The city of Aurora is home to three holiday light shows — Aurora Festival of Lights, Lehnertz Avenue Christmas Display and Let It Shine Light Show. (Michael DeSantis/Patch)
AURORA, IL — With the holiday season in full bloom and Christmas just days away, now is the time to solidify celebration plans. With its nickname as “the City of Lights,” it’s fitting that Aurora has no shortage of light displays to visit during the most wonderful time of the year.
This year, the city has a lineup of three light shows for residents and guests to visit, including the newest show at Fox Valley Mall.
Aurora Festival of Lights
A classic Aurora event, the Festival of Lights transforms Phillips Park into a decked-out winter wonderland. One of the largest free outdoor drive-through holiday light displays in northern Illinois, the Festival of Lights is currently in its 15th year.
A dazzling light display greets visitors upon entering Smith Boulevard from Fifth Avenue. The show is presented by the Rotary Club of Aurora and the City of Aurora and features more than a mile of displays, including the new helicopter display, Santa’s toy factory, holiday trains and giant snowflakes.
Last year alone, more than 50,000 cars visited the light show throughout its four-week run. Open nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 26, tickets are free, but reservations are required.
Lehnertz Avenue Christmas Display
In its 70th year, the Lehnertz Avenue Christmas Display has been a favorite for Aurora residents and visitors for decades. Houses on the street are decked out with displays, lights and “books” that share the biblical story of Jesus Christ’s birth.
The free drive-thru Christmas display opened for the season on the night of Dec. 12 and will remain open through Jan. 10. Every night until then, visitors can see the decorations between 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Sponsored by a nonprofit association comprised of neighbors, the display can be seen by entering Lehnertz Avenue through Sheridan Avenue. From there, people can drive down the street, loop through Lehnertz Circle — where Charlie Brown-themed decorations are located — and exit onto Ohio Street.
RELATED: Lehnertz Avenue Christmas Display Opens For 70th Season: Photos
Let It Shine Light Show
A drive-thru show city staff have described as “a wonderland [show] of more than 1 million lights,” the Let It Shine show at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, opened for its inaugural season in Aurora Nov. 12.
From 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly through Jan. 9, visitors can enjoy a holiday music-synchronized show from the comfort of their cars.
Tickets, sold per car for half-hour increments, start at $29.99 for weekday shows and $39.99 for weekend viewings. A fast pass can also be added to each ticket for an additional $20.