llumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum celebrates 10th year

–New Electric Illumination late nights feature, dazzling Grand Garden finale–


Last updated 9/28/2022 at 6:12pm

Dazzling new light displays celebrating the Arboretum's centennial year and a special late night event series will highlight the 10th anniversary of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum.

From Nov. 19 through Jan. 7, 2023, guests will explore 18 different features along a tree-lined one-mile walking trail immersed in color, light and sound created exclusively for The Morton Arboretum. Within this array, six new exhibits will join returning favorites such as Treemagination and Hug-a-Tree, including a spectacular finale in the Arboretum's new Grand Garden.

Also new this year is the addition of Electric Illumination, an 18 and older late night event, 9:30-11 p.m., Dec. 16, 23 and 30, featuring an eclectic, DJ-curated mix of Trance and Progressive House music synchronized to the breathtaking light displays.

"We're taking Illumination to a new level this year in celebration of the Arboretum's centennial and the 10th anniversary of the exhibition," said Preston Bautista, Ph.D., vice president of learning and engagement. "The addition of Electric Illumination provides a new and distinct late-night experience with an entirely different soundtrack," he explained. "This will also be the first year that the finale will be approached through a sparkling tunnel of light along the Arboretum's new Grand Garden, opening Sept. 18."

IllumiBrew returns for a special pre-opening event Nov. 17 and 18 for guests 21 and older to enjoy craft beer tastings along the Illumination trail.

The annual light exhibition highlights the beauty and form of trees in winter. Warm concession tents offer beverages and snacks such as s'mores kits to enjoy by crackling bonfires along the route.

In addition to the new Grand Garden spectacular, a traditional favorite, Meadow Lake Magic, will be completely reimagined to include 15-foot-high mirrored towers floating in the water with light beams shooting from atop each into the sky. Among the interactive features will be Shadow Play, a new touch-free wall where guests can express themselves while casting colorful shadows. Two of artist Daniel Popper's Human+Nature exhibition sculptures will be featured in this year's exhibition.

Returning Illumination favorites include The Champion Tree, Crown of Light, Enchanted Forest, Enchanted Gateway, Festival of Lanterns, an expanded Golden Glade, Hug-a-Tree, Ornament Hill, Symphony Woods, Treemagination and Woodland Wonder.

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 go on sale Oct. 1 at mortonarb.org and in-person at the Arboretum Visitor Center during operating hours. Members receive early-bird pricing through Oct. 31. Ticket prices range from $10 to $35 per person. Children under age 2 will be free of charge.

Illumination sponsor ComEd is offering a 20% discount for a limited number of non-member Illumination tickets on select Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays using the code COMEDLIGHTS2022 at checkout (see the mortonarb.org website for specific dates). The offer is valid for up to four tickets per transaction and is subject to availability.

Illumination will open each evening at 4:30 p.m., with the last entry at 8:30 p.m., and lights will go out at 9:30 p.m. with the exception of Electric Illumination late-night hours from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

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


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