Morton Arboretum in Lisle reimagines Illumination: Tree Lights for anniversary

Radiant Reflections is one of the new attractions of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum.

LISLE – Promising to be the boldest and brightest winter lights show ever at the botanical garden, Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will celebrate its 10th anniversary from Nov. 19 through Jan. 7 in Lisle.

Sky Light Magic is one of the new attractions of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum.

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

Grand Garden Overture is one of the new attractions of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum.

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.

Radiant Reflections is one of the new attractions of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum.

Returning favorites will have new, even more dynamic features, including Treemagination, which uses drone images of trees made by Arboretum scientists to envelop 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 also will be a chance to see two of the “Human+Nature” exhibition sculptures by Daniel Popper woven into the experience. The exhibition ends in March 2023.

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

Also for adults is the new addition of Electric Illumination, a late-night event from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Dec. 16, 23 and 30 (first two dates are sold out), featuring an eclectic mix of trance and progressive house music synchronized to the light displays. Tickets to IllumiBrew and Electric Illumination include a $1 discount voucher for Uber.

Warming concession tents will offer beverages and snacks such as s’mores kits to enjoy by 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 and in person at the Arboretum Visitor Center during operating hours at 4100 Route 53 in Lisle. Tickets range from $11 to $27 per person. Admission is free for children younger than age 2. Through the Museums for All program, a limited number of reduced-rate weeknight tickets will be available to guests with a state-issued EBT card, also known as a LINK card, or a valid WIC card.

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

About The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized tree-focused botanical garden and research center. Its 1,700 acres include specialty tree and plant collections, nine miles of roads and 16 miles of hiking trails, a central Grand Garden, Children’s Garden, educational programs and a Visitor Center. Information about exhibitions, events and admission is available at

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