These 39 Charming Holiday Walks and Tree Lighting Ceremonies Are Lighting Up Historic Suburban Downtowns

Outdoor Places to Go

The 2023 holiday season is in full swing, and holiday walks and tree lightings are happening all around Chicagoland. What better way on a frosty evening to get in the festive spirit than with a stroll amidst some beautifully crafted store-front windows and tree-lined streets, all magically lit with sparkling lights? Even better if you can catch the magic happening with a tree lighting ceremony in Chicago’s historic suburban downtowns!

Bundle up the family, grab some hot cocoa, and check out one (or more) of these outdoor holiday walks near you. It’ll feel great to get outside with kiddos, celebrate the beauty of the season, and get some holiday shopping in, too!

Holiday Walks and Tree Lightings in the Western Suburbs

Deck the Green: Holiday Festivities (Burr Ridge)
November 17, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Shop and stroll through the Village Center, listen to a holiday concert, meet and greet with Santa, and more kid-friendly fun.

Winter Lights (Aurora)
November 17, 2023 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Illuminated parade, tree lighting, live music, and fireworks display in downtown Aurora.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Downers Grove)
November 24, 2023 | 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Live music and a tree lighting ceremony at Main Street Station in downtown Downers Grove.

Holiday Walk (Glen Ellyn)
November 24, 2023 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Tree lighting and visits with Santa at the fire station.

Wheaton Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
November 24, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
The parade will move through downtown Wheaton, ending at the south pavilion for this year’s tree lighting.

Holiday Homecoming Weekend (St. Charles)
November 24 – 25, 2023
Kick off the season with the lighting of the lights, a holiday tree trail, holiday movie, Santa’s house, and an electric Christmas parade.

Gingerbread House Contest (Downers Grove)
November 24 – December 10, 2023
Colorfully crafted gingerbread houses are displayed in 40+ windows throughout downtown Downers Grove as part of this annual tradition.

Geneva Commons Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration
November 25, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
See Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrive at Geneva Commons.

Holiday Happening (Hodgkins)
November 26, 2023 | 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Join the Hodgkins Park District for their tree lighting festivities.

Celebration of Lights Festival (Batavia Riverwalk)
November 26, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Stroll Christmas Tree Lane, featuring 25 holiday trees decorated by local businesses, a tree lighting ceremony, free hayrides, community sing-a-long, story hour, holiday crafts and a family photo op with Santa.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (The Drake, Oak Brook)
November 29, 2023 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Enjoy visits with Santa and hot chocolate at this free event.

Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting (Hinsdale)
December 1, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Celebrate the holiday season with merchants and stores in the downtown business district. A tree lighting at the memorial building grounds starts off this evening, followed by live music, a carousel, a trackless train, costumed characters, and giveaways.

Holiday Walk & Market (Clarendon Hills)
December 1, 2023 | 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Shop the local merchants on a festive evening that includes a tree lighting, strolling carolers, refreshments, a visit with Santa, and more.

Village Tree Lighting (La Grange Park)
December 1, 2023 | 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Gather with neighbors at Memorial Park as the tree is lit and walk through the festive winter wonderland lined with an array of decorated trees sponsored by local businesses. Musical performances, too.

Hometown Holiday (Lemont)
December 2, 2023 | 2:30pm – 10:00pm
Downtown Lemont will be the place to welcome in the holiday season.

Joyful Traditions (Villa Park)
December 2, 2023 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Featuring Santa, character photo ops, visits with animals, food trucks, and more.

Jingle Bell Jubilee (Lombard)
December 2, 2023 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Join Lombard’s annual celebration in Downtown Lombard.

Lights of Lisle
December 2, 2023 | 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Santa parade, crafts, tree lighting ceremony, and Merry on Main businesses festivities in downtown Lisle.

Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park (Lombard)
December 2, 2023 โ€“  January 1, 2024 |  Daily, 4:30pm โ€“ 10:00pm 
This local favorite annual holiday lights display illuminates Lilacia Park with light shows, tree decorations, gingerbread houses, and more.

