Where to See Christmas Lights in Chicago (December 2020)

The holiday season doesn’t feel quite complete without some warm drinks, sweet treats, and some decorative Christmas lights in Chicago. It’s difficult to gather— as we have in the past— for the kinds of festivities we’re used to, but fortunately one of the prettiest parts of the season can still be seen lining streets, hanging from eaves, and winding around railings. Check out these Christmas lights around Chicago area.

City of Chicago Christmas Lights Tree

Michigan Ave & Washington St, Chicago IL 60601

Though no formal lighting ceremony was possible this year, a 45-foot spruce stands in its usual spot in Millennium Park for all to see. Small groups can visit the illuminated tree near Michigan and Washington through January 7th.


Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

4100 IL-53, Lisle IL 60532


Those looking for a festive twinkle or two can also venture to Morton Arboretum, where holiday lights can be experienced from the comfort of one’s own car. Several displays of lights are beautifully incorporated into the arboretum’s trees along a two-mile stretch of road now through January 3rd.

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo

8400 W 31st St, Brookfield IL 60513

Impressive light displays at Brookfield include a “600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music,” an illuminated tree, and LED sculptures depicting some of the animals who call the zoo home. Tickets to see all of these lights (as well as other forms of festive fun) are available through December 31st.

Magnificent Mile

Michigan Ave (between Chicago River & Oak St)

The Lights Festival wasn’t quite the crowded event this year that is has been before, but luckily, taking a stroll down the Magnificent Mile and enjoying the illuminated trees along the street is free, safe, and might help you get into a more festive mood.

Art on theMART

222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago IL 60606

As part of the Riverwalk art project’s fall programming, excerpts of the Joffrey’s Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker are projected onto the façade of theMART (formerly known as The Merchandise Mart). The installation is free to view every night at 7 PM.

Holidays in the Village

Roscoe Village

Since Roscoe Village holds its own holiday decorating contest each year, it’s a great place to go for a walking or driving tour if you’re on the hunt for festive light displays. On December 23rd, you can find a map of all homes entered in the contest at roscoevillage.org to guide your illuminated adventures.

Christmas Lights Chicago Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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