Best Christmas Lights Displays in Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, Monticello, Gibson City, Rantoul, Tuscola, Tolono, and MORE!
Looking for houses with the best Christmas light displays in the Champaign-Urbana metro area? Check out this 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, so be sure to come back here in the next few weeks as even more displays pop up. Please note that not all lights displays are up at the same time … some have told us what dates they are opening.
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.
Want more lights? Check out our Central Illinois Christmas Lights Trail (those displays are a bit farther away, including Peoria, Springfield, Sullivan and Mattoon).
Jump Directly to Champaign-Urbana Holiday Info:
Gigantic Holiday Guide | Drive Thru Holiday Events |How to Watch the Nutcracker for Free | Where to See Santa | Christmas Parades | Where to Get a Live Christmas Tree
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.
If you want to submit your house for consideration, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following info:
1. Your address
2. Dates your lights will be available for viewing
3. Hours your lights will be on
4. Any points of interest we should highlight
5. Photos (video optional)
We also ask on Facebook for recommendations: if someone tells us there is a great display at X address, we will include it. (If you want to be a lights reporter, please email us email@example.com or send us a note on Facebook/Instagram. And send in a photo, too!)
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 for displays in 2020.
** Addresses with double asterisks are unverified locations — meaning they have previously had displays but have not been confirmed by us yet in 2020. 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!
Presenting …. a map. Find Christmas lights near you.
CHAMPAIGN AND URBANA
Lighting Up the Croft, Champaign
Lighting Up the Croft (22 Greencroft, aka the house at the southwest corner of Prospect and Greencroft, just south of the Champaign Country Club) has returned to the lights circuit in 2020. This synchronized light show went live on Nov. 28 and will run through Jan. 6 – and it is gorgeous. The 20 songs include Nutcracker, Elvis’ Blue Christmas and more. See our video HERE and photo below. (The house is located on Prospect, but to see the lights best, drive through the Greencroft neighborhood; enter off Kirby.)
The 1109 Kirby Light Show, Champaign
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; word is there might be some new songs later in the season.
OTHER STOPS IN THIS AREA
Don’t miss the beautifully lit trees at Champaign Country Club on Prospect.
There’s a house in the 1000 block of Mayfair worth a look this year. More info soon.
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).
NEW! PORTER PARK
In 2020, the Champaign Park District has created “Winter Nights in Porter Park.” Starting November 27, they will light up the trail around the pond in Robert C. Porter Family Park for families to enjoy until January 3, 2021. Note: please park and get out to get the most out of this experience! We give you our review and tips for Winter Nights in Porter Park over here.
There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the lighted path that leads to a mailbox where kiddos can mail their letters to Santa. Porter Park is located at the corner of Rising and Windsor Roads. (Here’s more about Porter Park.)
NEW! Champaign Christmas Lights, Crescent & Southwood, Champaign (northeast corner)
This show is new to the circuit for Champaign. It is small, but DEFINITELY mighty – 3,000 lights set to music including an amazing Star Wars number complete with light saber battle, Panic at the Disco’s Into the Unknown, and traditional and contemporary holiday medleys. (We might gush about the color palette of the lights because we’re nerdy like that.) This show has something unique about it – viewers can control it! That’s right, grab your smartphone and scan the QR code provided, and it will take you to a website where you can see the different options for shows and pick one. Best viewing is on Southwood, the show is on the north side of the street. (Located not far from Sholem Aquatic Center).
NEW! The Manchester Christmas House, 1411 Manchester Dr., Champaign
Located in the Glenshire neighborhood, not far from the corner of Kirby and Staley Roads, is a house decked out for the holidays complete with inflatables and lights. One side of house has a mass of inflatables, more than 80! (see Snoopy, Santa, Mickey, Rudolph, Frosty and others). One of the inflatables is an animated dog that pops out of a present. The other side of the house is animated to music with multiple songs (Star Wars and Frozen fans, you will love it). There are between 50,000-60,000 lights that will be lit up. Tune your radio to 93.9! It’s already live, animation is on Sun-Thurs 5:30-8:30 pm and Friday/Saturday 5:30-9:30 pm. You can find more on the manchesterchristmas.com website. OUR FULL STORY HERE.
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 Vale House, southwest 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. 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. Another house to drive by in this neighborhood: 2009 Wiggins Street. The lights are on from 6:15 until midnight, from now until New Year’s.
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 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.
