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It’s the most wonderful time of year and there are plenty of events across Chicagoland that are spreading holiday cheer.

We’ve compiled a list and checked it twice and think it has something for everyone whether they’ve been naughty or nice.

Holiday Lights

(Nov. 11 – Jan. 8)
Chicago Botanic Garden

Christmas Around the World and Holiday of Light
(Nov. 16 – Jan. 8)
Museum of Science and Industry

Winter Lights Aurora
(Nov. 18)
Downer Place (from Water Street to River Street)

Shine Lightshow
(Nov. 18 – Jan. 1)
Schaumburg / Northbrook

Santa’s Rock N Lights
(Nov. 18 – Jan. 1)

Amaze Light Festival
(Nov. 18 – Jan. 8)
Odyssey Fun World
Tinley Park

Amaze Light Festival

Illumination: Tree Lights
(Nov. 19 – Jan. 7)
Morton Arboretum

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival & Parade
(Nov. 19)
The Magnificent Mile
North Michigan Avenue (625 North Michigan Avenue)

(Nov. 19 – Jan. 1)
Lincoln Park Zoo


Sparkle Light Festival
(Nov. 23 – Jan. 1)
Impact Field

Sparkle Light Festival

Light Up the Lake
(Nov. 25 – Jan. 7)
Navy Pier

2022 Aurora Festival of Lights
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 25)
Philips Park

Holiday Magic
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 31)
Brookfield Zoo

Festival of Lights and Tree Sales
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 30)
Cosley Zoo

Magical Christmas Drive-Thru Experience
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 30)
Santa’s Village
East Dundee

Holiday in the Park
(Nov. 25 – Jan. 1)
Six Flags


(Nov. 18 – Dec. 24)
Aurora / Chicago / Wrigleyville

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza. Photo by Abel Arciniega

State Street Holiday Market
(Nov. 18 – Dec. 18)
35 S. State

Winterland at Gallagher Way
(Nov. 18 – Jan. 8)
3635 N. Clark St.


McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
(Nov. 18 – Mar. 5)
Millennium Park

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park. Photo by Abel Arciniega

Skating at the Ribbon
(Nov. 18 – Mar. 5)
Maggie Daley Park

Peninsula Chicago Sky Rink
(Nov. 25 – February)
4th floor terrace of the Pensinsula Chicago Hotel

Photo courtesy: The Peninsula Chicago


A Christmas Story
(Nov. 2 – Jan. 1)
Marriott Theatre, Linconshire

Elf the Musical
(Nov. 9 – Jan. 8)
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace

Immersive Nutcracker
(Nov. 19 – Dec. 31)
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago
108 West Germania Place

Immersive Nutcracker. Photo by Margo Hawk

A Christmas Carol
(Nov. 19-Dec. 31)
The Goodman Theatre

I Saw Mommy Kissing the Second City
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 23)
Paramount Theatre, Aurora

The Nutcracker by the Joffrey Ballet
(Dec. 3 – Dec. 27)
The Lyric Opera House


Happy Holiday Railway
(Nov. 25 – Dec. 18)
Illinois Railway Museum

Holiday Express
(Dec. 1 – Dec. 18)
Blackberry Farm