Events /

Merry and Bright Holiday Light Displays

close-up of a green Christmas light bulb with multiple colored Christmas lights in the background


Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - Saturday, January 8, 2022    
4:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Event Type

Many communities throughout Illinois are hosting spectacular light displays this holiday season.

This list highlights a few of the displays lighting up Illinois and includes a mix of drive-thru and outdoor viewing options.

Some of the displays are free but may require advance reservations due to demand.

Event hours and dates of operation vary and are subject to change. It’s best to check the display’s website or Facebook page for any updates or changes before setting out.

  • Illumination: Lights at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle – A spectacle of color, light and music on a one-mile paved walking path. Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis or guests may bring their own. Personal mobility scooters may be used. on the trail. The display runs through Jan. 8 from 4:30 – 9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
  • Aurora Festival of Lights, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora – One of the largest, free outdoor light displays in northern Illinois.  The display runs through Dec. 26 from 5 – 9 p.m.  Tickets are free but advance reservations are required for entry.
  • Festival of Lights in Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N Second Street, Rockford – A long-running, drive-thru Christmas light tradition started in 1989 that now boasts over 70 displays. It runs through Dec. 31 from 5 – 9 p.m. (some dates until later).  Also nearby is All Aglow at the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens on 1354 North Second Street. All Aglow runs through Jan. 9. The lights are on dusk to dawn. The park closes at 10 p.m. Both of these displays are free but donations are welcome.
  • Celebration of Lights at Rotary Park, 2845 East Fifth Road, La Salle – Located near Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks, this free, drive-thru event features more than 400 displays. It runs through Dec. 26 from 5 – 10 p.m. each night.
  • East Peoria Festival of Lights (FOLEPI), 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria – “Folepi’s Winter Wonderland” marks 37 years of spreading drive-through, holiday cheer! The event runs through Jan. 2 from 5 – 9 p.m. Admission is $10 per car. No tickets are sold online. 
  • Shelbyville Festival of Lights, in Forest Park off of Ninth Street, Shelbyville – There are more than 500 lighted scenes including several lighted arches, a large Menorah and Santa riding a motorcycle. The event runs through Jan. 1 from 5-9 p.m. Free admission. Donations accepted.
  • Effingham Wonderland in Lights, Community Park, East Temple Avenue, Effingham – See a reindeer flight school, nativity scene and more! This free, drive-thru display runs through Jan. 2 from 5-9 p.m.
  • Festival of Lights at Moorman-Wavering Park, 1200 North 36th Street, Quincy – The festival is a family tradition for many families. It runs through Jan. 1 from 5 – 9 p.m every night. Admission is $15 per car or $30 for a small bus (up to 15 passengers).
  • Light up the Park, 731 S. Main Street, Chatham – Take a mile-long drive through a magical display of over 200,000 lights. The display is open through Dec. 26, Thursday to Sunday, from 6 – 9 p.m.  A $5 donation is suggested.  
  • Christmas Lights in Carlyle City Park, 1090 Lake Road, Carlyle – Drive through thousands of bulbs shining brightly and tune your radio to 90.1 FM to fully enjoy the animated dancing trees. The event runs through Jan. 9.
  • Du Quoin Holiday Lights Fair, State Fairgrounds on Rt 51, Du Quoin – There are more than three miles of bright and delightful holiday displays. This year’s event is drive-thru-only and runs through Dec. 31 from 5 – 9:30 p.m. nightly. $10 per car. Cash only.