This year’s Illumination features five new features and a special Human+Nature display.
Chicago’s beloved Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum is returning for its ninth edition. Having resorted to a drive-through event last year, this time around it will once again be a walking experience and will feature five new unique light displays including a special Human+Nature display.
The mile-long walk-through spectacle will take place across 50 acres of the nonprofit public garden and outdoor museum from November 20th through January 2nd, 2022. A paved walking path will take guests snaking through the Arboretum’s majestic landscape amid dazzling light spectacles accompanied by music soundtracks that together highlight the beauty of trees in winter.
Along the way, guests will have the chance to warm up by crackling bonfires where they can feast on s’mores, or stop by a concession tent for snacks and beverages.
This year’s event will offer a combination of refreshing new features and cherished traditions. There will be a special display illuminating the Arboretum’s towering “Hallow” sculpture which is one of artist Daniel Popper’s five massive natural sculptures featured in the arbor-inspired “Human+Nature” exhibition.
Guests will also find a new entry portal of glowing lights named the “Enchanted Gateway’ leading to Meadow Lake, 150 colorful lanterns hanging over the top of Frost Hill, a “Golden Glade” meadow of lights at the top of Conifer trail, and a new path featuring colorful reeds titled “Winter Radiance”. A photo opportunity at Arbor Court is another first-time feature.
Meanwhile, annual favorites such as Symphony Woods, Treemagination, Ornament Hill, and Enchanted Forest will be returning this November.
“Every year since its inception, we have embraced The Morton Arboretum’s mission as the champion of trees,” said Lightswitch’s John Featherstone, the exhibition’s lighting designer. “Illumination is an unparalleled lighting experience, immersing guests in nature and highlighting the many ways trees are a gift to people and communities.”
Guests 21 and older can attend IllumiBrew – a special pre-opening event on Thursday, November 18, and Friday, November 19 and get a first glance at the 2021 exhibition while enjoying beer tastings along the trail.
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will run from November 20th through January 22nd and tickets go on sale October 1st.
Ticket prices range from $7 to $24 per person and can be purchased online at mortonarb.org, over the phone at 630-725-2066, or in person at the Arboretum’s Visitor Center, or on-site each night of Illumination.
More information can be found here.