Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum's Illumination Returns as Walk-Through Holiday Light Show This Winter

[UGCCHI-CJ-holiday lights]Morton Arboretum Illumination event
Geoff Halliday

After creating a reimagined holiday light show last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, Lisle's Morton Arboretum will bring Illumination back this winter as a walk-through experience.

From Nov. 20 through Jan. 2, more than 50 acres of the arboretum will transform trees into a display of color, light and sound, according to organizers.

Along the one-mile path, guests can enjoy seasonal music, sit by a fire, roast marshmallows and take a snack or beverage to-go. This year, the light show will also illuminate the unique Human+Nature exhibit taking place at the arboretum.

“This year’s Illumination will include unique new features for those who have made it a holiday tradition year after year, such as the chance to see a Human+Nature sculpture lit at night,” said Preston Bautista, vice president of learning and engagement for the Morton Arboretum. “Returning to a walking trail will bring friends and families together again to enjoy a special seasonal lighting experience.”

Some new highlights from this upcoming winter's show include an enchanted gateway, the festival of 150 lanterns, a meadow of lights and a winter radiance path.

Other favorite features are returning, organizers noted, such as Treemagination, Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder, Ornament hill, The Champion Tree, Enchanted Forest and Crown of Light.

A new pre-opening evet on Nov. 18 and 19 called IllumiBrew will give guests ages 21 and older the chance to be the first to see the exhibit with beer tastings along the trail.

Tickets for Illumination go on sale Oct. 1 here, though members can use "early-bird pricing" through Oct. 31. Tickets range from $7 to $24 with children under age 2 welcome free of charge.

The light show will be open each evening from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m. Due to the holidays, the exhibit will be closed Nov. 22, 25 and 29, as well as Dec. 6, 13, 24 and 25.

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