Candlestick Lane, Urbana
A holiday tradition for more than 50 years, Urbana’s Candlestick Lane typically lights up on the second Saturday of December. That means it will light up on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. After that, Candlestick Lane (aka Grant Place, located between Cottage Grove and Philo Roads, 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. (If you plan to walk through, please be safe, watch for vehicles, and social distance. There are no sidewalks.) Several streets and neighborhoods around Candlestick Lane have the light bug too. See our video below from 2018.
** Not confirmed yet 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 Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Michigan Aves. This group of homes has a lot of different inflatables, characters and visual effects. My kids really liked the Nutcrackers!
Other stops in Urbana:
The University of Illinois President’s House, 711 W. Florida, Urbana: This is one of the most stately homes in town, and always has a classy lights display. This year, it has upped its game, and worth a drive by.
The Ebert House, 503 G H Baker Dr, Urbana: This home doesn’t have moving lights, but it’s definitely beautifully lit. We also like his sense of humor. “Next year I’m coming for the Croft house lol.” Located in a neighborhood in far Northeast Urbana, behind Cracker Barrel. Lights are on everyday, 5pm-3am.
For 2020, the Prairie Fields HOA is once again sponsoring a lights contest; we know that will get the creative juices flowing.
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.
Other stops in this area:
2 Della Court, Savoy: Head to the Lake Falls subdivision (south of Prairie Fields) for this beautifully lit home. Lights are on after 5pm until 3am; lights will be on until January 2021.
Just south of Savoy, there are several beautifully lit homes in Tolono this year. Thanks to our tipsters!
The Tomson House, 311 E. Marshall Street, Tolono. The whole property is dazzling. Check out this WCIA drone video of the display.
Corner of Calhoun and Washington: We’ve heard that Santa is here, reading stories to visitors. Tune in to channel 90.7.
Clark Griswold House, Mahomet
The popular Clark Griswold 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 Schoonover family usually lights it up on the first Sunday in December: in 2020 that means the magic will happen starting on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Last year we noticed that most of Timberview Street got into the holiday spirit, making the Griswold house visit even more enjoyable.
The Superhero House, Mahomet
Love superheroes? The Dodge house on 206 N. Spruce Drive (in the Lakeview subdivision off Tin Cup Road) is a MUST SEE. The home boasts 25 wooden, life-size superheroes that Joe Dodge drew, cut and painted himself. If you drive by, you’ll see the Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, the Flash and many more superheroes “helping” to decorate the yard and house with strands of Christmas lights.
Hodges Christmas Light Show on Red Bud Court, Mahomet
There’s a bunch of lovely houses not far from the Superhero house, including the Hodges Christmas Light Show at 106 N. Red Bud Court (located in the same Lakeview subdivision). Below there is a video from 2019 of the home’s lights synced to music. This year’s show does not disappoint and features some pretty upbeat tunes including a rockin’ Christmas song, all with lights choreographed to the music. It can be viewed from the Superhero house and is just around the corner. No doubt it will catch your eye — you’ll want to sit there for 10-15 minutes to watch all the songs go through. NEW! this year: a donation box for Mom’s Pantry in Mahomet.
106 Ridge Rd, Mahomet. Display is on from 4:30 pm till 10:00pm nightly with extended viewing hours on Fridays and Saturday.
Other stops in Mahomet:
– 205 E. State Street (Most people will drive past this house on the way to the Griswold’s.)
– 1505 Riverwood Pt (A beautiful home new to our list this year.)
Just up the road (I-74) from Mahomet, the town of Mansfield has a lot of Christmas cheer. Take the exit and go south towards Mansfield, you will run right into Newton Street on the edge of town. What will you see? Check out the video below.
The McIntosh Christmas Lights Show lives on after its founder passed away from cancer. Last year was the first time the City of Monticello, which purchased the synced light show equipment from the McIntosh family, installed it at Rotary Centennial Park downtown. It is scheduled to debut on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 and will be lit from 5 to 10 p.m. every day through the end of December. This is also an interactive display – be sure to get out of the car and walk around the park. A true highlight!
Allerton Park once again 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 will be open even longer this year! It will open December 4 (sold out, so go on Dec. 5) – January 31. IT IS FREE, but donations are appreciated. The Walk will be closed Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1. NEW THIS YEAR! To support social distancing practices and limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a reservation is required for this year’s Winter Wellness Walk. Find details and sign up here.
