosley Zoo Festival of Lights & Tree Sales

Who has 20,000 lights, animals, hot chocolate, Christmas tree sales, and holiday gifts?  Cosley Zoo, that’s who!  Feel the love while walking around enjoying the displays and visiting with the animals!

When:  November 24 – December 30 

Times: Zoo Hours 9am-9pm daily, lights come on at 3:00pm

Admission: Free but donations are greatly appreciated!

Where: Cosley Zoo 1356 North Gary Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187


 Promenade Bolingbrook - Festival of Lights

Get your shopping done and enjoy 250,000 LED lights sparkling and dancing to music every night! 16 songs make each show different!

When:  November 12 - December 31

Times: Shows on the hour from 5-9pm (last show starts at 9:00)

Admission: Free

Where: 631 East Boughton Rd. Bolingbrook, IL 60440


 Holiday Magic – Brookfield Zoo

We have been members of the Brookfield Zoo for 18 years since our daughter was born!  I’m pretty sure we’ve visited Holiday Magic every year! Now she is at SIU studying Zoology! My two cents…get to the zoo by midafternoon to avoid the 4pm rush, enjoy the animals, get a bite to eat, and then be amazed at the more than 1 million twinkling LED lights, ice carvers, carolers, and much more!  We love it and I know your family will love it too!

When: Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, and Tuesday-Sunday, 26-31  

Times: Zoo open 10:00am – 9:00pm, festivities begin at 4:00pm

Admission: Free for Zoo members (best deal if you will visit the zoo more than once per year)

Adults: $19.85 ($18.85 online)
Seniors 65 and Over: $14.50 ($13.50 online)
Children 3 to 11: $14.50 ($13.50 online)

Save $1 per ticket when you order online!

Tickets must be used within a 12-month period.

Where: Brookfield Zoo 8400 31st St. (1st Ave. & 31st St. Brookfield, IL)


 Lehnertz Avenue in Aurora

This is a very unique and lovely story of a residential community in Aurora. My family will be visiting for the first time this year! describes the Lehnertz Ave story as follows….After WWII soldiers returned to the US to build their homes and their families. Upon their return this community committed themselves to leave a legacy to their children that included the biblical Christmas story. This drive-through display where residents each display a part of the original Christmas story includes lights, sound and all the biblical characters: wise men, camels, shepherds, sheep and manger scene. Peanuts characters with Charlie Brown follow on Lehnertz Circle. All lighted and all free! (Lehnertz is recognized as the oldest, totally free traditional Christmas display in Illinois.) Crib Blessing scheduled 6:30 pm on the second Sunday of December. Enter Lehnertz Avenue via Sheridan Street, follow through Lehnertz Circle and exit via Ohio Street. 

When:  December 9th – January 1st

Times: 5pm – 10:30pm Daily

Admission: Free drive through event

Where: Lehnertz Ave. & Lehnertz Circle in Aurora


 Naperville Trolley & Tours – December Holiday Light Tours

This long time Naperville family owned business has been providing trolley tours for years!  The Holiday Light Tours offer multiple times and a choice of the 1 hour Southern Tour or 1 hour Northern Tour.  If you’re really feeling festive, you can go for the 2.5 hour combo tour!  The routes are not determined until Thanksgiving weekend when homes start to light up!  Trolley drivers will be out looking for the best homes to add to the tours which begin on December 1st.  Enjoy your tour and then visit downtown Naperville which is filled with restaurants, bars, and shopping!

When: December 1st – December 26th

Times: Vary – see schedule on website

Admission: $18 per person, all ages

Where: Pickup locations vary


 Larsen Lights 

Amazing! Must see this in person to get the full experience!  The Larsen's were the winners of the 2013 ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight!  Beautiful light show choreographed to a variety of music.

When: Begins 5:00pm Thanksgiving Day - January 1st

Times: 5-10:30 Mon - Thurs, 5-11:30 Fri - Sun or 11:30 (sometimes they extend the hours if it's busy)

Admission: Free

Where: 42W891 Beith Rd. Elburn, IL 60119


 Lincoln Park Zoo - ZooLights

Lincoln Park Zoo bursts into holiday splendor with lights and holiday festivities!  Photos with Santa, ice carving, musical light show, shopping, holiday treats and more!  Wonderful free family friendly event!

When:  November 24-26, December 1-3, 8-23, 26-31; January 1-7

Times: 4:30 - 9pm

Admission: Free

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614


 ILLUMINATION - Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum

View the trees of the Morton Arboretum dressed up and alive with lights!  Enjoy the one-mile walking tour stretching through the 50 acre collection of trees. Concessions and fire pits are available along the way to enjoy a snack and warm up! This event requires advance purchase tickets.  Popular dates/times sell out fast!

When: November 17th - January 1st

NOTE:  Illumination is closed on Mondays, except for January 1. It is also closed on the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23), Christmas Eve (Sunday, December 24), and Christmas Day (Monday, December 25).

Times: Vary from 4:30 - 9:30pm depending on your ticket

Admission: Ranges from $7 - $22 depending on age and whether or not you are a member of the Arboretum

Where: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rt. 53, Lisle, IL 60532


 Naper Lights and Christkindlmarket

I know this post is about lights, but if you're going to visit Naper Lights, you need to visit the Naperville Christkindlmarket which is also located in Naper Settlement.  Two family friendly fun events in one place! Christkindlmartket offers authentic German cuisine, shopping, and holiday desserts.  Once you have your shopping done and tummy full of warm food, stroll through the beautiful lights display presented by the Naperville Sunrise Rotary and Naper Settlement.

When: November 24th - December 23rd

Times: Thurs 4:30-7:00, Fri - Sat 4:30 - 9:00, Sun 4:30 - 6:00, Special hours Dec 18-21 4:30 - 8:00

Admission: Free but donations are accepted

Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, IL 60540



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