Three Festive Christmas Drive-Thru Light Displays To See In Southern Illinois This Holiday Season

Heather Raulerson

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Finishing out my Tri-state Midwest Drive-Thru Christmas Light Displays is the Sensationally Unique Displays in Southern Illinois. Each of these light displays will bring such enjoyment to your family that you might make them a new family tradition year after year if they aren’t already. So, grab those car keys, pile the family into the vehicle, and head out into the bright, colorful world of the Drive-Thru Christmas Light Displays in Southern Illinois.

Christmas Wonderland - Alton

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Christmas Wonderland’s light display has over 4 million lights decorating trees in the Rock Spring Park in Alton. When you enter the park, you are welcomed by the giant cascading waterfall of lights. A different group decorates each area of the park. You might think that it would be disconnected, but actually, there are so many lights that they flow altogether. When you get to the park’s high point and look down, it seems like a river flowing of colorful lights with lit trees popping up by the river. If you want to listen to Christmas tunes while driving through the light display, turn your radio station to 87.9FM or tune into 102.5 FM for Christmas music from St. Louis.

Important things to note: Traffic is heavy going through the lights. Please bring your patience when looking at the lights as the cars will stop and go throughout the entire display. The entrance is at 2100 College Ave in Alton. The light show is turned on Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until December 27. There is a suggested $7 donation per car or $1/person for vehicles with over ten people.

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Christmas Wonderland is a drive-thru light display that my mom and I have been going through almost every time that I came into town for the holidays. This year I had a pleasant surprise where the truck in front of me paid my car’s donation. Thank you for the fantastic pay it forward gift!

Christmas Lights Wonderland - Greenville

Photo by Heather Raulerson

This is one light display that you can easily see from I-70, but most people don’t take the time to visit it. What a lovely surprise it was! The light display is in the American Tractor Museum and has a single one-way route through the displays. I was so glad not to rush through this as there are over 50 lightboxes to see. Most of them are on the passenger (right) side of the car. As I was driving solo, I had to stop the vehicle for each lightbox to see what was in them. These lightboxes are so creative. You can find everything here, from the traditional nativity and holiday scenes, Santa, and Rudolph, and even the Peanuts gang make an appearance. Due to COVID, Hot Chocolate and cookies will not be available as the Lil’ Red Barn will be closed this year. But, don’t let that stop you from visiting this fascinating light display in Greenville.

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Important things to note: The entry is at the American Tractor Museum at 1395 Museum Ave in Greenville. The lightboxes and displays turn on nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until December 31. The cost to enter is by donation as much as you would like to give.

Way of Lights - Belleville

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Another unique holiday event to add to your list is to explore the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Each year you can expect an incredible light display with over a million lights. But, there is more than lights here. You can make stops at a couple of places for more family fun. The first stop is filled with live animals. You can get some beautiful photos of your children feeding the animals in the petting zoo or getting camel, donkey, or pony rides. The second stop is indoors in the chapel. Inside, you can find the choir singing beautiful Christmas carols. After listening to the lovely music, you can browse through the creatively decorated Christmas trees and wreaths on display before you head back out to your vehicle to finish driving through the light display. For over 50 years, Our Lady of the Snows has been welcoming over 350,000 visitors during each holiday season and sharing the story of the Birth of Christ. Attending the Way of Lights is truly a magical evening of laughter, smiles, and a great reminder of what the Christmas season is all about.

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Important things to note: Traffic is heavy entering the Light Display. The entrance is at 442 South DeMazenod in Belleville. The light show runs daily from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until January 1. There is no cost to enter the light display. However, there are additional costs to feed the animals and for the camel and pony rides.

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and even when I get busy with life, it is nice to step back and take a measure of what is truly important. And taking a break and making time to drive-thru these festive Christmas Light Displays helps you re-focus your crazy filled life to a simpler time, where thoughts were only filled with what you wanted to get for Christmas and having fun spending time with your family. So go and spend time with your family this holiday season driving through these spectacular light displays. Time for some laughter, smiles, and family fun. Happy Holidays Everyone!


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Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI

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