The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized tree-focused botanical garden and research center near Chicago in Lisle, Illinois. This year, an ADA compliant route is part of the Illumination experience.

The 11th annual celebration of trees in winter runs through January 6, 2024

“The Arboretum has welcomed nearly 2 million visitors to Illumination since its inception in 2013, with many who have made it a holiday tradition to come every year,” said Preston Bautista, vice president of learning and engagement. “Illumination has been the backdrop for many magical moments, from families celebrating milestones to engagement proposals.”

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

NEW: ADA compliant route

This year’s exhibition will feature 18 dazzling light and music displays, including two new and four updated experiences, along a new reversed route that is ADA compliant and accessible for all visitors.

The Illumination journey begins in The Grand Garden after entering through a gateway of light. The more immersive mile-long path surrounds guests with light and music in enhanced exhibits Golden Glade and Ornament Hill, eventually leading to a waterfront finale synchronized to music at the Arboretum’s Meadow Lake. 

Brand new displays are Starlit Trail – large twinkling “stars” that envelop the walking path – and Winter Radiance – LED “tall grasses” that pay homage to native Midwest plant species. They join returning favorites such as Symphony Woods, Treemagination, Festival of Lanterns and more. 

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

Dance dance dance

An ’80s music-themed dance party December 29: featuring hits from Prince, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Journey, Madonna, Talking Heads and more.

Also new, and exclusive to Electric Illumination, is a 360-degree photo booth featuring a camera that rotates around a platform where guests can stand, pose or dance for a professional-looking video they can share on their social media.

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

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

Illumination tickets are available at mortonarb.org and in-person at the Arboretum Visitor Center during operating hours. Ticket prices for Illumination and Electric Illumination vary based on the day and time selected, beginning at $18. Members receive the lowest ticket prices, with a 20% discount on all tickets. Children under age 2 are admitted free of charge. Through the Museums for All program, reduced-rate weeknight tickets are available to those with a state-issued EBT or LINK card, or a valid WIC card, while supplies last.

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

About The Morton Arboretum

Its 1,700 acres include specialty tree and plant collections, 9 miles of roads and 16 miles of hiking trails, a central Grand Garden, Children’s Garden, educational programs and a Visitor Center. Information about exhibitions, events and admission is available at mortonarb.org (accessibility info link).

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