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Chicago Christmas Lights

Where to find Christmas lights in Chicago


On of my (and many others) favorite things about the holiday season are the Christmas light displays. Fortunately, there is no shortage of glowing and twinkling strands of lights in Chicago. Here are some places to see Chicago Christmas lights.

1. Chicago Christmas Tree

Chicago Christmas tree
Photo courtesy City of Chicago
The most appropriate spot to start a tour of Chicago Christmas lights would probably be the Chicago Christmas tree located in Daley Plaza. The tree is set up each year around Thanksgiving, and is adjacent to the Christkindlmarket.

2. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade

Festival of Lights Parade
Photo via Festival of Lights
This popular parade down the North Michigan Avenue shopping corridor the Saturday before Thanksgiving draws hundreds of thousands of people as Mickey Mouse leads the procession lighting up over one million lights. The lights stay on throughout the Christmas season.

3. Lincoln Park ZooLights

Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights
Photo via Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo gets into the holiday season with "ZooLights", when it decks itself with lights, Santa's Safari, ice carving demonstrations, and more.

4. Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Photo via Brookfield Zoo
Not to be outdone, Brookfield Zoo also decorates for Christmas with almost a million lights, a laser light show, carolers, storytellers and more.

5. Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier
Photo © Prescott Carlson
Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier has one advantage over other displays -- it's inside! A definite plus during Chicago's sometimes brutal winter cold.

6. Buckingham Fountain

Chicago's famous landmark Buckingham Fountain gets a holiday makeover and is lit up with bright, white Christmas lights.

7. Cuneo Museum Winter Wonderland

If you want to take a little road trip, head up to suburban Vernon Hills, approximately 30 miles north of downtown Chicago for Winter Wonderland. The village sets up a drive-through Christmas light show on the grounds of the Cuneo Museum and Gardens.
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