Disclosure: This review was based on complimentary tickets to the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour.. I was not required to express a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.

It’s Day 2 of A Few of Our Favorite Holiday Experience series. Yesterday, we wrote about the huge Museum of Science and Industry’s Christmas Around the World exhibit (and giveaway, so enter!). For today, I’d like to talk about the Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour. We went last year and we couldn’t think of anything more family-friendly! We’d never taken a Chicago trolley tour or been to Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights or Christkindlmarket, so it was fun to knock out three things from our holiday bucket list. It’s become a familly holiday favorite!

Nitty Gritty:
Website: https://www.coachusa.com/chicagotrolley/
When: Tours operate Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, November 28 – December 21, and every day December 26 – January 4th with departure times at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: The Trolley boards at the John Hancock Plaza (875 N. Michigan Ave.) The Trolley makes stops at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights and Christkindlmarket for 30 minutes each.
Parking: We parked at John Hancock’s parking garage
Duration: Two and a half hours
Ticket prices: Tickets are now on sale, $29 for adults and $19 for kids and must be purchased 24
hours in advance at www.chicagotrolley.com. New this year, Chicago Trolley offers riders a Holiday Combo ticket which includes the Holiday Lights Tour and the Signature Hop-on Hop-off tour, $66.50 for adults and $35 for kids.
Stroller-friendly? We didn’t bring our stroller, but I suppose you could bring an umbrella stroller and stow it on the trolley.


  • Cool stops! We had never been to Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights or the Christkindlmarket as a family and had a great time even though the stops were only half an hour.
  • Nothing cooler than getting to see the city in all it’s twinkling glory
  • Not having to drive and park! Sure you can go ahead and drive yourself to Lincoln Park Zoo or Christkindlmarket but then you’d have to worry about parking (bummer) and traffic (double bummer). 
  • Let’s face it – riding on trolleys are cool!
  • Delicious treats! You get a voucher for a brownie and delicious hot chocolate from Hershey’s Chicago.
  • Informative. The drivers are also tour guides, so they were able to share their knowledge about the city.

Tips to enjoying the Chicago Holiday Lights Tour with the family:
  • Go early! Plan for traffic. You don’t want to miss your trolley.
  • Buy your tickets ahead of time. There are a limited number of seats on the trolley plus it runs only on weekends.

We wish…

  • …that we had more time to spend at some of the stops.

    Bottom Line:

    The Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour is a relaxing way to see the beautiful city of Chicago in all its twinkling glory. We definitely recommend it, but get your tickets in advance.

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