Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 20 minutes
The white pines, balsam firs and canaan firs go quickly at this Plainfield farm—they’re known to be sold out by the first weekend in December. After you browse the fields for your perfect tree, cozy up with free hot chocolate in the warming room with a fireplace as you browse the ornaments and wreaths to complete your winter wonderland. $10/foot. Opens November 19.
There’s no Chicago Christmas experience more authentic than bracing the chill of winter to cut down your own Christmas tree. Though Chicago offers plenty of dazzling light displays and holiday-themed experiences, you’ll need to head outside of the city for the perfect pine, spruce or fir. Our list of farms is slightly smaller than usual this season due to tree shortages, but whether you want to travel 30 minutes or two hours, there are still plenty of spots ranging from muddy and rustic BYOS (bring your own saw) farms with house-made cookies and hot chocolate to elaborate, Instagram-worthy holiday backdrops and tractor rides. No matter what holiday movie you’re envisioning yourself in this season, you’ll enjoy holiday cheer and beautiful scenery while cutting down your own tree.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christmas in Chicago