Images: Best holiday houses in the burbs

The Slavich home at 128 Pratt Boulevard in Schaumburg has won the Schaumburg Park District lighting contest more than a dozen times. Their display features Finding Nemo, Where is Waldo, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Abominable Snowman, Grinch stealing Christmas, Scooby-Doo, Snoopy, lights that dance to music, candy canes, Pooh Bear, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, toy soldiers, elves, candles, spinning tree, teddy bears, Santa Clause, life-size nativity, lollipops, star, dancing snowflakes and ornaments.
The Sullivan family has been decorating their home at 1173 Brandywyn Lane in Buffalo Grove for the past 20 years.
The Schmidt family has been decorating their home at 991 North Apple Tree Court in Palatine for more than 20 years.
The Douglas house at 1521 Dun Lo Drive in Arlington Heights keeps the theme inside and out.
The Christoffel display at 1622 Clarence Ave. in Arlington Heights has more than 6,000 lights, plus a spinning snowman and a pop-up Santa rising out of the chimney. Both are accompanied by music and a Holiday Message. The homemade Pop-up Santa and Spinning Snowman are celebrating their 30th Christmas season and are featured in “The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland” book by Mary Edsey.
Fourteen-year-old Micheal Sanfillippo creates a jaw-dropping holiday display at 1147 Old Mill Lane in Hanover Park. He works through rain, sleet or snow from the first week of November until Thanksgiving to get the show read.
Kyle Domzalski says his house at 914 Sumac Lane in Mount Prospect is where Santa comes to enjoy beautiful Christmas lights and raise the roof.
The Rotzoll manger scene has a stunning 15-foot star draping over the manger inside the stable at 719 N. Forest Ave. in Mount Prospect.
One picture can't capture all that is on display at the Koehler house at 529 Hingham Lane in Schaumburg, says Brian Koehler. The side yard includes several more yard decorations, including 20 foot snowman and 15-foot hot air balloon carrying Santa. In total, the house as 10,000 lights.
Don and Doreen Jarosz spend more than a month decorating their home on 1350 N. Larkspur Lane in Palatine. The decorating is a family tradition that Don and Dorren do every year with their children, who comes home to help put up the singing penguins, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, candy canes, soldiers, gingerbread men, flying Santa, elves and much more.
Antono, 88, and Rosa, 84, Falco decorate their house each year at 215 N. Prospect in Bartlett.
The Thomsens decorated their house at 1103 E. Dogwood Lane in Mount Prospect this year to make it look like a gingerbread house with a mix of candy cane lane.
Kyprianidis Family spends more than 40 hours putting up lights and their display of the nativity scene, Santa, elves, a Gingerbread house, snowman and Disney characters at 1495 Morgan Drive in Elk Grove Village.
Mostly all white lights with some blue to add some color at the Fiorito home at 33 Grange Road in Elk Grove Village.
The Beddards mix homemade candy canes with a lot of blowmold characters, including more than 85 toy soldiers, at their home at 44 Kingsport Drive in Schaumburg. Bruce Beddard says it usually takes 10-15 minutes for passers-by to see all of the items on the property.
The Zwarts at 249 W. Palatine Road have roughly 4,000 lights strung on their bungalow.
The Schluckbier Wonderland at 503 S. Dartmouth Lane in Schaumburg has more than 30,000 white lights, many of which are synchronized to music.
Chuck Heeg II has been decorating his home at 17000 N. Chicago Ave. in Arlington Heights since 1995. It takes about a week to set up and Chuck strives to have a variety of everything. The lights are turned on from 4-10 p.m. through Jan. 1.
The Mickleys have 18,000 lights synchronized to 15 different songs in shows that start at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. daily at 2049 Tiffany Drive in Schaumburg. The Mickleys won the 2010 “Best Overall” category in the Schaumburg Park District’s Holiday Decorating Contest. For a preview, see
More than 100 homes spanning five blocks display more than 400 Candy Canes east of Mount Prospect Road and south of Dempster and Thacker in the Westfield Gardens area. It’s the 20th anniversary of the display, says James Wozny, 100 Oakwood in Des Plaines.
