Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Illumination: Tree Lights

November 21, 2020, 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 4:30 pm, repeating until January 1, 2021


Those looking for a unique winter light show this year will find it in the ninth annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, opening Nov. 20 with five new features and a curated selection of music from around the world along the walking path.

Illumination attendees will find familiar favorite features from previous years, as well as the newly created experiences of the Arboretum’s 26-foot tall Human+Nature Hallow sculpture lit at night, a glittering entry gateway, passage through 150 colorful lanterns, a blanket of white lights across a hilltop meadow and a conifer trail lined with dozens of spectacularly colored light reeds.

Arboretum Vice President of Learning and Engagement Preston Bautista, Ph.D., said that the use of music throughout the trail will immerse guests in the outdoor experience from beginning to end, while creating a welcoming feel for those from a variety of cultures and with different musical tastes. The wide variety of 20 selections include seasonal classics from The Nutcracker, festive music from cultures worldwide, as well as Harry Potter and Frozen 2 tracks. 

Illumination runs from Nov. 20 through Jan. 2, 2022. Guests can warm up by crackling fires and roast marshmallows for s’mores, or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage. Also new this year is a special photo backdrop in Arbor Court. Returning favorites include Treemagination, Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder, Ornament Hill, The Champion Tree, Enchanted Forest and Crown of Light. 

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

Tickets are recommended to be purchased online in advance at mortonarb.org, since many nights traditionally sell out and tickets may not be available at the door. Ticket prices range from $8 to $24 per person. Children under age 2 will be admitted free of charge. Questions about the event can be directed to the Ticket Line at 630-725-2066. 

Illumination will open each evening at 4:30 p.m., with last entry at 8:30 p.m. Lights go out at 9:30 p.m. The exhibition is closed Nov. 22, 25 (Thanksgiving) and 29, and December 6, 13, 24 (Christmas Eve) and 25 (Christmas Day). 


For information on more events like this, check out our roundup of the Best Christmas Lights.


November 21, 2020
4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:


The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois 53
Lisle, IL 60532 United States
+ Google Map
(630) 968-0074
View Venue Website

We do our best to provide comprehensive, accurate and useful information about events and activities. This information (such as times and locations) is gathered from press releases, websites, signs around town and word of mouth. However, details change and people make mistakes, so please confirm the details before you go. Kidlist is not responsible for any problems that occur while participating in activities listed on this site.

Submit an Event
Click on the button above to submit an event to the Kidlist calendar. We welcome everyone to submit events, given that they are family-friendly, free and/or drop-in, and are local for families in the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago. All submitted events are reviewed by the Kidlist team.

Ugly Sweater Night
Cocoa or Joe Hike
Our Amazing Sponsors
Popular Guides