This Whimsical Road Trip Highlights The Absolute Best Of The Midwest's Christmas Lights

The Midwest region of the United States is a truly magical place to visit during the holiday season, and Illinois is a particularly enchanting destination for a Christmas lights road trip. The state is adorned with a plethora of dazzling displays and twinkling lights that are sure to leave you spellbound. From the bustling city of Chicago to the charming small towns scattered throughout the state, Illinois has something for everyone.

You can kick off your journey in the bustling metropolis of Chicago and witness the awe-inspiring Magnificent Mile or venture out to the suburbs and marvel at the creative displays put up by local communities. If you're looking for a more serene experience, you can explore the quaint rural towns and soak in the breathtaking countryside displays that capture the essence of Christmas. Come along with us on this unforgettable journey through the heart of Illinois and immerse yourself in the magic of the Midwest's Christmas lights.

Chicago's festive Magnificent Mile and more

If you're looking to experience the festive spirit of Illinois, consider starting your journey in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a must-see, with holiday lights and a lively atmosphere that creates a magical experience. Michigan Avenue is transformed into a radiant showcase, with famous department stores displaying dazzling window decorations that captivate both locals and visitors alike. As you explore the city, don't miss Lincoln Park Zoo's ZooLights, a beloved tradition that transforms the zoo into a luminous spectacle. You'll be amazed by its countless lights, animated displays, and seasonal music, all of which create an enchanting atmosphere for families and friends.

Explore Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum in Lisle to experience a magical journey through a forest of beautifully lit trees. This outdoor exhibit combines art and nature to create a mesmerizing sensory experience. Light Up the Lake at Navy Pier is a spectacular annual event transforming Chicago's iconic Navy Pier into a mesmerizing winter wonderland. This enchanting display features a vibrant array of lights, festive decorations, and a dazzling holiday-themed fireworks show, casting a magical glow over Lake Michigan. 

Illinois' suburban sparkle, rural nostalgia, and historic holiday charm

Illinois' beautiful suburban neighborhoods are worth exploring during the Christmas season. Some of the most impressive displays are Goebbert's Drive Thru Light Show and Larsen's Drive Up Light Show in Pingree Grove as well as Aaron Brown's Christmas Light Extravaganza in Hampton. The communal effort to illuminate the surroundings creates an inviting and magical atmosphere, providing visitors with a unique and intimate experience. 

Displays in small rural towns also bring a touch of nostalgia and simplicity to the holiday season. The Olney Christmas Light Display creates a warm sense of community, while Effingham's Wonderland in Lights takes visitors to a magical realm of lights and festivities. Christmas in Fairview Park in Casey captures the intimate joy of celebrating amid nature's beauty.

Springfield, the capital of Illinois, is a charming city that blends history with the festive spirit of Christmas. During the holiday season, the city's famous landmarks, such as state buildings and historical sites, are decorated with beautiful lights and ornaments. The Governor's Mansion and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are particularly inviting as they are transformed into beacons of holiday cheer. Visitors can enjoy the enchanting experience of stepping back in time while surrounded by the warm glow of Christmas lights. This unique combination of history and holiday spirit offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of Illinois, making it a wonderful place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.