Let It Shine

Appears in the December 2023 issue.

The Sparkle Light Festival is just part of a whole day of entertainment awaiting in Rosemont

A giant snowflake display at the Sparkle Light Festival

It only takes a few million twinkly lights to transform a baseball field into a winter wonderland. That’s exactly what the village of Rosemont has done to create its Sparkle Light Festival at Impact Field, home of the Chicago Dogs baseball team. (Yes, Dogs, as in one of Chicago’s famed culinary offerings.)

Open through December 31, the festival is returning for its second year with a redesigned layout and the addition of an ice-skating rink. “Guests will stroll through displays of over 2 million lights and are invited to visit Santa Claus, ice skate with friends, enjoy train rides on the Holly Trolly train, and even go tubing down the Alpine Slide,” says festival producer Shawn Hunter. “The show is beautifully laid out and well thought out.”

An illuminated village at the Sparkle Light Festival

The festival has five illuminated villages: the Frozen Forest, Merry and Bright, Snowflake Circle, Winter Wonderland, and the North Pole. “It’s fun for all ages,” Hunter says. “I love the big Santa Claus, and there is a 20-foot snowman you can walk through.”

General admission is $24 for adults and $18 for kids (ages 2 to 12); book a time slot online in advance. Ice skate rental is $5 (no outside skates allowed). Unlimited tubing rides on the two-story Alpine Slide are $22 per person. “Arrive early and dress for the weather,” Hunter advises. “We expect to have several sold-out nights throughout the holiday season.”

If all this outdoor fun builds up an appetite, concessions are available onsite, though Rosemont has no shortage of nearby restaurants (Carmine’s, Crepe Cafe, Dave & Buster’s). If you need to work on your holiday shopping, there’s also no scarcity of neighboring stores (the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is hard to miss).

A tunnel of red lights at the Sparkle Light Festival

Seeking even more amusement, such as a movie or, say, indoor skydiving? The adjacent Parkway Bank Park complex boasts 17 dining and entertainment venues, including an AMC theater, Bub City, Crust Brewing, Fogo de Chão, iFly, Big Ten Experience, Sugar Factory, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar, and Zanies Comedy Club. Open through January 28, there’s free skating at the park’s Chicago Wolves Ice Rink. Bring your own skates or rent onsite for $8.

PRO TIP: For those looking for an all-inclusive festival experience, Rivers Stadium Club tickets are $70 per person and grant access to Impact Field’s indoor club, complete with a buffet, beer, wine, and soda—plus unlimited tubing. Six private suites are also available for rent.

Know Before You Go

Sparkle Lights Festival at Impact Field

9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont
Onsite garage parking is $5.
For more info: sparklerosemont.com

Parkway Bank Park

5501 Park Pl., Rosemont
Free parking available with validation from one of the park’s venues.
For more info: parkwaybankpark.com


Photos: Matt Zuro