Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies 2015

Get in the holiday spirit with these tree lighting events that will fill your children with wonder. Many ceremonies include family activities and a visit from Santa, so Go Make Holiday Memories!

For more holiday family fun, see our related posts on Chicago’s Holiday Events and Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms and our calendar of events.


Nov. 14, 1-6pm
Holiday Tree Lighting
The Promenade, 631 East Boughton Rd. Entertainment, horse & wagon rides, stages, family fun, tree lighting and parades.


Nov. 19, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016, daily 9:30am-4:30pm except Thanksgiving and Christmas
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Chicago: 773-684-1414
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration, a Chicago tradition that began in 1942 with a single tree dedicated to the Allies of World War II. The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees and displays beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions.


Nov. 20, 2015 – Jan. 2, 2016, 5-9:30pm
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Lisle: 630-725-2066
The Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rt. 53. Visitors are once again invited to walk Illumination’s one-mile path, surrounded by 50 acres of woodlands bathed in theatrical LED lighting in shades of vivid electric blue, hot pink and neon green.


Nov. 20 & 21, Fri. 5-6:30pm, Sat. 10am-6pm
Edgebrook’s Tree Lighting & Holiday Open House
Rockford: 815-398-8957
Edgebrook Shops, 1639 N. Alpine Rd. Get in the holiday spirit with Edgebrook’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Open House! On Friday, come and enjoy the festivities with our Edgebrook merchants and Santa. The official tree lighting will happen at 6:00pm. On Saturday, Edgebrook’s Open House is the perfect way to kick off your holiday shopping and to see all the unique items our merchants have to offer.


Nov. 21
The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®
Parade steps off at 5:30pm at Oak St. heading south on Michigan Ave. to Wacker Dr. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse lead a magical evening lighting parade down The Magnificent Mile, illuminating more than one million lights on 200 trees along North Michigan Avenue. Family-friendly activities from 11am-4pm at Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Ave.


Nov. 21, 6-8pm
Jelly Belly Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Pleasant Prairie, WI: 866-868-7522
Jelly Belly Visitor Center, 10100 Jelly Belly Ln. Bring the whole family and join us for the Jelly Belly Christmas Tree Lighting! Meet Santa in a spectacular candy wonderland. This holiday celebration also includes face painting, balloon art, a magician, and raffles and prizes.


Nov. 22 at 4:45pm
Light Up the Parks Holiday Parade
Loves Park:
The parade begins at 4:45pm, leaving from Schneider Electric at 1354 Clifford Ave., traveling north on Elm Ave. and ending at the intersection of Roosevelt Rd. An awards ceremony will be held during the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Machesney Park Town Center.


Nov. 24, ceremony at 5:30pm and lighting at 6pm
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Millennium Park
Michigan Ave. & Washington St. This year, Chicago’s official Christmas Tree will be positioned in Millennium Park, not Daley Plaza. See the breathtaking spectacle when the lights go on at 6pm. Stay for a visit with Santa immediately following the lighting until 8pm.


Nov. 25, 4-7pm
Tree Lighting Ceremony & Christkindlmarket
Mount Prospect.
Village Hall – Keystone Plaza, Corner of Route 83 and Busse Ave. Bring friends and family to witness the lighting of a tree donated by a Mount Prospect resident. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cookies and carols. Stay and explore the Christkindlmarket in the Community Room, which welcomes an array of local vendors with creative gifts just in time for the holidays.


Nov. 27, 4:30-5:45pm
25th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony
Arlington Heights: 847-577-3000
North School Park, Eastman Street and N. Arlington Heights Rd. The Village of Arlington Heights installs and decorates an evergreen tree on the Park’s fountain and lights up the streetscape trees. Our Park District craftsmen have created a number of display pieces over the years that carry out a children’s toy theme.


Nov. 27, 5pm
Light Up The Night
Geneva: 630-262-0044
Geneva Commons will kick off the holiday shopping season with its traditional “Light Up The Night” tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 27, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The evening’s festivities, which take place at the Bell Tower, include free horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa’s arrival. The event is free and open to the public.


Fri.-Sun. Nov. 27-29 & Dec. 4-6, nightly Dec. 11 – Jan. 3 (not Dec. 24 and 25), 4:30-10pm
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Chicago: 312 -742-2000
2001 North Clark St. ZooLights celebrates the winter festivities with more than two million lights illuminating the sky. The free event transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a winter wonderland with visits from Santa himself, holiday crafts and activities, ice sculptors and of course, sweet treats. Bring your skates for the ice rink.


Nov. 27, 4-9pm
Lightin’ Up! Downtown
Kenosha, WI:
Downtown Kenosha lights up – literally – for the holiday season with this wondrous, family-friendly festival. Festivities include our City Tree Lighting, free streetcar rides, Visits with Santa, the Lightin’ Up Business Decorating Contest, and so much more! Downtown businesses will stay open late and welcome you in for special sales and promotions, live entertainment, family activities and old-fashioned holiday cheer!


Nov. 27, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016
Wonderland Express
Glencoe: 847-835-5440
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd. Wonderland Express is one of the Chicago area’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience. Bring the smartphones and video cameras, as our holiday exhibition delights children and parents, friends and families. Kids, look for Thomas the Tank Engine!


Dec. 3, 6-7:30pm
Tree Lighting in Wilder Park
Elmhurst: 630-993-8900
Wilder Park, 175 Prospect Ave. Get into the holiday spirit in an old fashioned celebration at Wilder Park. Featuring holiday entertainment, a special visitor from the North Pole, children’s activities in Wilder Mansion, and live reindeer.


Dec. 5, 10am-6:30pm
Barrington Aglow Tree Lighting
Barrington: 847-304-3400
Lake Cook Rd. & Hough St. Barrington will celebrate the holidays with free family events throughout the town! The event culminates with Santa arriving on a fire truck and a tree lighting 5:00PM-6:30PM at the Village Center. Santa visits, carriage rides, a trolley, free cookies and cocoa, carolers, storytimes, a dance performance and much more! What a day of free holiday merriment!


Dec. 5-31, Sat. & Sun. plus Dec. 28-31
Holiday Lights
Zoo is open from 10am-9pm, lights come on at 4pm. Chicago’s largest lights festival with over one millions twinkling LED lights, along with an interactive display, a talking tree, ice carvers, train display and more.


For more holiday family fun, see our related posts on Chicago’s Holiday Events and Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms.