There are some truly amazing Christmas lights and displays in the western suburbs! Hop in the car to check out these magnificent light displays, or fill up some thermoses with hot cocoa and walk through together.
We’ve updated all of the larger walk-throughs for 2018. We’ve also included the 2017 residential display information for all of you early birds, but we can’t guarantee all of these homes will be participating again this year. This is your official call: If you know of a fantastic light show, please let us know. And if you went all out with your lights this year, don’t be shy… We would love to check them out. We will re-update the list with your submissions soon!
Walk-Through Christmas Lights
Naper Lights next to the Christkindlmarket at Naper Settlement in Naperville
November 23, 2018 – December 23, 2018 Thursdays through Sundays, Thursdays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Fridays 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturdays 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sundays 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
This light display is free to walk through. There are displays set to music, singing faces made from lights, and a gigantic lit up tree with presents surrounding it. Check out the Christkindlmarket while you are there. Click here to read more about it.
Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park in Lombard
December 1, 2018 – January 2, 2019 4:15 pm – 9:30 pm
Join the Lombard Park District’s annual lighting celebration in Lilacia Park on December 1 at 5:30 pm. Charming holiday displays light up Lilacia Park with decorated trees, a giant gingerbread house, and much more. Youngsters can visit with Santa Claus for free and do activities on certain dates. Lights and music are on in Lilacia Park through January 2 from 4:15–9:30 pm daily. Visit lombardparks.com for more information.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
From 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and the week of December 26-31, 2018
The fun includes a giant light display, a 41-foot-tall talking tree, more than a million LED lights, and more! Zoogoers can also enjoy caroling to the animals, live entertainment, professional ice-carving demonstrations, special visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and ice skating.
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum
November 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019, 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm daily
Illumination is where lights and nature come together in amazing ways – see hundreds of LED lights bathe the trees around you in a ethereal, electric glow, watch as lights dance, and check out this year’s new additions. Requires registration. Tickets range from $18 to $23 for adults and $12 to $15 for children. Discounts apply for Arboretum members. Click here to get more details.
Festival of Lights at Cosley Zoo
November 23, 2018 – December 30, 2018 3:00pm – 9:00pm daily
Between November 23 and December 30, Cosley Zoo will be lit by more than 20,000 lights during the zoo’s Festival of Lights and Tree Sales, an annual celebration of the holidays beckoning guests into a winter wonderland of fresh trees, hot chocolate, holiday gifts, and more.
Drive-Through Holiday Lights
Aurora Festival of Lights at Phillips Park (1000 Ray Moses Drive) in Aurora
Presented by the Rotary Club of Aurora Illinois in partnership with the City of Aurora, this show is in its twelfth season and features more than a mile of light displays. The display is free to drive through, but they collect donations from those who would like to give. Check back on the website for this year’s dates; usually, the festival opens right after Thanksgiving.
Holiday Lights at Mooseheart
This special neighborhood has 1.8 miles of lights to drive through. Admission is $10 per car. The neighborhood is open for light viewing 5:00 – 9:00 pm daily November 23 through December 31. Santa will be stopping by for free pictures on December 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm as well.
Best Residential Christmas Lights
* Please note that the houses with an asterisk were confirmed in 2017, but have not been verified for 2018. We assume that the homeowners will continue their impressive decorations and we will be working to confirm. If you have checked any out and want to weigh in, please let us know. If you know of a great display not on our list, leave a comment or send us a message!
Best Christmas Lights Set to a Radio Station
5109 Harvey in Western Springs
Tune your radio to 105.7FM so you can watch this display set to Christmas music. We went while the Chipmunks Christmas song was on! The lights are on from 5:30 – 10:00 pm during the week and 5:30 – 11:00 pm on weekends, starting November 30, 2018.
735 S. Brainard in La Grange
Tune your radio to 89.1 FM and enjoy an awesome display that lights up to the music! It’s best to come from the south (55th Street) so you can park in front for a while. Please don’t block their neighbors’ driveways. Click here to read more about the local dad behind this light show. This year, his 11 year old son programmed one of the songs! The entire show is about 22 minutes and his son’s song is right after the Illini fight song.
760 Hillside Avenue in Elmhurst
*Please note that this display is not ready yet this year (2018). We will update once it is set up.
Olaf’s Winter Spectacular includes a 3 foot tall ice skating Olaf! Their love of Disney inspired them to put the show to music, so you can tune into 88.1 FM while enjoying the lights. It runs on the hour and half hour beginning at 5pm. Each show lasts 16 minutes and the last show begins at 10pm. We thought the gigantic light bulbs laying in front of the sign were really cool too!
Manchester Lights: 1117 Manchester Court in Naperville
Over 10 houses participate and they will be collecting donations to the Naperville Area Humane Society during the show, which runs November 24 through New Year’s Day during the following hours: Sunday through Thursday, 5:00 – 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday, 5:00 – 11:00pm. It includes 75,000 lights, all timed to music you pipe through your radio to create 15 minute shows!
Hughes Digital Christmas: 2S231 Valley Rd in Lombard
Saturday after Thanksgiving through New Years Night 5:00 – 11:00 pm
Tune your radio to 89.5 FM to enjoy this light show set to music. In-between songs the penguin on the right side of the property lights up while talking and introducing the next song. There is a box next to their mailbox to collect donations for the St. John’s Food Pantry. Click here for more information about Hughes Digital Christmas.
913 E. Evergreen Street in Wheaton
An amazing lights display with over 49,000 lights choreographed to music. Tune into 102.5 FM. They accept donations in the blinking box for Muscular Dystrophy Association.
