Cantigny Park created a new holiday experience this year called “Christmas at Cantigny”. Their gardens are so meticulously designed and maintained, so the bar was set high… and their new event did not disappoint!
The grounds have been transformed into a magical winter wonderland, including lights to meander through, extravagant decor in the newly renovated McCormick house (it’s finally open after being closed since 2020!), a large ice skating rink with lights draped above, and a couple different spaces to hang out and relax.
You can enjoy Christmas at Cantigny from December 1-30, 2023.
Keep reading to get all the details, including photos, features, and pricing. We were invited to the complimentary press preview to give all of you a sneak peek, but all opinions are my own.
Go Ice Skating
Adjacent to the parking lot, you’ll find a heated hospitality tent with food and drinks, skate rental tent, and a 100-by-40-foot ice skating rink with lights strung overhead. Admission to the rink is $7 and spectators are free. Skate rental is available for $3 as well as skate sharpening for $5. Figure skates and hockey skates are available for rent, starting with size 1. We went the night before it opened, which was unseasonably warm. So the rink was starting to melt, but it looked nice and the ambiance was great.
Rent a Cocoa Cabana
I think we can agree that these cocoa cabanas are adorable. There are four of them and each has its own fire table and heater along with seating. Each cabana can be rented for two hours and come with a full bar and food service. There are three rental packages to choose from, ranging from $75-$250. Click here to choose a date and see the rental options.
Enjoy the Lights
You can purchase tickets to see the lights and McCormick House at the Visitor’s Center. Adults (16+) are $15 and children (4-15) are $5 per person. Ages 3 years old and under are free. There is a loop you can follow that leads through lights displays, up to the McCormick House, and back to the Visitor’s Center. They ask that you arrive during your 30 minute time slot, but are free to walk through the lights at your own pace.
There are 13 different types of light displays to enjoy as you walk along the path. The entire path is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Close to the large tree in the center is a photo op with two sleighs that you are welcome to sit in and take pictures.
Admire the McCormick House Decorations
About 3/4 through the loop of lights, you will arrive at the McCormick House. Each room is lavishly decorated with holiday trimmings and many poinsettias. There are also light projections on the outside of the house.
Parking for Christmas at Cantigny
In addition to the fees mentioned above, there is a $10 parking fee to drive into Cantigny Park.
Christmas at Cantigny
December 1-30, 2023
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
Please note that Cantigny Park is closed on Mondays and will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas. Also, there is a private event at the McCormick House on December 13, so the house will not be accessible during the event that evening.
Santa will be at the Visitors Center on December 2 and 3 from 4 to 9pm and there will be live music on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout December.
Head to the Christmas at Cantigny page on their website for more information about the event.