Best Christmas Lights Displays in Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, Monticello, Paxton, Rantoul and MORE!
Looking for houses with the best Christmas light displays in the Champaign-Urbana metro area? Check out our list of Amazing Christmas Lights Around Champaign-Urbana and Beyond to help you plan a night with your family that’s fun, festive and free! We’re just getting started here, so be sure to come back here in the next few weeks as even more displays pop up.
So pack some snacks, fill up a thermos with hot cocoa (or a sippy cup with chocolate milk for the toddler crowd) and head out on a mission to find the best decorated houses in the Champaign-Urbana metro area.
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We thank CIBM Bank for presenting everything we want to know about Champaign-Urbana area Christmas lights displays this holiday season.
Download our FREE Christmas Lights in Champaign-Urbana Scavenger Hunt. Another way for your family to enjoy the lights!
How We Make This List
This list of where to see lights is crowd-sourced from both chambanamoms.com team members (a certain person who might be obsessed with lights) and reader comments.
We ask on Facebook for recommendations, if someone tells us there is a great display at X address, we will include it.
We can’t drive around to every location to verify a light display, and what some people think is worth-the-drive display, others might not want to bother with, so please use our list with that in mind. We try to include details and pictures to help as well!
Addresses without an asterisk and bold are verified listings, meaning either a Chambanamoms team member has seen it in 2019 or a spotter has told us the display is up for 2019.
** Addresses with double asterisks are unverified locations which mean they have previously had displays but have not been visited by us yet in 2019. If you have seen one of these sites, please let us know so we can keep this post updated. Thank you!
We will be updating the list all month long. Happy light hunting!
CHAMPAIGN, URBANA AND SAVOY LIGHTS
A Champaign-Urbana holiday tradition for more than 50 years, Candlestick Lane will light up on Saturday, Dec. 14, this year. After that, Candlestick Lane (aka Grant Place, located between Cottage Grove and Philo roads, and north of Florida Avenue) has its lights on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly through New Year’s Day. Drive cautiously and turn off headlights to get the most enjoyment from the lights. Several streets and neighborhoods around Candlestick Lane have the bug too. See our video below from 2018.
Also in Urbana:
Not too far from Candlestick Lane is another festive neighborhood full of lights. The easiest way to get there from Grant Place is to go back to Washington Ave, and go east. Then head south on Country Squire Lane, and continue to Greenridge Drive. Go south on Greenridge Drive, and check out lights on East Pennslyvania, Vermont, and Michigan Aves. This group of homes has a lot of different inflatables, characters and visual effects. My kids really liked the Nutcrackers!
South Prospect Avenue and Kirby Avenues, Champaign
Start with the beautifully lit trees at Champaign Country Club, and head south on Prospect.
Light Up the Croft, Champaign
Light Up the Croft – aka the house at the southwest corner of Prospect and Greencroft (22 Greencroft), south of the Champaign Country Club, has returned to the lights circuit this year! This synchronized light show is up and running – and it is gorgeous. Songs include Nutcracker, Elvis’ Blue Christmas and more. See our video HERE. (The house is located on Prospect, but to see the lights best, drive through the Greencroft neighbor. Enter off Kirby.)
Greencroft neighborhood lights: Greencroft might be one of more confusing neighborhoods in Champaign as the house numbers follow a very different convention than what is typical. But its synchronized neighborhood trees are beautiful, and there’s a few individual houses that are very into the holiday spirit this year; check out the ones on the south end of the loop.
The 1109 Kirby Light Show. This lights show at 1109 W. Kirby Avenue, two blocks west of Prospect, debuted in 2018. Since Kirby is a busy street, it can be a challenge to see this display. Our recommendation: Kirby isn’t as busy in the later evening (or on the weekends). Come up to the house going east on Kirby (just east of Lincoln) and put your hazards on. Tune into 93.1 on the radio; the show lasts for at least six songs. The one my kids liked the best was the Polar Express.
There are a few houses around Clark Park that are pretty too, including the large tree in the Park. Go a little further south on Prospect for a few more fun houses just past Devonshire (turn left on Mendota).
Prairie Fields, Savoy
Prairie Fields, the neighborhood located around Carrie Busey Elementary School, has several fun lights displays and houses with popular characters including a large Olaf and the Peanuts gang. Take Old Church Road to Prairie Rose, and drive up and down the streets there.
From Savoy go to …
Cherry Hills, Southwest Champaign
There is a pocket in the northeastern part of Cherry Hills that is very festive. Individually, none of the houses is spectacular – but all together, it makes for a fun drive especially if you are in that part of town. You’ll see Santa on top of the roof, the peanuts gang, and blue trees. Take Windsor to Cherry Hills Drive, then Applewood to Woodridge. Check out Cherry Creek, Worthington, Woodridge and Wedgewood roads. Then head south to Crystal Tree Drive for two more fun houses, including one that looks like the North Pole and the other which has a reenactment of the famous Christmas Story pole fiasco.
The Vale House, Champaign
Characters — from the Peanuts gang to R2D2 and Yoda to animals and more — cover the lawn, and it’s worth the trip to Ironwood/Trails of Brittany to see it. In the 1800 block of Vale Street, in far west Champaign. (The house next door is also into the whole spirit.) There’s also some other pretty decorated houses if you continue to Savanna to Westborough to Benedot, all in the same southwest corner of the neighborhood.
