Tanyosho Pines-Illumination

With their delicate green needles and bark the color of a thousand sunsets, the tanyosho pines are a splash of vibrant color in the winter landscape. These Japanese pines have grown for almost a century at the Arboretum, proving that age and beauty go hand in hand.

Ornament Hill

In this sloping field framed by trees, colorful orbs sparkle among glistening points of light. It's the perfect place to make a holiday wish.

Symphony Woods

There’s no better soundtrack for trees in winter than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra playing music from The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky's classic ballet transports a young woman to a magical wintry landscape, just like Illumination.

Meadow Lake Magic

These colorful lights rippling across Meadow Lake are inspired by the partnership between trees and water. Water keeps our trees flourishing while trees filter our drinking water.

Tinsel Harmony

Hum, yodel, or whistle a tune. You’ll strike the right notes as you serenade our classic elms and magnificent beeches. The lights will respond to your melody, volume, and emotion.

Crystal Promenade

Like lights in the magical forest of a fairy tale, these lovely chandeliers sparkle and shine amid the branches of Douglas fir trees. Nature has a romance all its own.


Turn winter white and nighttime darkness into your canvas! Paint the landscape of our Conifer Collection with a rainbow of vibrant color.

Enchanted Forest

Trees come in many shapes and sizes. Press the buttons at one of the five stations along the path to see a myriad of trees (including pines, bald cypress, arborvitae, and spruce) in a different light.


A grove of hemlocks is transformed into a screen for surreal and abstract video. Let your imagination respond as projections brings these trees to life, including an effect where the trees seem to breathe.

Hug a Tree

These distinctive sycamores—aka buttonballs or American plane trees—invite you to wrap your arms around them and give them a big squeeze. Don't be afraid to touch nature—you’ll love its response!