Press Release: Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum nabs spot on USA TODAY Top 10 list

Public votes exhibition No. 6 ‘Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights’ in the country

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LISLE, Ill. (Dec. 8, 2023)— Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum has been nationally recognized as No. 6 on USA TODAY’S 2023 10Best Readers’ Choice list for “Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights.”

Currently in its 11th year, Illumination is the only holiday light show in Illinois to receive the Top 10 designation. This is the second time Illumination has landed a spot on the USA TODAY 10Best list, ranking eighth in 2019.

The Arboretum was nominated by a panel of experts, including editors and contributing writers of USA TODAY and Readers then voted for their favorites. Illumination also recently appeared on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of “25 Best Christmas Light Displays + Tours for 2023.”

Illumination continues to garner national attention as a non-traditional holiday light experience where the trees, rather than the lights, are the stars of the show,” said Amy Scott, the Arboretum’s head of exhibitions.

Nearly 2 million people have experienced Illumination since its inception in 2013. The spectacle of color, light and music was custom designed for the Arboretum by Lightswitch, and incorporates new and updated features each year.

This season features a new ADA accessible, one-mile walking trail with 18 immersive light displays. “Unlike other holiday light shows, the Arboretum has always focused on showcasing the beauty of trees in winter while providing a family-friendly outdoor holiday experience,” Scott said. “It has become a seasonal tradition for many families.”

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards highlight the best of the best in categories such as destinations, food and drink, hotels, and things to do and see in the U.S. and abroad.

Illumination runs through Jan. 6. For tickets or more information, visit

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