Lake County Illuminates the Night Through the Holiday Season

By: Jonathan Jones 11/13/2020

"Turn up the lights in here, baby. Extra bright, I want y'all to see this. Turn up the lights in here, baby. You know what I need, want you to see everything want you to see all of the lights." - Rihanna.


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There is no way around it, Lake County is lit. From public light displays to motion twinkling shows to village and city Christmas tree and menorah lightings, Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season.

Until then, the holiday season is right around the corner. So like Madonna, we'll shed a "Ray of Light" as Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Holiday Light Displays in Lake County

Holiday in the Park Lights in Six Flags Great America


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After an entire summer where the amusement park could not open, Six Flags Great America announced that the state had approved the Gurnee grounds to open for their annual Holiday in the Lights event. Great America will reopen on November 27 with their third season of this event called “Holiday in the Park Lights.” Due to the pandemic’s Illinois safety guidelines, rides will not operate. However, the holiday light experience will include two and a half million illuminate bulbs on trees and buildings, traditional holiday eats and hot chocolate, as well as live entertainment that will be performed outdoors. The event runs through December 30.

Santa's Rock N' Lights at the Lake County Fairgrounds


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Get a glimpse of Santa’s Rock N Lights at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center this holiday season. The Grayslake grounds showcase a superbly illuminated show in a drive-thru format. The lights have doubled since 2019. The route is nearly a mile of 1,000 programmable and over 100,000 animated lights synced to holiday music. There are over 700 feet of tunnels and a reimagined layout with themed worlds of lights, including the dinosaur world. The "lit" experience is socially distanced and touch-free.

Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden (SOLD OUT)


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“I said, ooh, I’m blinded by the lights. No, I can’t sleep until I feel your touch,” – The Weeknd. Meander in the illuminated world of wonder and light at Chicago Bo’s Lightscape. As you enter, you walk through a cathedral-esque threshold; you enter a world of the Glencoe sanctuary that’s as luminous as it’s ever been. This is a must-experience event for your eyes and your feels. Snap your #instagood grams and/or holiday cards here! The event runs through Sunday, January 3, 2021, and many dates are sold out.

Kringle Christmas Village in Antioch


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Kringle’s Christmas Village illuminates with the holiday spirit. After Dickens' Holiday Village's spirits, all three shall strive within you on Main and Lake Streets. Mosey on over to Piggly Wiggly's Plaza a few blocks away in downtown Antioch to experience more of the Christmas spirit. As the night falls in the afternoon, visitors can browse the magnificent illuminated shadowboxes. Many of these wonderful art displays provide that same nostalgia when enjoying Chicago’s Marshall Fields’ windows. Both are on display during the holiday season.

Christmas Luminary Hike at Quentin Road Baptist Church (SOLD OUT)


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Every holiday season, the Lake Zurich church throws an unbelievable Christmas pageant with a cast of 300, live animals, dramatic lighting and more highlighting the birth story of Jesus Christ. However, with the pandemic's effects, Quentin Road Baptist Church will host an illuminating adventure, and you can travel through "Bethlehem" like the three magi. On your trek, hikers will interact with townspeople, shepherds, angels and wise men as you hear the story of Christmas. The hikes will run on two weekends, December 11-13, as well as December 18-20.

Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Great America


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The land of lakes amusement park launches its new Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience. See the dazzling display of illuminants, seasonal sights and holly jolly sounds from the warmth of your car on December 16-18 and select days in January. As one of the largest holiday drive-thru events in the Midwest and the only inside a theme park, the Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience will include 11 immersive, themed areas throughout the 300-acre theme park which will be embellished with millions of twinkling lights, live entertainment and festive music. Guests will enjoy distanced greetings from beloved holiday characters, iconic holiday decorations, a drive-by featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and their jolly elves and much more.

Village of Vernon Hills Light Display


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In an effort to brighten the holidays, the Village has created a map outlining the locations of the many holiday light displays placed throughout the Village.  Thank you to the Vernon Hills Public Works Department for their efforts in setting up the displays and creating the map and a checklist.  Please click on the link below to print a copy of the map and checklist (fun for the kids).  Printed copies will also be available to pick up at the Village Hall.

City and Village Tree Lightings


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The Tarkowski Family Light Show November 14-December 25; Sun-Thurs 6-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 6-9:30 p.m. The Tarkowski Home, 1256 Bradford Ln., Antioch. Learn More »

Grayslake Tree Lighting Giving Tree Exhibit at Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum November 27-January 2; 4-8 p.m. Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum, 164 Hawley St., Grayslake Learn More »

Virtual Holiday Lights with Deerfield Park District Saturday, November 28; 5:30-6 p.m. Deerfield, IL Learn More »

Fox Lake Festival of Lights ***CANCELED*** Saturday, November 28; 2-7 p.m. Millennium Park, Grand Avenue and Route 59, Fox Lake Learn More »


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Vernon Hills Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting in Vernon Hills Saturday, November 28; 4:30-5:30 p.m. Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Dr., Vernon Hills Learn More »

Lake Forest Lights Up the Park November 27-January 10 Elawa, Everett, Forest, Northcroft, South, Townline, Waveland and West Parks in Lake Forest

Lincolnshire's Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, December 4; 5:30-6:30 p.m. Village Green Center, Milwaukee and Old Half Day Road, Lincolnshire Learn More »


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Mundelein Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, December 4; 5-6:30 p.m. Village Plaza, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein Learn More »

Virtual Tree Lighting with the Village of Lake Zurich Friday, December 4; 5 p.m. Lake Zurich, IL Learn More »

Town Traditions Tree Lighting in Historic Downtown Long Grove Saturday, December 5; 4-5 p.m. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 228 Robert Parker Coffin Rd., Long Grove Learn More »

Sharing Light and Sharing Hope - Neighborhood Luminaria Sunday, December 6; 2:30-4:30 p.m. Beacon Place, 603 S. McAlister Ave., #6489, Waukegan. Learn More »

Twas the Lights - Gurnee Bell Ringing Sunday, December 29; 6:30-7:03 p.m. Your nearest Gurnee park Learn More »

The Kolman Family Christmas Light Show Sunday, January 3; 4-10 p.m. on weekdays, 4-11 p.m. on weekends Kolman House, 2 N. Brittany Ln., Hainesville Learn More »

Holiday Lights Walk Thru at Lehmann Park Through Friday, January 8 Lehmann Park, 148 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa Learn More »

Miracle on Main Street in Lake Zurich 

For more holiday happenings and other occurrences of Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season, continue here.

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