371 Canyon Trail in Carol Stream
The whole block of Canyon Trail lights up with the holiday festivities from 4:30pm – 11:00pm. Don’t forget to tune into 101.5 FM as you cruise past!
1831 Concord Drive in Downers Grove
The Crowley Family lights up their house with a beautiful display and music each year. In 2014, they won their park district decorating contest and were featured in Suburban Life. Tune into 87.9 FM.
1347 Hunter Circle in Naperville “The Magical House on Hunter Circle”
This one sounds similar to the house on Brainard in La Grange with lights set to music from the radio. A great display and so fun!
The Sandberg Christmas Display: 391 Walnut Lane in Elk Grove Village
Feature a 34 piece singing choir, which you can hear on 106.1 FM. There are also hundreds of blow mold figurines, a lighted candy cane tunnel and thousands of lights!
Best Christmas Lights Displays to Drive By
1948 Arthur Avenue in Berkeley
It’s almost impossible to capture this display in a photograph because it wraps around the house and extends to the end of the street with the Eiffel Tower in lights, inflatables of all kinds, a lights tunnel, and more! This one is a family project, with Maria Ochoa, her mom, dad, and brother all working together. They have custom made many of the decorations and were kind enough to give me a tour. When they are home, they give little ones goody bags and encourage people to take photos!
Fillipp Family Exterior Illuminations: 39 W. Madison Street in Villa Park
This impressive static display has grown throughout the years. New archways and Mega Trees were added this year! You are welcome to park in front of the house to enjoy the lights, but please be aware that there are no parking signs on the opposite side of the street.
880 Pinebrook Drive in Lombard
Roll down your windows to hear the music that goes along with these flashing lights! This display wraps around this expansive front yard and it’s right across from a small cal de sac, making it easier to stop and enjoy. The homeowner, Dave Urbanowicz, does a fabulous job!
987 S. Spring Road in Elmhurst
If you like inflatables, you will want to check this one out. They have numerous scenes with inflatables and one even moves and has music to get you in the holiday spirit. It is well lit and you can enjoy everything from classic candy canes, snowmen, and reindeer to the grinch, Mickey Mouse, and even a dinosaur with a Santa hat.
606 Homestead in LaGrange Park
This year the display is expanded to the south with a candy cane tree and lighted deer. They have also added their parents’ house next door into the winter wonderland. More young families have moved to the block and everyone is getting in the holiday spirit – definitely worth the drive through. We noticed that across the street, 621 Homestead also has a nice display.
8790 County Line Road in Burr Ridge*
This homeowner has an enormous amount of property completely decked out with lights. The public cannot drive through the property, but you can see most of the amazing decor by driving down 87th Street west of County Line Road or pull into Highland Fields across County Line, then turn right. There’s a bit of a hill and you can see more of the lights from that vantage point as well. Your mouth will drop.
We discovered these next two light displays on our way to the house above.
5 Chippewa Court in Burr Ridge*
This house, located in Bridle Path, is amazingly done with lights on every branch of each tree. It also features The Grinch on the left and Elmo on the right also with several other festive figurines.
8269 Graystone Drive in Burr Ridge*
Fully decked out with lights everywhere, this house in Arrowhead Farm is fun to look at with all its varying colors.
18 Devonshire Lane in Oak Brook (Brook Forest subdivision)
Karen and Jim Giandonato have a love for the holiday that shows through their amazing lights! My daughter and I met them this year and they are such kind people that want to make it special for everyone to enjoy. The lights on the roof are incredible and we love all of the soldiers that line the property!
31st Street between Midwest and Meyers Road in Oak Brook (across from the Midwest Club)
These fabulous lights are around the corner from the house above. Unfortunately you can’t drive slow because the speed limit is 45 miles per hour on 31st Street, but it’s definitely worth driving by.
1118 E. Gartner in Naperville
25,000 light display with a light tunnel and the 20 foot inflatables.
2516 Mitchell Drive in Woodridge
Tons of lights and displays to enjoy! Even the house is covered in lights.
Juniper Lane in South Elgin*
The whole block in this South Elgin neighborhood lights up for the holiday season. The week before Christmas Santa even visits and they have carolers. They collect canned good for charity as you stroll by. Check out the video here!
Becket Avenue in Westchester
If you grew up around here you’ll remember driving around Westchester to look at light displays with elaborate scenes. It’s not quite the same as back then, but you will be able to see multiple houses still in that spirit. I recommend turning down Becket Avenue from 31st Street (2 streets west of Mayfair, which is the light), driving down those two blocks and then circling back towards 31st Street on Halifax.
Lehnertz Avenue in Aurora
They will start lighting the street on Saturday, December 15, 2018 and continue through epiphany on January 6.
Lights on Ekman: 969 Ekman Drive in Batavia
The lights are on from 5:00 – 9:00 pm on weekdays and 5:00 – 10:00 pm on weekends. They are accepting donations for the Batavia Food Pantry.
Larsen Christmas Lights Show: 42W891 Beith Rd in Campton
The show is about 15 minutes long and may run shorter on heave traffic nights. All traffic must enter from Anderson Road; no traffic will be allowed west bound on Beith Road. There are traffic controllers who will guide you into the parking lot. Keep your radio volume down and stay in the car with the car running and parking lights on. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 5:00 – 10:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 – 11:30 pm.
1500 S. 61st Avenue in Cicero
Added by Kidlist reader Nina in 2015: 915 Franklin in River Forest
“The old Tony Acardo house has a life size camel, a Ferris wheel of teddy bears-totally over the top!”