Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum


  • An ethereal glow of warm lights reflected in Meadow Lake
  • Lighted orbs adorn the hillside
  • Chandeliers sparkle and shine amid the branches of Douglas fir trees.
  • Hemlocks are transformed into a screen of abstract shapes

Schedule and Location

Saturday, November 17, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019 

Tickets are available for specific times, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Admission ends at 8:30 p.m.
Lights out at 9:30 p.m.

IllumiBrew preview and beer tasting event (ages 21+): Friday, November 16

NOTE:  Illumination is closed on Mondays, except for December 31. It is also closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Buy tickets now

See trees in a different light at Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. You'll be surrounded by color as you walk a one-mile paved path amid interactive lighting effects that highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Enjoy seasonal music, marvel at ever-changing, interactive lighting designs, and warm up by a crackling fire with a cozy drink or roast marshmallows for s’mores.

This year offers fresh twists on favorite experiences and surprising new sights, including art from HYBYCOZO–amazing treelike sculptures that spread intricate designs of light. Hug a tree to see how it responds, let starlike lights wash over you in a grove of trees, and watch multicolored lights dance to symphonic music.

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Illumination's entertainment LEARN MORE

Fees and Admission

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Members always save during Illumination. See how.

Illumination AnyDay Tickets

Available in a limited quantity and exclusively to Arboretum members. AnyDay tickets are available only through November 15.
AnyDay tickets: $30.00 Adult/Child (2 to 17 years old)  Learn more

Member Tickets 

Weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday)
Adult: $18.00
Child (2 to 17 years old): $10.00

Weekday  (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/December 31)
Adult: $13.00
Child (2 to 17 years old): $7.00
Children under two are free. No ticket necessary.


Weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday)
Adult: $23.00
Child (2 to 17 years old): $15.00

Weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/December 31)
Adult: $18.00
Child (2 to 17 years old): $12.00

Children under two are admitted for free. No ticket necessary.

Ticket Exchanges

Choose your dates carefully, as all Illumination tickets are for a specific date and time. Ticket purchases are nonrefundable. You may be able to exchange your tickets in advance, however, depending upon event capacity. Same-day exchanges cannot be accommodated.

There will be an exchange fee of $5 per transaction and, if necessary, an upgrade in ticket price to match the cost of for your new day and time.
If the Arboretum cancels a night of Illumination (in whole or part), we will accommodate ticket holders according to the cancellation policy.

Museums for All

The Arboretum offers a limited number of tickets on select weeknights at a reduced rate to visitors with a state-issued EBT card (also known as LINK) or  WIC card. Tickets can be purchased online or in person as long as the date is not sold out. learn more

Registration Information

BY PHONE: 630-725-2066, Daily from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

IN PERSON: Stop by the Visitor Center during open hours



Illumination is generously supported by Invesco QQQ and ComEd.

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