12 of Chicago’s best Christmas trees, displays and pop-ups
The Holidays are around the corner and everyone will be heading out to see the best Christmas lights in Chicago. 2020 has been a heck-of-a-year but one thing is for sure, the Holiday’s bring people together (hopefully more so in spirit than physical distance this year 😊).
If you’re looking for the best Christmas lights in Chicago, I put together a list of my 12 favorite locations you won’t want to miss. Travel tip: these are all located within the city limits, so you won’t have to venture out to the suburbs to see these trees!
You literally cannot miss this tree as you’re heading down Michigan Ave. It’s outside the north end staircase into Millennium Park between the sidewalk and the park.
It’s a simple tree with purple lights and no ornaments and ribbons. While the sidewalk is always a popular perspective to take photos, I recommend shooting from the top of the stairs.
Wicker Park 606 Bike Path
I lived in Wicker Park for 5 years so the lights on the 606 bike path have always been a favorite of mine. Even before I started my blog, I enjoyed walking by during the Holiday season.
The bridge structure is a deep purple color and the lights themselves are a light blue. It makes for a beautiful display in a neighborhood that isn’t typically known for it’s lights.
Wabash & Kinzie
This one may not be considered a legit “display”. I snapped this photo walking through the area last Winter and it turned into one of my favorite Holiday shots.
I took this photo standing behind The Langham Hotel close to Wabash Street. The direction of the photo is looking East.
The Wrigley Building
This is one of the most iconic Christmas Trees in Chicago. It’s at the start of the south end of the Magnificent Mile. It draws in all the Holiday shoppers and tourists.
The architecture of the Wrigley Building is stunning in itself but add in this gorgeous tree and you have the perfect photo op to finish off your shopping spree!
I’ve lived in Chicago for 7 years and never knew that this area was called Pioneer Court until I started researching for this blog post. This one may also be known as “the tree outside the Apple store.”
It’s directly across Michigan Avenue from the Wrigley Tree. They are so close in proximity you could get both trees in one shot. This tree is lit with a beautiful blue color so be sure to check it out at night. It’s a beautiful contrast against the tan Chicago Skyline.
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
I’ve visited this tree for the last few Christmas seasons. Little did I know I would eventually be moving 2 blocks away this past May.
The tree is in the courtyard of this famous luxury hotel. I’m sure the employees are used to passerby’s coming into the courtyard for photos but be respectful of the space and watch out for cars.
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
This one is inside a café, so you’ll have to be willing to spend a few dollars on a sweet treat or coffee. I go to L.A. Burdick’s at least once a year but last year was my first time visiting during Christmas.
The interior décor reminds me of a French café. Add in a mini Christmas Tree and you have the perfect Holiday photo op.
Lincoln Common is a new area of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The first annual Christmas Tree lighting was just last year.
The tree is silver and blue themed but since it’s so new, I’m not sure if they plan on changing it from year to year.
Millennium Park Skating Rink
Alright so this one is not technically a light display, but you can’t come to Chicago during the Holidays without stopping by this skating rink.
There are two rinks in this downtown area – Millennium Park & Maggie Daley. In my opinion, Millennium Park offers a better view of downtown in the background. Plus, the famous Bean is just above the rink so you can get a variety of photos from different angles with it.
Chicago’s Historic Water Tower
The historic water tower building is a popular Chicago landmark whether there’s a Christmas tree or not. This tree is also steps away from Michigan Ave so you can time your visit with your Holiday shopping trip.
This tree is very traditional with gold ornaments and red ribbons.
Christkindlmarket Chicago is the epitome of celebrating Christmas in Chicago. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Christkindlmarket Chicago will NOT be open this year.
Instead they are hosting a virtual Christmas market where you can shop online and get your favorite market treats delivered to your home.
Save this spot for future years!
Jack Frost Winter Village Pop-up
Fortunately, the Jack Frost Winter Village Pop-up WILL be open in 2020 starting November 24th. This is on the same property as the famous Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-up they have in the Fall.
You need to purchase your tickets with a specific time slot in advance. Tickets range between $21 and $30. A few 2020 reminders: Masks are required at all times, no tickets will be sold at the door and you are asked to limit your visit to 90 minutes.
Do you know of any other Chicago Christmas lights displays? Share them in the comments below!
If you’re visiting Chicago for the Holiday season and looking for other things to check out, be sure to read my other Chicago related blog posts here: Murals, Instagram Worthy Restaurants and Instagram Worthy Photo Locations.