The <B>FioRito Christmas Wonderland is color coordinated with white, red and green lights. </B>The home at 111 S. I-oka Ave. in Mount Prospect is outlined in white lights with icicle lights as accents. Over the porch are shooting stars. The railings are wrapped in white lights with candy cane lights. the pillars are wrapped with red and green rope lights with red/green lights in the porch lights. Multicolored candy canes welcome you along the walk. Frosty the snowman waves to the greeters while Santa also waves to on-lookers. Two homemade Christmas trees sit in the background behind bushes wrapped in red, green and white lights. Three presents sit under a tree wrapped with figuring lights and red and green lights. Santa and his sleigh are in the front as he takes off for flight with Rudolph in the lead. The yard is boarded by white lights for a classic Christmas look. High on the house is a red and green Merry Christmas sign made by our family.
A 14-foot Bumbles, and his friends Yukon Cornelius and Rudolph visit for the holidays at the Coglianese home at 611 W. Berkley Drive in Arlington Heights.
The Daneks love decorating their house at 5175 Old Plum Grove Road in Palatine.
The Taitels put up a vast array of Christmas decor including homemade snowman and candy canes at 401 Wildflower Way in Streamwood. A star tops off a 15-foot tree of lights.
The Murphys have been decorating their home at 1326 N. Webster Street in Naperville since 1999 with homemade figurines that now spill over into neighbors’ yards. Singing mice, candy canes, Dalmatians, Santa Train and Life Size Nativity are some of the characters you will find. Santa will be making an appearance on Dec. 17, 18, 22 and 23 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Tarulis house at 827 Morven Court in Naperville.
The Hunts celebrate Christmas with “The Gingerbread House” at 175 North Rosedale Avenue in Bloomingdale.
Seventeen-year-old Zach Gebis is known in his family for his technological know-how. Zach took every Christmas decoration in his parents’ basement &#8212; deer, Santas, snowmen, a Grinch and more &#8212; and programmed it all to blink in sync to holiday music, broadcast on his own low-frequency radio station, 101.3 FM. The displays are set to seven songs &#8212; from “Carol of the Bells” to “Winter Wonderland” &#8212; and last for about 10 minutes. The show runs from 5 to 11 p.m. nightly until Jan. 1 at 27w537 Timber LaneWest Chicago.
A collection of vintage &#8212; religious and secular decorations &#8212; combined with colorful lights at the Elenbaas house at 1555 Leabrook Lane in Wheaton.
Blue lights highlight Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the nativity scene at the Durante home at 613 N. Willow in Itasca.
Frosty and all his friends frolic at the Muisenga house at 2N435 Swift Road in Lombard.
The DiCosola Winter Wonderland at 4N494 Mountain Ash Drive in Wayne is featured in the book of The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland. When visiting the display, feel free to walk up to view the animated scene behind the glass garage doors, Philip DiCosola says. The display will be lit up from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. through Jan. 1.
The Schaus Family Holiday Wonderland at 510 N. Arlington Heights Road in Itasca is filled with Disney inflatables and other famous characters along with a North Pole village, a Clark Griswald house and a nativity scene. The side yard has 8 foot Santa plus snowman and bears. The lights and some moving items are timed with music.
Nestled in Roselle at 559 W. Ardmore Ave., you’ll find Santa’s Toyland complete with a working Ferris wheel filled with Sesame Street characters at the Scow house. The Scow display also includes a moving “bicycle carousel” with dolls. Santa can be found waiving under the lit gazebo next to a giant jack-in-the-box. Scattered about are presents, candy canes and toy soldiers.
The Spain display at 23 w 720 Bryn Mawr Ave. in Roselle features more than 18,000 lights synchronized to music. The theme song is “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters. The mega tree has 4,000 lights. The snow angel and an arbor across the sidewalk are also automated.
The Clark family keeps the Nativity scene front and center at their home at 1260 Redfield Road in Naperville. In a grove of trees off to the left, Santa, Mrs. Claus and a few of their reindeer greet passers-by. The Santa Train off to the right has a working merry-go-round filled with a few of Santa’s friends. Two Christmas trees, decorated with a host of ornaments and colored lights, can be seen from the two bay windows. All windows, front porch, and garage are outlined in white lights, with wreaths and garland. The front porch is also decorated with an Angel, a small Santa, and a Dalmatian dog dressed for the holidays, who spends most of his time rocking in the chair. In addition, each street in the neighborhood decorates their parkway trees with a different theme, Jeannette Clark says.
