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Plan Your Illumination Experience

Time to Arrive

The time on your ticket is the start of your half-hour entry window. Last admission is at 8:30 p.m. Once admitted, you can stay as long as you like until the exhibition closes at 9:30 p.m.

Allow 10 to 15 minutes prior to your ticket time to park your car and make your way to the Illumination entrance outside the Visitor Center. 

The Morton Arboretum welcomes visitors with service animals to Illumination. (However, pets are not permitted at the Arboretum except on special dog admission days.) 


Parking is included in the price of admission. Accessible parking is available. Learn more about accessibility at Illumination.

If on-site parking reaches capacity, the gatehouse attendant may redirect you to off-site parking. A complimentary shuttle will be provided.

Map of the Experience

How Much Time Does Illumination Require?

Ninety minutes, depending on your pace.

Prepare for the Outdoors
Dress appropriately for the weather and walking. Warm shoes or boots with good traction and low heels are recommended. 

For Your Enjoyment

Warming areas

Enjoy a cozy fire, a snack, or a rest at one of the warming areas along the Illumination path.

Food and beverage

Snacks and hot beverages (with optional cordials) are available in concession tents along the Illumination trail. Savor a PDF iconfull dinner menu (PDF), as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in the Ginkgo Restaurant in the Visitor Center. For a quick bite, the cafe features salads, sandwiches, and pastries. 

App tour

Stay tuned! The app tour will be launched the third week of November.
Download the free Morton Arboretum app for iPhone or Android. Launch the Illumination tour in English or Spanish. 

Weeknight Themes

Tuesdays: Festive Wear Night
Wednesdays: Sports Team Logo Night
Thursdays: Glow Wear Night

Show your themed apparel at the Member Services Desk to receive a coupon for one free general daytime admission to the Arboretum (excludes special events). Share your apparel selfie on our Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram with #IlluminationTMA.

Frequently asked questions

If Illumination is canceled due to weather

On very rare occasions an evening may be canceled. The Arboretum considers many factors, including predictions from the National Weather Service, before making a decision that impacts many people. If an evening of Illumination is canceled, your tickets will be honored on other nights, schedule permitting. For more information, call our ticket line at 630-725-2066 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on any day (except holidays and days we are closed due to weather).