Holly Days (Westmont)
December 2, 2023 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
All the downtown businesses will be open on during this celebration, which will feature the Frosty & Friends parade, holiday treats, visits with Santa, and more.

Holiday Walk (La Grange)
December 2, 2023 | 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Petting zoo, tree lighting, Santa visits and so much more at La Grange’s annual festivities.

Tree Lighting (Bolingbrook Village Hall)
December 2, 2023 | 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Celebrate the start of the Winter Walk with a countdown to the tree lighting.

Home for the Holidays – Tree Lighting Ceremony (Heritage Park, Homer Glen)
December 3, 2023 | 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Holiday crafts, hot cocoa, Santa meet and greet, music, and holiday costumed characters. There will be a Letters to Santa box for kids to send their wish lists, too.

Holiday Tree Lighting (La Grange)
December 5, 2023 | 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with live entertainment.

Winterfest (North Riverside)
December 6, 2023 | 6:00pmย –ย 8:00pm
Live music, tree lighting, refreshments, and of course, Santa Claus.

Tree Lighting Festival (Hillside)
December 6, 2023 | 6:00pmย –ย 8:00pm
Make ornaments and visit with Santa at the Memorial Park District celebration.

Winter Wonderland Walk (Westchester)
December 6 -7, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Visit with Santa, watch the tree lighting, meet live reindeer, and more at this two-day celebration.

Tree Lighting in Wilder Park (Elmhurst)
December 7, 2023 | 5:30pm
Annual holiday tree lighting event that includes a visit with Santa/Grinch, holiday music/games, and more.

Merry & Bright, A Victorian Christmas (Downers Grove)
December 9, 2023 | 3:00pm
Learn about Victorian Christmas traditions, visit with Santa, stroll through holiday trees and warm up listening to carolers.

Holiday Walks and Tree Lightings in the Northwestern Suburbs

Light Up The Park (Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont)
November 18, 2023 | 11:00am – 10:00pm
Ice skating, ice sculptures, carolers, and more can be found all day long. Tree lighting begins at 5:30pm.

Friendship Tree Lighting Ceremony (Hoffman Estates)
November 18, 2023 | 5:00pm – 5:30pm
Hoffman Estates festivities will be at Village Hall.

Mount Prospect Tree Lighting and Christkindlmarket
November 22, 2023 | 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Stop by the new location at Edwin and Elsie (Meyn) Busse Park to listen to music, visit vendors, and watch the tree lighting.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Elk Grove Village)
November 24, 2023 | 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Live music, tree lighting, and fireworks will kick off the holidays in Elk Grove Village.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Arlington Heights)
November 24, 2023 | 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Visit the tree lighting ceremony at North School Park, then take the trolley to Harmony Park for more festivities, including live reindeer and ice sculptures.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Schaumburg)
November 24, 2023 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Tree lighting, Santa’s arrival, character visits, carolers, and more.

Holiday Lighting Event (Itasca)
November 26, 2023 | 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Watch holiday performances and enjoy hot chocolate at Usher Park.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Glendale Heights)
November 27, 2023 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Visit the Civic Center Campus for live music, Santa Claus, and the tree lighting.

Festival of Lights Opening Night and Kris Kringle Market (Bloomingdale)
December 1, 2023 | 3:30pm – 8:30pm
Kick off the Festival of Lights with special activities at Old Town Park.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony (Des Plaines)
December 1, 2023 | 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Metropolitan Square is home to Des Plaines’ festivities including live performances, Santa’s arrival, food trucks and photos with Santa.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Bartlett)
December 1, 2023 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, tree lighting, and music at Bartlett Park.

Barrington Holiday Festivities
December 2, 2023 | 11:00am – 6:00pm
Listen to holiday music and visit with Santa in downtown Barrington.

Farmside Christmas (Bensenville)
December 3, 2023 | 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Enjoy Christmas festivities all afternoon at Fischer Farm, with the tree lighting at 4:30pm.

If your holiday stroll got you in the mood for more walking, check out our Winter Hikes list for some beautiful spots to go hiking or cross country skiing! We love to see your winter adventures; tag us on social media!

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