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The 9 best places to cut down a Christmas tree near Chicago

Want to cut down your own Christmas tree this year? Head to these seasonal farms located outside the city.

Written by
Stephanie Bernstein
Emma Krupp
Allison Yates

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

Where to cut your own Christmas tree

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.

  • Things to do
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 15 minutes

Soak up some country air while you shop at this farm in McHenry, Illinois. The owners and volunteers grow the trees organically with no use of pesticides whatsoever, with a portion of sales donated to Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. So take your pick and they'll shake and bale it for you. All trees $80, cash or check only. Opens November 25.


Driving time from Chicago: One hour

Explore the sprawling fields of pine and spruce at this non-profit tree farm in Aurora, where you’ll get a free doughnut and hot chocolate with each tree purchase. After stomping through the dirt, browse holiday gifts at the 6,000-square-foot store or fuel up with a holiday-themed cocktail like the Santa’s Cinnamon Old Fashioned or Mistletoe Kiss Cocktail, and a pear and goat cheese flatbread. Complete the trip with a private visit with Santa, where you’ll snack on donuts and sip hot chocolate—and receive a special gift. $70-$60 depending on tree. Saws provided with deposit. Cash only. Opens November 19.

Driving time from Chicago: One hours and 15 minutes

This Wilmington farm will provide the saws, so all you need to do is withstand the wind chill to find and cut down your own tree. Enjoy this no-frills experience with plenty of pines and firs to choose from, including a select number of the popular and hard-to-find Canaan fir variety. All trees $65. Opens November 25.


Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 15 minutes

You’ll find friendly locals, warm cookies and six varieties of pines at this 18-acre family-run farm. While the Larson family wraps up your tree and shakes out the needles (a service that’s included in the price), you can warm up by the fire with free hot chocolate. Don’t miss a trip to the heated Barn Store for chocolate chip and molasses cookies, peppermint candy and dipped pretzels, all homemade by a friend of the Larson family. All trees $55, cash or check only. Call ahead if it is raining or snowing. Opens November 25 and closes December 11.

Driving time from Chicago: One hour

This spot in Spring Grove serves guests an all-out holiday experience. In addition to supplying your sapling, the popular seasonal destination provides complimentary hot chocolate and coffee inside a large heated barn. Catch a free wagon ride to haul your tree back to the barn while you munch on homemade kettle corn and freshly-baked doughnuts. All trees $79. Opens November 25.


Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 30 minutes

If you’re looking for a straightforward tree-cutting experience and a wholesome atmosphere, head to this Woodstock farm where the third-generation family of growers aim to treat everyone like family at their simple “country-style Christmas.” Bring good walking shoes to trek through the 30 acres filled with more than 20 varieties of trees—and if you want to spend time on the farm after, you’re encouraged to bring your own food and games. Free hot chocolate and saws are provided. All trees $75. Opens November 25 and closes December 11.

Driving time from Chicago: One hour

Be your family’s knight in shining armor by bringing home a tree from Camelot. Opening for the season on Black Friday, the farm offers eight types of trees—firs and spruces and pines, oh my! You can choose and cut, or skip the dirty work and purchase a pre-cut Christmas tree. There's wreaths, roping and swags available for purchase and free shaking and bailing, too. Camelot also has a warm hut with hot chocolate and cookies to make you feel like royalty. All trees $80, cash or check only. Opens November 25.

  • Things to do
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: 45 minutes

This hidden spot in Cary is a basic tree farm, with saws, shaking and baling provided. Pine-Apple is known for its impressive stock of Fraser firs, trees with good needle retention so you don't have to do too much cleanup in the living room corner. Don't forget to bring a pair of work gloves! Pines $80, firs and spruces $100. Opens November 26.


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