Last days for holiday light shows, parties and more


Light Up the Lake: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Sunday, January 2 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. An indoor, temperature-controlled experience with large light sculptures showing more than 600,000 flashing lights, a regular-size alpine ice rink, holiday beer garden, train rides and other family-friendly events. The event closes at 8 pm on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $ 26 for adults, $ 21 for children 3-12 and free for children 3 and younger.

Holiday Bricktacular: Various hours through Monday, January 3rd at the Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Take a family photo with a life-size Santa Claus sleigh, enjoy the attraction’s holiday decorations, join the Lego gift hunt and much more. Included in the price of regular admission.

Winterland: Daily through Feb. 20 at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, ice skating on an 8,000 square foot ice rink, curling and skating lessons, ice bumper cars and more.

Light shows

AMAZE Light Festival: 4 pm-7pm and 7 pm-10pm daily through Sunday, January 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont. The festival offers outdoor holiday activities for all ages, including an immersive display of more than a million holiday lights, costumed characters, holiday food and drinks, toboggan rides, thrilling hilltops, train rides, holiday markets, an immersive history book experience and more. $ 23 for adults, $ 18 for children 2-12.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago runs from 4pm to 10pm daily through Sunday, January 2nd.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago runs from 4pm to 10pm daily through Sunday, January 2nd.
– Lent by Todd Rosenberg Photography, Lincoln Park Zoo

ZooLights: 4pm to 10pm daily through Sunday, January 2 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes a holiday lighting experience at the Main Mall and a light show at South Lawn. 5 USD.

Holiday lights in Lilacia Park: 16.30-22.00 daily through Sunday, January 2 in Lilacia Park, 150 S. Park Ave., Lombard. Light shows, tree decorations, a gingerbread house and more.

Let It Shine Lightshow: 4.30pm-11pm daily through Jan. 9 at Northbrook Court, 1515 Lake-Cook Road, Northbrook; Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora; and Wintrust Field, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. A run-through wonderland of light-screens synchronized with holiday classics. Online ticket purchase required. $ 29.99 pr. vehicle on weekdays, $ 39.99 weekends and holidays, $ 20 add-on to Fast Pass.

Willow Hill’s Winter Magic, A Drive-through Christmas Lights Experience: 4: 30-9: 30 p.m. daily through Sunday, January 2 at Willow Hill Golf Course, 1350 Willow Road, Northbrook. Contains over 1 million candles adorning displays of figurines, Christmas trees, light tunnels and more. 40 USD. Reserve tickets at

Winter Lights: 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily through Sunday, January 9 in Central Park, Jorie Boulevard and Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. A free illuminated walk of half a kilometer along paved paths. The trail will be closed in bad weather. Buy cookies, sweets, hot cocoa, hot coffee and tea in the cocoa hut in the Central Park West building from kl. 17-21 Thursday, January 6th.

Mooseheart’s Holiday Lights Show: 5pm to 9pm Friday, December 31st at Mooseheart, off Route 31, south of Batavia. Has a 1.8-mile holiday light display through campus. Suggested donation is $ 20 per car for Mooseheart.

Santa’s Rock ‘N’ Lights: 5pm to 9.30pm Friday and Saturday 31st December and 1st January and 6pm 5 pm-8:30pm Sunday, Jan. 2 at Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. The drive-through animated light show returns with nearly 1,000 programmable elements and more than 100,000 animated lights dancing to holiday music. $ 19.99- $ 34.99 pr. vehicle.

Hanson Barn Christmas Light Show: 18: 00-21: 00 daily through Friday, December 31 at Hanson Family Farm, 5107 Thorne Road, Marengo. Farm buildings have been adorned with more than 45,000 pixel LEDs that have been synced to music that people can tune in to via 92.9 FM. Donations are welcome at

Christmas Tree Lane: Friday, December 31 at Depot Park, 90 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake. The gazebo and trees in Depot Park will be adorned with candles and decorations.

Big Timber Brilliance: 17.00-21.00 Saturday the 1st of January and at 17.00-20.00 Sunday 2 January at Camp Big Timber, 37W955 Big Timber Road, Elgin. See hundreds of thousands of lights across a nearly mile-long hiking trail, including two distinctive light tunnels synchronized to music, and finish by the fire in the cozy lodge. Benefits The Three Fires Council BSA provides programming to local youth. $ 14- $ 15 for children, $ 20 for adults, free for children under 3 years.

