Due to Covid-19, many of the free or inexpensive outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled. A few have come back, though, in 2021. (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021.) Read more
Christmas festivals at zoos have become huge holiday attractions. In the Midwest alone, at least eighteen zoos celebrate with holiday lights, carols, animal shows, and even ice skating rinks. Brookfield Zoo, Chicago’s oldest holiday zoo event, is celebrating its 40th year in 2021. But the very first zoo holiday lights event in the nation was Indianapolis Zoo’s Christmas at the Zoo, which dates back to 1967!
Many other zoos have hopped aboard the holiday festival train over the years. Here are a few highlights of eighteen Midwest zoo holiday lights events for 2021, listed by state: Read more
When I was a kid, we had a family tradition of piling into the station wagon during the Christmas season and driving around town, oohing and aahing at houses decked out in lights. We’ve continued the Christmas lights tradition as adults, only now we don’t drive around neighborhoods looking for homes decorated Griswold style. Instead we find one or two big displays put on by zoos, towns or civic organizations. This year we discovered a winner with the Du Quoin Holiday Lights Fair in southern Illinois. Not only does Du Quoin display an awesome drive-through lights show; they include a big indoor fair, as well. Read more
We’ve been so impressed with Folepi’s Winter Wonderland that we’ve gone to it several times. Folepi’s Winter Wonderland is the signature event of the East Peoria Festival of Lights. Read more
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” Everyone who has seen the movie, A Christmas Story, knows that line. And with the movie constantly in the top movie picks for the holiday season, who hasn’t seen it—at least once? The movie, released in 1983, is based on author Jean Shepherd’s childhood years in his hometown of Hammond, Indiana. Hammond is once again celebrating the movie during the Christmas season at the Indiana Welcome Center. The 2021 event runs from November 13 through January 2, 2022. Read more
Twinkling lights add a bit of magic to the holiday season. Infants to elderly are fascinated by dazzling lights displays. Whether you prefer to enjoy holiday lights on foot or in the warm comfort of your car, you’ll find many impressive and unique holiday lights displays throughout Illinois. Read more