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Morton Arboretum Illumination Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Human+Nature sculpture Hallow for Illumination.

Human+Nature sculpture Hallow for Illumination. Photo credit Morton Arboretum.

Dazzling new displays and a limited-series, late-night feature will highlight the 10th anniversary of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum from November 19 through January 7, 2023; gates open at 4:30 p.m. Guests can explore 18 different features along a tree-lined, one-mile walking trail immersed in color, light and sound created exclusively for The Morton Arboretum. Within this array, six new exhibits join returning Treemagination and Hug-a-Tree, including a spectacular finale in the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden. There will be a special pre-opening event on November 17 and 18 for guests 21 and older to enjoy craft beer tastings along the Illumination trail.

New this year is Electric Illumination, a late-night 18 and older event, from 9:30 to 11 p.m., December 16, 23 and 30, featuring an eclectic, DJ-curated mix of trance and progressive house music synchronized to exciting light displays. Preston Bautista, Ph.D., vice president of learning and engagement, says, “We’re taking Illumination to a new level this year. This will also be the first year that the finale will be approached through a sparkling tunnel of light along the Arboretum’s new Grand Garden.”

The exhibition highlights the beauty and form of trees in winter, with warm concession tents offering beverages and snacks such as s’mores kits to enjoy by crackling bonfires along the route. Meadow Lake Magic will be reimagined to include 15-foot-high mirrored towers floating in the water, with light beams shooting into the sky. Among the interactive features will be Shadow Play, a new touch-free wall where guests can express themselves while casting colorful shadows. Two of artist Daniel Popper’s Human+Nature exhibition sculptures will be featured in this year’s exhibition.

Other favorites include The Champion Tree, Crown of Light, Enchanted Forest, Enchanted Gateway, Festival of Lanterns, an expanded Golden Glade, Hug-a-Tree, Ornament Hill, Symphony Woods, Treemagination and Woodland Wonder.

Admission is $10 to $35; children under 2 free. For tickets, visit Members receive early-bird pricing through Oct. 31. ComEd is providing a 20 percent discount for a limited number of non-member Illumination tickets on select Tues., Wed. and Thurs. dates using the code COMEDLIGHTS2022.