The Morton Arboretum will return to a walking format for this year’s Illumination: Tree Lights At The Morton Arboretum. The annual holiday event will kick off November 20 and run through January 2, 2022.
New Features This Year
Last year the arboretum changed up the event into a driving format, due to the pandemic. But this year, a one-mile paved path will open for walkers once again, with new features for them to explore as they take in the beauty of trees through a spectacle of light, music and color. Those include a lit-up display of Hallow, one of the special large-scale structures in the Human+Nature exhibit; a Festival of Lanterns display at the top of Frost Hill; the Golden Glade, featuring a meadow of lights atop the Conifer Trail; and a new path circling back to the Visitor Center dubbed “Winter Radiance,” highlighting colorful reeds.
“Returning to a walking trail will bring friends and families together again to enjoy a special seasonal lighting experience,” said Preston Bautista, Ph.D., vice president of learning and engagement in a press release.
Guests will also enjoy music along the trail and can stop for an photo-op at Arbor Court, two more new adds for this year. Old favorites will remain such as Treemagination, Woodland Wonder, Ornament Hill and the Enchanted Forest. Warm-up stations with bonfires and s’mores and concession tents will also be back.
The Design Team
The light-up display on the 50-acre campus is made possible through a collaboration with international media and exhibit designers Lightswitch LLC.
“Every year since its inception, we have embraced The Morton Arboretum’s mission as the champion of trees,” said Lightswitch’s John Featherstone, the exhibition’s lighting designer in the press release. “Illumination is an unparalleled lighting experience, immersing guests in nature and highlighting the many ways trees are a gift to people and communities.”
The company features eco-friendly LEDs throughout their custom-made display.
Though the event officially starts November 20, guests 21 and older can get a sneak peak during IllumiBrew. That takes place November 18 and 19, and features beer tastings along the path.
ComEd, a sponsor of Illumination, is giving eventgoers a chance for a discount. Non-members of the arboretum can get 20% off on a limited number of tickets certain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights by using the code COMEDLIGHTS2021. The offer is subject to availability, and may only be used on up to four tickets per transaction.
Timed tickets go on sale October 1, with members receiving early bird pricing through October 31. More information about ticket sales, hours and dates is available on The Morton Arboretum website, or at the ticket line at 630-725-2066.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
featured photo, courtesy The Morton Arboretum
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