How to Find Chicago’s Christmas Light Displays

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This content originally appeared on my former Chicagosphere online-media blog, hosted on the Chicago Tribune‘s ChicagoNow network.

Ever wish there were a website that listed every single holiday lights display in Chicago and the Chicagoland suburbs? (I know I have.) I’m happy to tell you, there is just such a website: Chicagoland Christmas Lights!

So far the site lists 252 Christmas and other holiday light displays throughout the tri-state area. Find Chicago’s display listings here. I’m really not prone to saying things like the following, but I am a big Christmas Patton (it takes me 18 hours just to put up and decorate the tree). So as far as I’m concerned, this site is the coolest. Thing. Ever.

The site includes a great Google Maps mashup showing the locations of all the displays, which are helpfully categorized as “normal,” “animated,” “walk/drive-thru,” “paid,” and the ever-lovin’ “15,000+ lights.” If there’s a display you know about but can’t find on the site, you can email the site editors and they’ll include it in the listings.

Who put up this site? Who cares?! If you’re planning a walk or drive through a neighborhood with Christmas light displays, definitely check this wonderfully useful site before heading out. Yes, Virginia, there’s more to holiday light displays than Portage Park…

And while you’re at it, don’t forget the always-popular 26th Annual Music Box Theatre Christmas Show, December 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24. It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are that much more amazing when you see them with a live audience. Besides, who’s not a sucker for a holiday sing-along?

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