Other stops in Monticello:
828 N Charter – The Smith House and neighbors: There are two houses included in the light/music show and then another house that has fun decorations on the corner.
250 W Grant St. – The Haworth House: The color scheme changes each night.
ST. JOSEPH AND OGDEN
NEW! Willowdale Winter Wonderland, St. Joseph
Starting Friday, December 4, Willowdale Subdivision in St. Joseph will become Willowdale Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive around this three-block neighborhood to enjoy dozens of decorated homes. Rumor has it that Santa will make a visit to the Wonderland on December 12. To get there: Willowdale subdivision is located north of I-74. If coming from Urbana, get off at the St. Joseph exit and go north; can’t miss it.
NEW! The Gillen Family Light Display: Lit through the evening of January 1, from 5pm til 11pm every night; on Christmas Eve they will be on from 5pm until sun-up on Christmas Day. There are 15,000 lights, and will be expanding more in future years. Located at 1250N US Highway 45, Tuscola.
NEW! The town of Fisher, located north of Mahomet and west of Rantoul, has gone festive this year. A lights contest, dubbed “Deck Your House,” has brought out the creative juices. A total of 18 houses entered the contest; you can see them all photographed and listed on Facebook HERE. Thanks to the Fisher Holiday Celebration for posting a map with the addresses HERE.
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. Easy to get to and not far from I-57, if you’re coming from Champaign-Urbana. From I-57 take Route 136 (Champaign Avenue) 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. For more Christmas beauty in Rantoul, many houses on Champaign Avenue – the main drag into town – are festive as well.
Lighting Up Paxton: The Johnson Home
Sadly, the Johnson Home will not be lit up for 2020. You can watch videos of the area’s most dynamic synchronized lights show online. This is a show NOT TO BE MISSED, with 140,000 lights on one home – of course, video only this year.
GIBSON CITY AREA
This year, Gibson City has transformed its lighted parade into a drive thru event. Light it Up!, Gibson City’s first drive-thru holiday light show, invites guests to stay in their cars and immerse themselves in a wonderland of LED light displays. December 10 and 11 only.
Harvest Moon Drive-In
Celebrate the Holiday season with Harvest Moon’s NEW Lighted Lane Christmas light display. Running from dusk to midnight daily from November 20 – December 31, the entrance area of the Harvest Moon is getting a festive makeover. They’re putting up thousands of sparking lights on the trees, poles, screen, marquee and driveway to enjoy when you drive by the theater on Route 47. Some of the light displays will dance to music as well.
Lights on Hunt Street, Melvin
This musical show includes lights synchronized to songs such as Believer by Imagine Dragons, Christmas Everyday, Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix, and more. The show runs 5-9:30pm through Christmas. Melvin is located Northeast of Gibson City; this home (116 S. Hunt Street, map) is about 13 minutes away from Harvest Moon Drive In.
Kennekuk County Park, Danville
Located five miles west of Danville, the historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park’s Bunker Hill Historic Area will be decorated for the holidays and thousands of lights illuminated. This year, the lights will have a limited scheduled, and will be on for three extended weekends: Dec. 11-13, Dec. 18-20, and Dec. 25-27 only. Directions HERE.
Brooks Family Christmas, Danville
Lit up typically starting the Sunday after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, 4:30-10. Tons of lights, arches, a lit up American map. Check out the Facebook page for updates and see how it looks. Located at 21134 Henning Road, Danville.
3026 Golf Circle, Danville. Tons of inflatables and lights.
Tilton Winter Wonderland, Tilton (limited dates)
This FREE drive-through community display, located in the Tilton Ballpark (which can seen from I-74), will be up for limited dates in 2020. Part traditional, part humorous. Gingerbread cookies playing volleyball, a helicopter flying, and grandma getting run over by a reindeer :D. Turn your radio to 101.1 FM to enjoy some Christmas music. DATES: December 11, 12 , 13; December 18 thru December 27; 5 pm to 10 pm. Map 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 Jan. 2, 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!
The Welch Home, 401 W. Plains Dr., Oreana (just outside of Decatur)
If you’ve ever wanted to get your photo taken as Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, this is the place to go. Every inch of this house is decorated, too. “I’ve got a Chevy Chase cutout,” Welch told the Decatur Herald-Review. “There’s a hole where the head is so people can get out of their cars and have their picture taken with it.” About 45-60 minutes away from Champaign-Urbana, depending on where you start from.
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.
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