VISIT & explore


LISLE, Ill. (June 4, 2013) – This winter, The Morton Arboretum is inviting you to see trees in a different light with the debut of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. From November 22, 2013 to January 4, 2014, the Arboretum’s celebrated treescape will be transformed into an interactive light experience unlike any seen before in the Chicagoland area.
Imagine singing to a 60-foot black walnut tree and watching it become brighter and brighter. Hug a beautiful, woodsy-fresh evergreen as it slowly radiates a warm glow, responding to your touch. Those experiences and more make Illumination a must-see wintertime event for Chicagoans and holiday travelers of all ages.
Each night, several unique, interactive light displays will create a glowing wonderland along the shores of the Arboretum’s picturesque Meadow Lake and conifer trail. Walking through the mile-long path, visitors will immerse themselves in a variety of surprising light experiences, as they:
  • Hug trees to make them grow brighter
  • Sing to the trees, to make them more colorful
  • Engage with a touch panel to change the colors of the treescape
  • Projected images, using the Arboretum’s noted tree collection as the backdrop
  • Gather around warming fire pits and indulge in hot chocolate and s’mores
“The unique dimensional light effects in Illumination will bring to life the beauty and form of the trees, encouraging visitors to see trees in an unexpected way,” said Susan Wagner, Vice President of Education and Information at The Morton Arboretum. “This is not your typical twinkly light display. It will be interactive and immersive, and a must-see experience for the whole family.”
While we amp up our visitors’ experience, we will also be reducing energy. By using 100 percent warm light LED or ArcSource lighting, we are reducing the power needed for this exhibit by 50 percent as opposed to traditional lights.
Nightly, family-friendly entertainment including warm beverages, fire pits and s’mores will round out the experience. 
Illumination will be open from 4:30 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and will also be open November 25, and December 23 and 30. The exhibit will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Throughout natural landscapes are specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Other offerings include tree-focused events, activities and services for adults, children, professionals and communities. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves 34,000 member households. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at www.mortonarb.org.