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Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum Returns November 20

The ninth annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will return to a walking experience with five new lighting features, including a special Human+Nature display.

From Nov. 20 through Jan. 2, 2022, guests can explore 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees during a one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound. The exhibition takes guests on a journey along a one-mile, paved walking path amid festive music and lighting effects that highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Along the route, guests can warm up by a crackling fire and roast marshmallows for s’mores, or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage.

Morton Arboretum Illuminations 2016

This year’s new experiences include:

  • A lighting display of Hallow, the iconic sculpture by artist Daniel Popper in the Arboretum’s Human+Nature exhibition.
  • Enchanted Gateway, a new entry portal of glowing lights leading to Meadow Lake.
  • Festival of Lanterns, where guests walk under 150 colorful lanterns at the top of Frost Hill.
  • Golden Glade, a meadow of lights at the top of the Conifer trail.
  • Winter Radiance, a new path leading back to the Visitor Center featuring colorful reeds.

Also new this year is an Arbor Court photo opportunity and festive music throughout the entire Illumination trail. Returning favorites include Treemagination, Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder, Ornament Hill, The Champion Tree, Enchanted Forest and Crown of Light.

Illumination tickets go on sale Oct. 1. Ticket prices range from $7 to $24 per person. Children under age 2 will be admitted free of charge.

Timed tickets may be purchased online beginning Oct. 1 at, in person at the Arboretum Visitor Center during operating hours or on-site each night of Illumination, as tickets remain available. The Arboretum recommends purchasing tickets in advance, in the event an evening may be sold out. Questions about the event can be directed to the Ticket Line at 630-725-2066.

Illumination will open each evening at 4:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m. Lights go out at 9:30 p.m. The exhibition is closed on Nov. 22, 25 (Thanksgiving), and 29, and December 6, 13, 24 (Christmas Eve), and 25 (Christmas Day).

October 1, 2021

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