News Center

Press Release

10th year of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum

Content Detail

LISLE, Ill. (Nov. 10, 2022)—The Morton Arboretum’s boldest and brightest winter lights show ever will mark the 10th anniversary of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, Nov. 19 through Jan. 7.

Illumination guests will enjoy 18 different features created exclusively for the Arboretum along a tree-lined walking trail immersed in color, light and sound. Six never-before-seen spectacles were created in celebration of the Arboretum’s centennial year in 2022, as well as the Illumination 10-year milestone.

Among the new highlights is a color-filled tunnel leading into the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden where the grand finale will feature an array of shapes from the ground into the air, surrounded by lasers and lights set to music.

One of the longtime displays in Meadow Lake has been reimagined for the anniversary to respond to the wind and reflect the wonder of nature through massive mirrored towers. Guests will find a variety of new interactive features along the trail where they can play with color and light.

Returning favorites will have new, even more dynamic features, including Treemagination, which uses actual drone images of trees made by Arboretum scientists to envelope a grove of conifers in shapes and movement. The popular Hug-A-Tree is returning to allow guests of all ages to truly connect with nature. This will be the final year to see two of the Human+Nature exhibition sculptures by Daniel Popper woven into the experience. The Human+Nature exhibition ends in March 2023.

IllumiBrew returns for a special pre-opening event Nov. 17 and 18 for guests 21 and older to enjoy local craft beer tastings along the Illumination trail. Also for adults is the new addition of Electric Illumination, a late-night event, 9:30-11 p.m., Dec. 16, 23 and 30, featuring an eclectic mix of trance and progressive house music synchronized to the breathtaking light displays. The Dec. 16 and 23 dates are sold out. Tickets to IllumiBrew and Electric Illumination include a $1 discount voucher for Uber.

Warm concession tents will offer beverages and snacks such as s’mores kits to enjoy by crackling bonfires along the route.

The exhibition was custom designed and developed uniquely for the Arboretum in partnership with international media and exhibit designers Lightswitch LLC and features energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lighting.

Illumination tickets are available at mortonarb.org and in-person at the Arboretum Visitor Center during operating hours. Tickets range from $11 to $27 per person. Children under age 2 are free. Through the Museums for All program, a limited number of reduced-rate weeknight tickets are available to guests with a state-issued EBT card, also known as a LINK card, or a valid WIC card.

Illumination is generously sponsored by Invesco QQQ, ComEd, and Duly Health and Care.