Santa’s Visit House, 1601 Bentbrook Court, Champaign
This house doesn’t appear to be something special if you just drive by, and most people will do right that – pass by, as it is on a cul-de-sac tucked into Lincolnshire Fields (though not far from Kirby Avenue, on the west side of I-57). But it actually has one of the most unusual interactive shows we’ve seen, and you can hear it when you turn on the radio to 87.7. Watch the show in the window above the garage. You might see a visitor from the North Pole! Our Instagram video doesn’t do it justice. From my 10-year-old: “This house has lots of pretty lights from candy canes along the driveway to a radio connected to a Santa recording on a window. People feel the house is not as amazing as some other houses, but is quite the sight. It has a nice Christmas theme to it. The music on the radio goes with the Santa recording on the window.”
The popular Clark Griswold House holiday display, located at 701 N. Timberview, boasts lights everywhere — all over the house, in the front yard, the back yard and wrapped around two-story Evergreen trees. It includes a Santa village, a toy shop, Alvin and the Chipmunks singing, and much more.
The Griswold house lit up early this year, to benefit a 4-year-old Mahomet who will be spending Christmas in the hospital; the lights will return after Thanksgiving. All of Timberview is in the spirit this year! Most of the street is lit up.
The Griswold House isn’t the only reason to visit Mahomet on a lights quest.
Love superheroes? The Dodge house on 206 N. Spruce Drive in the Lakeview subdivision off of Tin Cup Road is a MUST SEE, and there are several houses in that neighborhood that are worth a drive past. Don’t forget to check out the light show on Red Bud Court as well!
Here’s a video of The Dodge house.
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From Mahomet, it’s not too far to head to LeRoy. It’s worth it to see 400 S. Buck St. in LeRoy (not yet confirmed for this year).
The house is on a large corner lot in LeRoy, and the Christmas display takes up almost every inch of their property. Lots of characters and fun elements! We visited this display in the RAIN last year and even then, it was super magical. Be sure to park and walk through it. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it! About 35-40 minutes away.
Between the Polar Express and other events, Monticello is quite the capital of Christmas.
The McIntosh Christmas Lights Show lives on after its founder passed away from cancer. Monticello’s McIntosh Christmas Lights Show has a new location; the City of Monticello purchased the synced light show equipment from the McIntosh family after last year’s Christmas season, and will install it at Rotary Centennial Park downtown. It debuts on Nov. 29 and will be lit from 5 to 10 p.m. every day through the end of December.
Once again, Allerton Park has its own lights display thanks to a partnership with Kirby Medical Center. Enjoy an enchanting stroll of lights from the Mansion parking lot through the Avenue of the Formal Gardens and Brick Wall Garden to the Visitor Center. The Kirby Winter Wellness Walk is open December 14 – January 5. IT IS FREE, but donations are appreciated; the Walk will be closed Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1.
ST. JOSEPH AND OGDEN:
The Shadden Christmas Display (402 N. Cedar, St. Joseph) also has a pretty amazing display including a countdown clock. New this year: a place to take selfies in a sleigh! They have a Facebook page now, too.
**The Maddock House, Ogden
Located in Ogden, this house sparkles in the dark country night. Children who live in and near Odgen will tell you this house has the best lights! To find this home (it’s not hard to find!) you turn South on Highway 49 when you take exit 74 at Ogden. Drive slow heading south and you will see it on your left.
**The House on 1406 East Grand Ave., St. Joseph has an amazing light display and is definitely worth going to see.
Lighting Up Paxton: The Johnson Home
We were delighted to learn that the area’s most dynamic synchronized lights show has returned to Paxton for another year. This is a show NOT TO BE MISSED, with 140,000 lights on one home. Here’s what we wrote on Halloween: “The 2019 display is scheduled to premier on Thanksgiving night, November 28. Setup has already begun a week earlier than normal to ensure that goal can be met with winter weather already making its return to Illinois. This year’s display will feature added music that has not been seen before. Videos of those new songs will be released after the display premiers in November.” The show has regular hours – 5 to 10 pm on weekdays, 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. We will be up there soon!
Candy Cane Hills
Who said the only reindeer in Rantoul were at Hardy’s? For another neighborhood that really gets into showing its Christmas spirit, check out “Candy Cane Hills” in Rantoul. You’ll see a wide variety of traditional displays as well as inflatables (Santa on a boat? Why not?) some reindeer, including a special display of Santa with Rudolph and friends; and lots and lots of candy canes. For more Christmas beauty in Rantoul, many houses on Champaign Avenue – the main drag into town – are festive as well. Easy to get to and not far from the Interstate, if you’re coming from Champaign-Urbana. Take Champaign Avenue (Route 136) west to East Drive, just past the McDonald’s. Follow East around until Indian Hills Drive. Candy Cane Hills includes Indian Hills Drive, Niepswah Drive, and surrounding streets.
Tilton Winter Wonderland
This community lights display is located in Tilton, which is just west of Danville. Get there by heading east on I-74. The lights start weekends December 6-8 and December 13-15. Then lights will be on every night from December 20-29; from 5 to 10 pm each night. The display is located at the Tilton Ball Park, which can be seen from I-74; get directions here.
They Love the Lights in Hoopeston
Lights fans, it’s worth your while to make the trek to Hoopeston – yes, Hoopeston. Come drive the mile long loop at McFerren Park and experience an unforgettable light display, named one of the top in Illinois. Tens of thousands of lights and dozens of displays will guarantee a night you won’t soon forget. Every evening, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, from sundown until 11 p.m. at McFerren Park. Enter from Elm Street entrance. Admission is free. While you’re in Hoopeston, check out the Thomas’s Light Show at 928 West Penn St. on the corner of 9th Avenue and Penn. More than 100,000 lights on three houses and controlled by Light-O-Rama!
Want more lights? Check out our Central Illinois Christmas Lights Trail.
We want to see your lights pics! Tag #ChambanaLights on Instagram or Twitter.
What displays or neighborhoods have we missed? Let us know in the comments or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org.