4 Drive-Thru Holiday Light Displays in Illinois
Light displays are one of the most magical parts of the holiday season. This year, keep up with the social distancing while still enjoying the magic of the season by hitting up some drive-thru light displays. Here are four to check out in Illinois.
East Peoria Festival of Lights
Starting on Thanksgiving night and running until Jan. 2, 2022, the East Peoria Festival of Lights hosts a fun holiday light drive-thru called Folepi’s Winter Wonderland. Tickets cost $10 per regular vehicle, $30 per minibus, or $150 per full-size bus. The display consists of a candy cane factory, dinosaurs, animals, lighted arches, and more. Festive music is available by tuning to 88.1 FM.
Reindeer Road Drive-Thru Christmas Light Display
Head to Reindeer Road in Naperville to see a festive show, completely free of charge. The show is new for 2021, but it was born from the popular Manchester Lights Show (shown in the video above) when that display outgrew its original neighborhood. Rather than nixing the display entirely, organizers moved it to Naperville’s Highpoint Church where there was plenty of room for visitors to see the lights.
Admission costs $10 per car, and proceeds benefit partner charities The Alive Center and KidsMatter. The display opens on Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 23, 2021.
Rockford Festival of Lights
First started in 1989, the Rockford Festival of Lights offers a festive family experience for the grand price of $0. This free event has more the 70 light displays made possible by sponsorship from local businesses.
The Rockford Festival of Lights is open from 5-11 p.m. starting on Nov. 26 and finishing on Dec. 31. The final New Year’s Even show will end at midnight for a unique way to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022.
Aurora Festival of Lights
Aurora’s Festival of Lights is totally free, making it a popular destination for Illinois families of all sizes. The driving route takes you through one mile of festive lights, including depictions of snowflakes, Santa’s toy factory, and trains. The event is made possible by the City of Aurora and the Rotary Club of Aurora, and while it’s free for all attendees, donations are very much appreciated. You can donate online anytime, or on Fridays and Saturdays at the show.
Check out the light show from Nov. 26 to Dec. 26, 2021. You must have a reserved time to enter the show, and you can make your free reservation online.
Catherine Hiles (she/her) is a native Brit living and working in Dayton, Ohio. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, including finance, cars, and parenting. She is a frequent contributor to Dayton Mom Collective, The Penny Hoarder, and WDW Magazine.
Cat lives with her husband, their two kids, and their energetic pitbull mix. She counts running, lifting weights, walking, and reading among her hobbies. See more articles by Cat.