Chicago is festively illuminated with lights and decorations for the holiday seasons. Take a trip downtown to see the lights on the Magnificent Mile and the decorations and display windows at Macy’s on State Street. Drive through the suburbs and find holiday decorations throughout Chicagoland. There are terrific Christmas lights in Chicago in 2017.
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Nov. 24-26, Dec. 1-3, 8-23, 26-31, Jan. 1-7 @ 4:30 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
Lincoln Park Zoo will be illuminated with dazzling holiday lights for ZooLights, a popular event during the Christmas season. Santa Claus will be visiting the zoo until Dec. 23, so take the kids to see the Jolly Old Elf before he heads back to the North Pole for Christmas. The zoo will feature family-friendly entertainment live ice-sculpture carving, Candy Cane Lane, and musical light shows. Admission is free, but there is a fee for parking in their lot. There will be a $3 fee for some of the special experiences, such as the Century Wheel, Lionel Train Adventure, and the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, & 26-31 @ 4 p.m.
Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL 60513
The Holiday Magic event at Brookfield Zoo is Chicagoland’s largest and longest funning holiday lights festival. The zoo grounds are decorated with over one million sparkling LED lights, animal light displays, a 4-foot-tall talking tree, ice carvers, a train display, and more. Kids and adults alike will have fun at this festive holiday event. The Brookfield Zoo opens at 10 a.m., and the Holiday Light Show begins at 4 p.m. Admission is free to zoo members, or $14.50-$19,95 (save $1 off each ticket by purchasing tickets online).
Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum
Nov. 17-Dec. 23 & Dec. 26-Jan. 1 @ Various times starting at 4:30 p.m.
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60542
Illumination is a one-mile holiday walking tour on a paved path that winds through 50 acres of the celebrated collection of trees at Morton Arboretum. There will be warming/concession tents, seating, and warming fire pits along the route. Bring your camera to take photos of the colorful glowing trees. Tickets are $13-$22.
Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
Dec. 1-Jan. 7 @ 10 a.m.
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022
Kids and adults will be delighted by the Garden for Wonderland Express, a lavish display of model trains traveling through realistic Chicago landmarks crafted in miniature. There will also be holiday movies shown on Dec. 19-20, for even more family-friendly entertainment. Tickets are $8-$13. On Tuesdays, tickets are half-price, due to sponsorship by Grainger.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light 2017
Nov. 18-Dec. 24 & Dec. 26-Jan. 7
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60637
Christmas Around the World is a holiday tradition at the Museum of Science and Industry. Visit this indoor exhibit of more than 50 trees, decorated to represent different countries and ethnic groups. Check the daily schedule for information about Visits with Santa Claus and holiday entertainment. Museum admission is $9-$18, and if you purchase tickets online you get a $2/Ticket discount.