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The 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 are plenty of ways to take part in holiday traditions in Chicago (Christkindlmarket and twinkling lights, anyone?). But since you can’t cut down your own Christmas tree within city limits, we've found some farms within an hour and thirty minute drive from the city where you can usher in the holiday season with some time in nature. From rustic, small fields where it’s only you, your friends and your saw, to curated festivities featuring warm fireplaces, craft cocktails and Santa encounters, these farms will fill you with holiday cheer and a sense of accomplishment. Head to some of the best places to cut down a Christmas tree near Chicago if you don't feel like digging out that fake 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, warm 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 20.

  • Shopping

Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 30 minutes

Choose from seven varieties of evergreen trees grown on this Poplar Grove farm, all of which have been trimmed to achieve a pleasantly full and natural appearance—with plenty of nooks and crannies to hang ornaments. The farm also sells jars of honey by the pound as well as customizable, hand-arranged wreaths. All trees $10/foot. Opens November 27.


Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 10 minutes

Get in the holiday spirit at Bengtson’s “North Pole,” a 130-acre farm filled with seven varieties of trees where the employees are called elves. Hot chocolate, donuts and tree stands are available for purchase. Make the most of your trip and stop by nearby Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie for hiking and buffalo sightings before you drive back to the city. All trees $99. Saws provided with deposit. Shaking and wrapping available for an additional fee. Opens November 26.

  • 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 $70, cash or check only. Opens November 26.


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 donut 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. $62.50 for Scotch Pine, White Pine, and Austrian, $76 for Spruce. Saws provided with deposit. Cash only. Opens November 20.

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. $60. Opens November 26.


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 (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 the chocolate chip and molasses cookies, peppermint candy and dipped pretzels—all homemade by a friend of the Larson family. All trees $50, cash or check only. Call ahead if it is raining or snowing. Opens November 26.

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 (you'll need to wear your mask, of course). 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 26.

  • 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 $70, firs and spruces $90. Opens November 26.

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 twenty 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 26.


Driving time from Chicago: One hour and 30 minutes

Ben's has been growing gasp-worthy firs and pines in Harvard since 1982. Choose from eight types, and the folks there will provide the tools to cut down your own evergreen so you can take it home for the holidays. Warm up with the complimentary coffee and hot cocoa, and make a sport of trying to spot Santa (who has been known to cruise the 55-acre premises on a John Deere tractor). Pines from $46, firs and spruces from $84. Opens November 26.

Driving time from Chicago: One hour

The oldest and largest tree farm in Northern Illinois features eight types of trees for you to purvey. Oney's also has a bakery with steamy treats and lunch items, so a trip here can turn into an all-day holiday experience. $55-79 for trees under 9 feet, $10/foot for trees over 9 feet. Opens November 26.


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 26.


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