Experience the magic of Chicago's holiday season aboard the Christmas Trolley. This festive tradition, dating back to the early 20th century, showcases iconic landmarks like Christkindlmarket, The Magnificent Mile, and Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and themed music as you admire dazzling lights and decorations. Ticket packages often include a BYOB option and snacks, with check-in at Matilda for a 6:00 pm departure. Trust the professional chauffeurs for a comfortable journey and explore customizable tour options. For more details on tickets, routes, and tips to enhance your ride, explore further.

Main Points

  • The Christmas Trolley Tour features festive decorations, lights, and themed music, creating a magical holiday atmosphere.
  • Key stops include Christkindlmarket, The Magnificent Mile, and Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights, showcasing iconic holiday displays.
  • Complimentary hot chocolate and snacks are provided, with a BYOB option available for a more personalized experience.
  • The tour departs from Matilda at 6:00 pm, offering a fun and interactive way to explore Chicago's holiday attractions.
  • Sign up for the email list and follow social media for exclusive discounts and ticket sale updates.

History of the Christmas Trolley

Chicago's tradition of Christmas trolleys, dating back to the early 20th century, brings the city's holiday spirit to life with festive decorations and lights. These trolleys, adorned in sparkling holiday decor, offer a unique way to immerse yourself in Chicago's enchanting winter wonderland. The Holiday Lights Tour, a popular feature of these trolley tours, showcases the city's iconic landmarks and dazzling light displays, making it a must-do during the holiday season.

You'll find that the Christmas trolley tours in Chicago aren't just about the lights. They often include themed music, hot chocolate, and interactive tour guides who enhance the festive experience, creating a memorable outing for both locals and tourists. For those seeking a more personalized experience, private holiday lights trolley tours are available. These customizable options are perfect for corporate events, family gatherings, or any special occasion, allowing you to tailor the experience to fit your group's needs.

The tradition of the Christmas trolley has been a beloved part of Chicago's holiday celebrations for decades, offering a fun and memorable way to enjoy the season. Whether you're a native or a visitor, these trolley tours provide a delightful escape into the heart of Chicago's holiday magic.

Route and Key Stops

As you embark on the Christmas trolley tour, you'll visit key stops like Christkindlmarket, The Magnificent Mile, and Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights, each offering a unique slice of Chicago's festive charm. The trolley route is designed to cover some of the most popular Christmas destinations in the city, providing a delightful way to experience the holiday season.

First, you'll head to Christkindlmarket, where the festive holiday lights and traditional German Christmas market atmosphere will immerse you in holiday cheer. This stop offers unique gifts, delicious food, and warm beverages, making it a must-see.

Next, The Magnificent Mile awaits you with its dazzling lights and decorated storefronts. This famous shopping district transforms into a winter wonderland, with sparkling lights illuminating the streets and creating a magical ambiance.

Finally, the trolley takes you to Lincoln Park Zoo for ZooLights. The admission to this enchanting light display is included in your ticket, allowing you to wander through the zoo and admire the intricate light installations. The ZooLights event features millions of lights, making it a perfect way to end your tour.

The Christmas trolley tour offers a fun and interactive way to explore Chicago's holiday lights and attractions with family and friends.

Ticket Information

You can sign up for the email list to receive exclusive discounts and notifications for next year's Christmas trolley tour tickets. Tickets for the 2023 Holiday Lights Trolley Season in Chicago have ended, but you can stay updated by following the event's Instagram or Facebook pages for 2024 ticket sale notifications. By joining the email list, you'll get the first chance to snag those valuable spots at a discounted rate.

When tickets become available, they typically include several enticing benefits. The trolley tour route includes delightful stops at Christkindlmarket, The Magnificent Mile, and admission to Lincoln Park Zoo ZooLights. These iconic stops make the tour a festive and memorable experience.

Additionally, the tour offers a BYOB option, allowing you to bring your favorite holiday beverages to enjoy on the ride. Before departure, you'll receive a complimentary snack, and you'll also get a souvenir gift to remember your journey. The trolley ride itself is filled with music, holiday fun, trivia, and prizes, ensuring an engaging experience from start to finish.

Check-in for the Holiday Lights Trolley Tour is at Matilda, with a departure time of 6:00 pm and a return at 10:00 pm, making it a perfect evening adventure through Chicago's holiday magic.

What to Expect on the Ride

On the ride, you'll be captivated by festive holiday lights and decorations as the trolley winds through the heart of Chicago. This enchanting journey brings the city's vibrant holiday spirit to life, offering a unique perspective on some of its most iconic landmarks.

As you traverse Chicago's streets, you'll notice how the Magnificent Mile transforms into a dazzling wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights and holiday displays.

Inside the trolley, the atmosphere is just as festive. Complimentary hot chocolate warms your hands and your heart, while cheerful holiday music fills the air. An engaging tour guide is on board to share intriguing facts about the holiday attractions you pass, making the experience both informative and delightful.

Whether you're with family, friends, or a special someone, the Christmas trolley ride promises a memorable outing.

  • Festive Lights: Streets and landmarks glowing with holiday cheer.
  • Comfort and Warmth: Complimentary hot chocolate to enjoy.
  • Musical Ambiance: Festive holiday tunes setting the scene.
  • Engaging Commentary: Tour guide sharing interesting holiday facts.
  • Iconic Sights: Magnificent Mile and other famous Chicago spots.

This ride is perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the magic of the holiday season in a unique way.

Tips for a Magical Experience

To make the most of your Christmas trolley ride in Chicago, consider these tips for a truly magical experience. First, bring your own beverages to enjoy as you tour the city. Sipping on hot cocoa or mulled wine will enhance the festive atmosphere. Next, keep your eyes peeled for iconic landmarks like Lincoln Park and State Street, beautifully illuminated with holiday lights.

Seasonal music and entertainment on the trolley will keep the spirit high, so feel free to sing along or simply enjoy the tunes. The professional chauffeurs will ensure a safe and comfortable journey, allowing you to focus on the sights and sounds.

If you're interested in a more personalized experience, take advantage of the customizable tour options. You can tailor the route to include specific stops or areas of interest. This flexibility allows you to create a unique and memorable holiday outing.

Here's a quick guide to enhance your experience:

Tip Benefit
Bring your own beverages Enjoy a cozy drink during the ride
Look for landmarks See Lincoln Park and State Street
Enjoy the music Immerse in the festive atmosphere
Trust the chauffeurs Relax knowing you're in safe hands
Customize your tour Tailor the experience to your liking

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Still a Free Trolley to Navy Pier?

No, there isn't a free trolley to Navy Pier right now. The Navy Pier Trolley service is suspended for the 2023 season. Keep an eye on the official Navy Pier website for updates on future service.

Is There a Trolley in Downtown Chicago?

Yes, there's a trolley in downtown Chicago! Picture yourself gliding through the city's streets, exploring iconic landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods. You can hop on these trolleys to discover the freedom and beauty of Chicago.


In conclusion, Chicago's Christmas Trolley tour combines history, holiday spirit, and scenic stops. You'll see dazzling decorations, festive lights, and iconic landmarks.

Tickets sell quickly, so book early. Expect cheerful conductors, cozy seating, and delightful music.

For a magical experience, dress warmly, bring a camera, and arrive early. The Christmas Trolley offers a unique, unforgettable way to celebrate the season, making it a must-do for both tourists and locals alike.

Enjoy the ride and happy holidays!