You’ve drunk the glögg at Simon’s, ransacked Christkindlmarket and gotten tickets for your favorite holiday shows—and yet, you’re still itching to take your Christmas spirit to the next level. We’ve got the perfect solution: Take a short day trip from Chicago to chop down your Christmas tree Little House On The Prairie-style. To have your home rich with the smell of fresh-cut pine is well worth the drive, we promise.
Recommended: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago
Where to cut your own Christmas tree
Ben's Christmas Tree Farm
Choose from nine types of trees—from white pines to Fraser firs—and Ben's Christmas Tree Farm will provide the tools to cut down your own evergreen so you can take it home for the holidays. The folks at this tree farm will even shake and bale the tree for you. While you're there, enjoy the complimentary horse-drawn wagon, coffee and hot cocoa. Just make sure you dress for the weather and prepare for a fun Christmas tree excursion. $6-$9 per foot. 7719 Ryan Road, Harvard, IL. Cash or check only. Nov 27–Dec 20, Fri–Sun.
Bengtson's Christmas Trees
Christmas trees and reindeer? It doesn't get more Christmas-y than this, folks. At Bengtson's Christmas Trees, visit the reindeer and then pick from a wide variety of trees. While you have your tree shaken and wrapped up, warm up by the fire and have a cup of hot chocolate. $8 per foot for trees up to 10 feet, $10 per foot for trees 11 feet and up. 10919 W Wilmington Rd, Peotone, IL. Cash or check only. Nov 27–Dec 22, 9am–4:30pm every day.
Camelot Christmas Tree Farm
Be your family’s knight in shining armor by bringing home a tree from Camelot Christmas Tree Farm. The DeKalb farm boasts everything from Fraser Firs to Scotch Pines to Canaan Firs, so even the pickiest of greenery connoisseurs can find the perfect tree. They also have a warm hut with hot chocolate and cookies so the kids won't freeze. (All trees $60, cash or check only. 16380 Somonauk Rd in DeKalb, Mon-Fri 12pm-4pm, Sat-Sun 9am-4pm.)
Pick out a pre-cut tree or head out with your own saw at Lee's Trees farm in Lily Lake. Afterward, head by the shop and sip some hot chocolate and homemade cookies to warm up. Average tree is $65. 45W002 Lees Road, Lily Lake, IL. Nov 27–Dec 20 (or until sold out), 9am–5pm Sat & Sun.
Oney's Tree Farm
Ride a horse-drawn carriage out to find the best tree, and when you're done, visit Mrs. Claus at her North Pole house. Oney's Tree Farm also offers pony rides and has a bakery, so a trip here is sure to be a cozy holiday experience. Less than 5 feet, $30. Pines 5–9 feet, $55. Spruces and firs 5–9 feet, $65. 9–14 feet, $100–$175. 16608 Rt. 14, Woodstock, IL. Nov 27–Dec 13, 9am–4pm Mon–Sat.
Pine-Apple Tree Farm
This family-run business puts love and care into their Christmas trees. They provide saws, twine, shaking, baling and extra hands on deck to help wrangle your dream tree. Pine-Apple Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving, for those rearing to kick off the holidays in earnest. (Pines $65, Firs and Spruces $85, cash or check only. 309 Three Oaks Rd in Cary, IL. Sat-Sun 9am-4:30pm. Call ahead to come on weekdays)
Richardson Adventure Farm
On any day of the week, you can head out to Richardson Adventure Farm and pick out your own tree and get it shaken so it's ready to be taken home for $65. You can also get free hot chocolate and coffee or buy some homemade fudge. On the weekends, you can hop on a complimentary wagon to be taken to the trees and snack on doughnuts and kettle corn. Cut your own trees, $65. Pre-cut trees and small trees individually priced. 9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove, IL. Nov 27–Dec 23, 9am–6pm every day.
Tammen Treeberry Farm
Tammen Treeberry Farm will provide the saws, you just have to head out and find your own tree and cut it down. Enjoy this no-frills Christmas tree cutting experience. All trees $50, $7 additional for shaking and baling. 37131 Essex Road, Wilmington, IL. Nov 27–Dec 19, 8am–4:30pm every day.