10 tree lighting ceremonies not to miss in Chicagoland

There’s something warm about a community coming together in the cold, hot chocolates in hand, holiday music twinkling, waiting for the oohs and aahs as the city or village tree is lit. Here’s a list of tree lighting ceremonies around the Chicago area to see this holiday season.


Illuminate 900: Tree Lighting Ceremony


When: Nov. 21


Where: 900 North Michigan Shops, 900 Michigan Ave., Chicago


Count down with Santa as 900 North Michigan Shops pulls the switch on their 50-foot tree. Their mall will celebrate with live holiday performances, “elfies” with The Real Elf and sugar cookie decorating.


City of Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting


When: Nov. 22


Where: Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square, Michigan Ave. & Randolph St., Chicago


Enjoy the family fun with live music, performances and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tree lighting begins at 6 p.m.


Winter Lights Holiday Walk


When: Nov. 22


Where: Water Street Mall, 24 E. Downer Place, Aurora


Enjoy a holiday parade ushering in Santa and Mrs. Claus. It’s followed by a grand fireworks display along the banks of the Fox River. The official City of Aurora Holiday Tree, located in front of Grand Army of the Republic Museum, will be illuminated by Mayor Irvin, and Little Miss Aurora and Little Mr. Aurora. The twinkling lit streets of downtown Aurora will also be filled with costumed characters, festive photo-ops and much more.


Light Up the Park Tree Lighting


When: Nov. 29


Where: Parkway Bank Park Entertainment District, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont


Parkway Bank Park will turn on their tree lights and a spectacular display of more than 80,000 lights in the park. Enjoy ice skating, strolling carolers, sleigh rides, and Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Holiday Tree Lighting at Lake Katherine


When: Nov. 29


Where: Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights


Activities include a visit with Santa Claus, real reindeer, crafts and face painting, plus hot chocolate and cookies.


Light Up the Holidays Festival & Parade


When: Nov. 29


Where: Chicago Street between Van Buren and Jackson, Joliet


Activities begin downtown as early as 10:00 a.m., and include the Fantastic Fun Fair in the Joliet Area Historical Museum’s auditorium, as well as activities in the Joliet Public Library, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-n-Spice, Chevere Latin Cafe, JJC City Center Campus and more.


Tree Lighting Ceremony at Lincoln Common


When: Dec. 5


Where: Lincoln Common, 2345 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago


Stop by Lincoln Common’s first-ever tree lighting. While there, see special holiday performances, live reindeer, Santa and more.


Holiday Lights in Homewood


When: Dec. 6


Where: Martin Avenue between Chestnut Road and Kroner Avenue, Homewood


Watch Santa flip the switch for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Throughout the downtown, costumed characters and carolers spread holiday cheer, follow a parade of brightly, decorated antique cars to Hickory Road, and watch live ice sculpting demos, take photos with Santa, hot cocoa, bonfire, and holiday music.


Geneva’s Great Tree Lighting and Christmas Walk


When: Dec. 6


Where: Geneva Court House, 100 S. Third St., Geneva


Santa Lucia arrives by horse-drawn carriage and Santa arrives to open the Gingerbread House. Enjoy carolers, the Great Tree lighting, old fashioned candy cane pull, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies and shopping.


Greektown Christmas Ceremony


When: Dec. 8


Where: Greektown Halsted Street between Van Buren and Monroe streets


The Greektown Christmas ceremony will feature a specialty Christmas tree lighting with caroling from Greek school students, a Santa visit featuring complimentary photos for kids along with hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts in a heated tent.


Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.


This article originally published on Nov. 9, 2018. It has been updated with the most recent information.


- Advertisement -


8 Next-Level Grilled Cheese Spots in Chicagoland

Ooey, gooey and delicious grilled cheese coming right up!

What You Need to Know About Bed-Wetting

Brought to you by UChicago Medicine and Comer Children's.

Water Safety 101: Lake and Pool Safety Tips for Families

These lake and pool safety tips can help.

Best Homework Apps for Students

Students these days have a lot to juggle.

- Advertisement -