Snowmen and snowflakes in abundance fill the Sarnecke yard at 493 N Columbine Ave. (Rt. 53) in Lombard. Light balls line the north side of the yard while snowmen and red bows line the south side and Santa’s sleigh and deer sit in the center.
Tim Dendor and his 9-year-old son, Anthony, took their first crack at hanging lights at 131 Placid Ave. in Glendale Heights.
Jamie Pfeffer has taken charge of the decorating at 986 Dorset Drive in Wheaton. The display grows a little each year, especially the blow molds.
When Kim Biars thinks Christmas, she likes to decorate with older items like blow molds at her home at 249 Mohawk Drive in Bensenville that remind her of her childhood.
The Caswells light up their home at 1353 Leslie Lane in Glendale Heights.
The Hrunek house at 460 Ridgefield Drive in Roselle has been decorated for the past 18 years.
The Wincek home at 1408 Justin Court in Naperville features Santa surrounded by reindeer and presents. A musical light show and the star of David round out the display.
A racing themed yard at the Carlson home displays five unique cars and pit crews, snowman flagman, penguin trophy holder and penguin spectators for the Santa 500 at 1505 Burlington Ave., in Lisle.
Twin 17-foot-tall candles blanket the Shuta home at 5463 Cascade Drive in Lisle.
The Wolf House at 162 Los Lago Drive in Bloomingdale is also known as the Gingerbread House.
It wouldn’t be the holiday season at the Andresen house without 5,000 lights and a winter wonderland displayed in their front yard at 1725 Logan St. in Roselle.
For almost 20 years, Carriage Hill Road in Island Lake has done it up right each Christmas, says Daniel Schmidt of 505 Carriage Hill Road. The display is like a great meal; well done, not overdone, he says.
Doug Suhling started a light show about 10 years ago at 4285 Crabtree Court in Gurnee. display about 10 years ago and ever since then his 15-year-old son, Charlie, has loved it. Charlie synchronizes the songs on a computer while Doug hangs more than 8,000 lights. Catch last year's video at
The Frosty Family at 530 Farmhill Circle in Wauconda has a 13-foot father, a 10-foot mother and 5-foot children. The snowmen are all one of a kind and represent someone in the Jakubek family.
The Shepherd house at 136 W. Maple Ave., in Wauconda.
Christmas lights adorn the front of the Krogh house at 34947 N. Wilson Road in Ingleside.
The Amari house all-lit up home at 1573 N. Cypress Pointe Drive in Vernon Hills.
Every year, the Gunger Family pulls a stunt where they put a second tree up on the roof, giving the illusion that the tree in the living room is going through the roof of their home at 2808 School Drive in Rolling Meadows.
The Gerrasch Spectacular Holiday Lights Display has more than 20,000 LED lights on display at 194 Fay Avenue in Avon Lake. Jim Gerrasch decorate the house and also dresses up as Santa on the night of the Lights Tour of Avon Lake and hands out treats and gifts to the kids.
Home sweet home of the Dreiling family in Island Lake includes lights in the back yard at 620 River Oaks Lane in Island Lake.
The Krue Family is ready at 204 Arcadia Court in Vernon Hills for Christmas with Santa and his Reindeer.
The Wikell Holiday House at 429 Killarney Pass Circle in Mundelein features a jack in the box, Santa on a motorcycle, Santa on the roof, snowpeople and penguins on the skating rink.
Every year at Christmas Kimberly Miller decorates the inside of her house at 40484 N. Sunset Drive in Antioch while her husband, Don, heads out in the cold to wrap all the trees on their acre of land.
Christmas lights at the Lis house at 515 W. Torrey Pines Way in Vernon Hills.
The Wessels home at 13 Warrington Road in Vernon Hills.
On a dead-end road in Wadsworth, you can always find The O’Brien’s entire yard decorated for the holidays. From the snowmobilers out front waiting for the snowfall to the lighted tree forests with penguins, the holiday cheer goes around the entire house at 40650 N. Forest View Road.
Christmas lights twinkle in the twilight at the Anders house at 1360 N. Cog Hill Court in Vernon Hills.
The Junia display at 35 Carlisle Road in Hawthorn Woods includes more than 100 outdoor figures and lighted trees arranged in individual scenes, more than 10,000 lights, stretches more than 100 yards on all sides, and isdesigned for viewing from both inside and outside.
