801 Springfield Rd.
East Peoria Illinois 61611United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Bar none, this is among the best drive-through holiday lights displays we've seen in the Midwest, and anyone traveling through central Illinois should plan to stop.
We've seen our fair share of holiday lights displays, and they are fun, nostalgic ways to spend 30 minutes or so during the holiday season, mug of cocoa in hand, car radio tuned to nonstop holiday tunes. But this display in East Peoria really blew us away with its size and scope. We saw "Star Wars" ships made in lights, regal teams of lit horses pulling carriages, a huge family of dinosaurs, the space shuttle, oversize cars, huge motorcycles, an Alpine village with a ski jump. Although it probably only took 30 minutes to see it all, the experience never seemed to end, and we didn't want it to. The display isn't just a collection of signs with some lights on them that they drag out of storage and stick up in a park. Each animal/object is huge, as big as several cars put together, and showered in colored lights. We paid our $10 at the gate and slowly joined the line of traffic snaking through the display, located just off of I-74 at Exit 96 (After taking Exit 96, take a left on East Washington, then turn left at the light on Springfield Road and follow the signs.) The Winter Wonderland Display typically starts during the first weekend of December and runs until January 2, so you have plenty of opportunities to catch it.