Holiday in the Park Lights: 17.00-21.00 Sunday 2 January and Thursday to Sunday 6-9. January at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. See the lights and light shows from the comfort of your car. Buy tickets at

Lighting, wooden lights: 16.30-20.30 Thursday to Saturday the 6-8. January (all other dates are sold out) at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The ninth annual spectacle of color, light and sound returns on a 1-mile hiking trail with five new features, including the Human + Nature sculpture Hallow, which is illuminated at night. Tickets cost $ 7- $ 19 for members and $ 13- $ 24 for non-members. Advance purchase of tickets is highly recommended as the dates are sold out. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove is hosting its New Year's Day Alpine Fest on January 1st.

Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove is hosting its New Year’s Day Alpine Fest on January 1st.
– With permission from Buffalo Creek Brewing


New Year’s minibash: at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 31, at Techny Prairie Activity Center, 180 Anets Drive, Northbrook. Children aged 3 and over with an adult can celebrate New Year’s Eve and count down to 6 p.m. Entertainment from a DJ, games, crafts, prizes, snacks, a balloon drop and a sparkling cider toast. $ 15 for residents, $ 19 for non-residents.

Family party on New Year’s Eve: at 8pm to midnight Friday, December 31st at Haunted Trails Entertainment Park & ​​Picnic Groves, 1423 N. Broadway St., Joliet. Ring in the new year with food, a balloon drop, a toast, a countdown party and more. For free.

New Year’s Day Alpine Fest: Dinner until 10pm Saturday, January 1 at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. The brewery will offer guests two festive party scenes inside and out to ring into the new year. Alpine Biergarten offers six packed campfire sites, patio and barrel heat lamps, sheepskin seat covers, twinkling lights and more than two acres of winter landscape to explore, along with handmade beer and outdoor tableware, a food truck and music from The Unployed Architects. The Alpine Lodge experience is reflected outside, but with the comfort of a European beer lodge plus a games lounge with prizes.

The New Philharmonic performs its New Year's Eve concerts at  13.30, 17.30 and 20.30 Friday 31st December at Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

The New Philharmonic performs its New Year’s Eve concerts at 13.30, 17.30 and 20.30 Friday 31st December at Belushi Performance Hall at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.
– Lent by John Cebula


New Philharmonic New Year’s Eve concerts: 1:30, 5 and 8:30 pm Friday, December 31 at Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The New Philharmonic, directed by Kirk Muspratt, with baritone Ted Allen Pickel, performs Viennese classics and more. Premium seating includes a glass of champagne and party treats. $ 65- $ 77. (630) 942-4000

New Year’s Eve with BoDeans: 7pm Friday, December 31st at Des Plaines Theater, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a performance by BoDeans. (630) 962-7000 or

The String Cheese Incident: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 31 and January 1 at the Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Call in the new year with The String Cheese Incident, the band’s first New Year’s Eve in Chicago in 18 years. $ 56.75- $ 150.50.

American English: 8pm Friday, December 31st at Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. American English returns with another twist on The Beatles with their “A Hard Day’s Night” album followed by their “Let It Be” album. Tickets start at $ 27.

New Year’s Eve with the modern Romeos: Friday, December 31 at 22.00 in Impact Fuel Room, 481 Peterson Road, Libertyville. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the modern Romeos. The doors open at 21.00 for 21 years and older. Tickets start at $ 15 with VIP and main floor tickets $ 125 in advance, $ 5 more the day of the event.

On the stage

Steve Cochran’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Show: 3pm – 5pm Friday, December 31st at Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Say goodbye to 2021 with a comedy show featuring headliner Steve Cochran from Radio 720 WGN and special guests including John DaCosse, Mike Toomey and Tim Benker. Recommended for ages 18 and older. Tickets start at $ 37.

“The Snow Queen”: kl. 15 and 19.30 on Saturday 1 January and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2 at Chopin Theater Mainstage, 1543 W. Division Ave., Chicago. The house introduces a re-creation of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fable filled with magic, puppetry and music. 20 USD.


Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily through Jan. 3 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Explore holiday traditions from around the world. $ 21.95 for adults, $ 12.95 for children 3-11.

“Dr. Seuss Experience”: noon to 6:30 p.m., Friday, December 31; and 10.00 to 18.30 Saturday and Sunday 1-2. January at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. In-depth exhibition lets guests travel through nine different Dr. Seuss books. $ 23- $ 30; free for children under 1 year.


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