There are endless reasons Monticello tops the list for Christmas season fun in Central Illinois
From the Polar Express to lights at Allerton Park and many other happenings, we have everything you want to know about Monticello, Illinois at Christmas
Between the Polar Express, the quaintly decorated downtown, and several other holiday events, Monticello has become quite the capital of Christmas in Central Illinois.
This year, old holiday traditions mix with newer traditions. It’s definitely worth taking a trip to Monticello this Christmas season!
McIntosh Christmas Lights Show – Downtown
The McIntosh Christmas Lights Show lives on after its founder passed away from cancer. 2021 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 turn on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 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!
The Allerton Glow lights display returns again this year! 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 path goes for about a mile, although there’s no rule how long you have to walk! No need to make reservations, just arrive with your walking shoes and enjoy!
Lunch with Santa
Have Lunch with Santa on the Train at the Wabash Depot, a holiday favorite with kids of all ages. Enjoy a train ride, individual visit with Santa, and kid friendly sack lunch. Check out the frequently asked questions (FAQ) HERE. Some tickets still available for 2022 here.
It’s only one day but the Monticello Christmas Parade is also a fun way to make you feel festive! The parade is typically the first Saturday of December and begins at 11:30 a.m, with a new theme every year. The parade route begins on Hamilton and ends back at the school on State St.
Looking for more? Subscribe to our Home for the Holidays Newsletter. Want more ideas for holiday (or everyday) fun? Check out our Events Calendar.
Everything Holiday Season In and Around Champaign-Urbana
- How to Have a Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve in Champaign-Urbana
- 5 Things to Do on Christmas Day in Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Eat on Christmas in Champaign-Urbana
- A Beloved University of Illinois Tradition Sings On: Dial-A-Carol Goes Live Dec. 8
- Where to Order Holiday Meals and Treats in Champaign-Urbana
- Holiday Giving and Volunteering in Champaign-Urbana
- Amazing Christmas Lights Around Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
- Where to Find Santa Claus in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- All Aboard: Polar Express Fun (Beyond the Train) in Champaign-Urbana
- Meals with Santa Claus in Champaign-Urbana
- Holiday Lights at the Zoo: Where to Drive From Champaign-Urbana
- 50+ Experience Gift Ideas for Kids in Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Holiday Bucket List: 35 Things To Do Before Christmas
- 10 Festive Indianapolis Destinations for a Family Holiday Getaway
- 8 Great Places to See Holiday Lights in Central Illinois
- Holiday Season Parades in and around Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Buy a Live Christmas Tree Near Champaign-Urbana
- Home for the Holidays: Shopping and Eating Locally in Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Area Holiday Events and Activities
- Champaign-Urbana Area Christmas Shows, Concerts, Performances and More