If you don’t have a ton of money to spend, or you just don’t care to spend too much money this holiday season, but you still want to have a little fun with your family and friends, I’ve got a few low-cost suggestions on ways to enjoy the holiday lights this year:

Cosley Zoo is a small zoo in Wheaton that waives its admission prices for the month of December so you can check out their Festival of Lights. Here’s a sampling of some of the lights when we visited in 2011.

Aurora offers the Festival of Lights which is a free drive-thru attraction.

In addition, if you do a little Googling you will often find lists of homes in your area known for going all out for Christmas. Put together an itinerary and take the kids on a drive to check out the lights. We like to make some hot cocoa ahead of time to sip on while we make our rounds.

Candy Cane Trail (Carol Stream) – This home goes all out every year at both Halloween (when it’s called Canyon Trail Cemetery) and Christmas, including music synced up with their decorations. It’s a must see!

Holiday Lights at Lilacia Park (Lombard) – This park boasts tons of lilacs and tulips in the spring but in winter it’s lit up to celebrate the season.

Illinois Tacky Light Tour – This is a new find for me, but it looks promising.

Feel free to share your tips in the comments for places to see holiday lights.


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