There's no way around it. Lake County knows how to put on a light display for the holiday season. No matter if you're visiting one of the town's community lights, checking out a tree lighting or perusing the neighborhoods, there will be something for everyone's unique taste.
Everywhere around the area, the lights are coming out of storage and the bulbs are being checked twice. Read on to see how Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season 2022.
Lose yourself inside of winter lightshow wonderland at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Lightscape features a 1.25-mile path that is illuminated by thousands of glowing lights, art installations, musical trees and twinkling colors. Walk through the Winter Cathedral and bask in the light’s warm glow. Stop by the fire display and warm up for a second before continuing through the breathtaking sights at this one-of-a-kind experience. Move quickly to buy your tickets as the timeslots often sell out quickly. Visit ChicagoBotanic.org to get tickets.
Drive through over one mile of lighted displays all synced up to holiday jingles. The Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center winter lightshow features nearly 1,000 feet of dancing lights that you drive through in the family vehicle. Take in the sights of reindeer, polar bears, emojis and dinosaurs. New for this year is the Pop Up Village that features larger-than-life displays, ample photo opportunities, axe throwing, face painting, photos with Santa and ornament making. Food trucks will be on the scene and free hot chocolate is provided to warm up guests. Visit SantasRockNLights.com to purchase tickets.
Browse in awe at the miniature scenes of the winter holiday at Kringle’s Christmas Village in Antioch. Each shadowbox is filled to the brim and features a festive, custom layout. New for this year is the Christmas Tree Decorating Contest. Trees are decorated by various community members and organizations, so no one setup is like the other. This display is indoors and runs alongside the inside-portion of the Dicken’s Holiday Village that features life-sized wax figures. The statues are adorned in Dickens-era clothing. To complement the Dicken’s spirit, there is a miniature Dicken’s Village display. Kringle’s Holiday Village and Dicken's Holiday Village are free for everyone to enjoy and located at Piggly Wiggly Plaza. Visit AntiochChamber.org for information.
Stay in your warm car and experience the holiday spirit in the village of Antioch with the Christmas Musical Light Show. There are two shows that you can watch as they alternate each day. The shows are 20 minutes long and run 6-9 p.m. To watch the lighted display, drive onto Skidmore Drive and follow the directional signs to the Bandshell.
The awesome part about the Village of Fox Lake’s Festival of Lights is that it’s a one-day holiday bonanza of festivities. Start the day at the Community Garden Green for their annual Kris Kringle Winter Market. You can purchase tasty fare, presents for everyone and soak in the holiday spirit. When your shopping bags are filled, head over to Grant Community Highschool for their parade at 5 p.m. The parade route leads everyone to Millennium Park for the village’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Once the switch is flipped, Santa’s Cottage will be open on select days. Bring the kids by to share their wish lists and snap some pictures with the Man in Red.
Visit the Vernon Hills Golf Course as they Light Up The Season! The annual Vernon Hills tradition is when the village flips the switch on not one, not two, but three different holiday displays. The displays are a holiday tree, a menorah display and a Kwanzaa display. Santa will be on hand and there are light refreshments available for guests.
Experience a different take on the traditional Christmas play with the Lightwire Theater and “A Very Electric Christmas.” The group members wear body suits with lighted wires attached to them. When the room lights go dark, they switch the wires on and makes it look like puppets are dancing in the dark. The electrifying, holiday performance at the Genesee Theatre tells the story of a young bird, toy soldiers and an awe-inspiring Christmas tree. The group has appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” and their titular neon puppetry is a sight to behold.
Take in the yuletide sights in Gurnee at two spots to witness the Holiday Train and the Holiday Lights. The train comes all the way from Canada and makes multiple stops throughout the United States. The train is decked out in all its yuletide glory and is a sight to behold as it rumbles into the station. Be sure to set your clocks though, the train arrives at Viking Park at 5:10 p.m. and then departs 30 minutes later. Of course, St. Nick is also aboard the locomotive. After seeing the rail-bound behemoth, head over to Welton Plaza for the Holiday Lights. The free winter gathering features carolers, food trucks, snacks, hot cocoa, a live petting zoo, a tree ornament crafting station, a s’more’s making area, lighted displays, visits with Santa Clause and more.
Pack the family in their toasty coats into the car and visit Shiloh Park in Zion for the Home for The Holidays Lighted Christmas Trail. The adventure begins at the Port Shiloh Pool parking lot and rolls into the park. Drive the holiday trail and experience over 100,000 lights across 50 unique displays. Be sure to keep an eye out on December 17 if you visit the first day. Santa might be in the park and checking his list twice after he lights up Zion’s Christmas tree. Visit ZionParkDistrict.org for information.
Village of Round Lake Beach Tree Lighting at the Cultural and Civic Center Friday, November 25; 6 p.m. Cultural and Civic Center of Round Lake Beach, 2007 Civic Center Way, Round Lake Beach Learn More »
Libertyville Tree Lighting and Downtown Holiday Walk Friday, November 25; 6:30-8 p.m. Cook Memorial Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville Learn More »
Village of Mundelein Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, December 2; 5:30 p.m. Village Plaze, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein Learn More »
Cocoa Classic Night Time 5K through Santa's Rock N Lights Saturday, December 3; 3:30-5:45 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake Learn More »
Miracle on Main Street and Christmas Tree Lighting in Lake Zurich Saturday, December 3; 3-7 p.m. Downtown Lake Zurich, Rand Road and Main Street, Lake Zurich Learn More »
Holiday Walk on Main Street and Tree Lighting in Wauconda Saturday-Sunday, December 3-4; Sat.: 3 p.m., Sun.: 1-5 p.m. Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce, Wauconda Learn More »
Gandor Family Light Show in Lake Zurich Monday-Sunday, Now-January 6; Mon.-Thurs.: 5-10 p.m., Fri.:-Sat.: 5-10:30 p.m., Sun.: 5-10 p.m. Gandor Family Light Show, 237 Mark Ln., Lake Zurich Learn More »
Click here to view all the ways Lake County illuminates the night through the holiday season. Plan your month out with the top 10 things to do in November. See the sights in autumn when you #HikeLakeCounty.