“When I was a little girl, my favorite thing to do during Christmas was to drive around and see all the lights on neighborhood houses,” says Tina Ring. Each year, she and her husband add something to the decorations at their home at 886 Tiffany Farms Roadin Antioch. One neighbor has dubbed them “The Griswalds.”
The Kolmans have 20,000 Christmas lights synchronized to the likes of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and selections from The Polar Express at 2 North Brittany Lane in Hainesville. The show runs hourly from 4 p.m. to midnight. Tune your radio to 89.9 FM.
Everyone will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads with the Cramer’s Spectacular Gingerbread House at 409 Morgan Lane in Fox River Grove, Tom Cramer says. The handmade giant candy canes aglow and the life-size gingerbread people, colorful sparkling gum drops, shimmering candy and lollipops look good enough to eat.
The Mack family has decorated the Mack Manor at 217 N. River Road in Algonquin since 1994. This years theme is &#8220;outta control for the holidays.&#8221; The street is lined with candy canes, lanterns and candles. Several acres are covered in over 40 blowups, 50+ blowmolds and thousands of Italian lights. You are welcome to get a close view from the circular drive.up-close viewing.
A whole lotta white ... just plain white ... white night, is how Ken Buckman describes his house at 197 Wrenwood Ciricle in Elgin. He put up 10,000 white lights, going for the classic early american look. “You can see this baby from the main road a 1/4 mile away,” he writes.
Christmas tradition and whimsy merge in the Navarro yard at 309 S. Second St., in West Dundee. The yard is decorated with a traditional nativity at one end with Frosty and Crystal and also Santa and Mrs. Claus kissing under the mistletoe at the other end. Up on the roof Santa is trying to cruise down the chimney on a bicycle.
The Papiechh “winter wonderland” display in Geneva has more than 100,000 lights, over 4 miles of electrical connections and 640 Channels controlling individual trees, stars, angels and arches. The home is located at 39W641 Bealer Circle, near the intersection of Hughes Road and Fabyan Parkway. The show starts every night at 4:30 and ends at 10:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Tune to 89.9FM to listen to the variety of holiday tunes, while the lights dance to the music.
The Kuras house at 471 Kickapoo in Batavia.
The Arnold’s have been decorating their home at 106 Monroe Street in Elgin since 1976. Each year they add a few more decorations. This year there are about 22,000 lights and about 200 figurines. There are 36 ornaments in the tree, one for each year they have been decorating. They also decorate all four sides of their home so everyone around the block can enjoy the sights.
The Evensens Winter Wonderland at 585 Carriage Drive in Batavia has a synchronized show on a private radio station.
Lighted arches over sidewalks invite visitors to stroll down both sides of the 300 block of Juniper Lane in South Elgin. The block has been decorating as a group for the past 12 years, says Rick Dreher of 365 Juniper Lane. Neighbors also collect food and donations to help those in need.
The Misura Holiday Fantasy Land gets bigger each year as 11-year-old Colin spends hours decorating the house, with a little help from Dad, at 1649 Derby Drive in Batavia.
The Hurleys have 52 blow molds, 32 Christmas trees, 18 animated displays, 12 d and 12,000 lights (6,300 are programmed to music) at their home at 582 Wexford Drive in Elgin. Brian says his father always told him they decorated their house so Santa could find it. He says, when his son was born, he really wanted to make sure Santa found them. The display also includes a parkway filled with trees and deer. The snow-family in the middle represents the Hurleys. You can also see Santa flying behind the angles on the left of the driveway lead by Rudolf. The laser show runs for 20 minutes on the garage.
The Larsens Christmas light show at 42W891 Beith Road in Elburn takes more than 3 months of preparation and consists of over 755,000 sparkling LED lights. The entire light show lasts for over an hour and includes more than a dozen holiday tunes. The show runs through Jan. 2 from 5-10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 p.m.-midnight on weekends. You can also view the lights at
The Hoheland home at 3N040 Springwood Lane in Elburn features a lighted driveway, manger display, icicles and lots of lights.
Soldiers line the driveway and candy canes line the sidewalk of the Rohrbach house at 1818 Chandler Ave., in St. Charles. gingerbread houses and a candy workshop help round out the theme. An amusement park is also featured including a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, teeter-totter, and a gigantic hot air balloon among other things.
The Lococo Winter Wonderland is filled with candy canes at 1320 Prairie Drive in Algonquin.
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