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Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum Returns on November 17

Families standing around a firepit
Illumination is back for its sixth season with new experiences and returning favorites.
September 26, 2018

Returning for its sixth year this November, the one of-a-kind winter experience Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will awe and delight visitors to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, with all-new experiences and returning favorites.

From November 17, 2018 through January 1, 2019, 50 acres of the Arboretum’s majestic trees will glow in electrifying hues of blue, green, purple, and magenta. Along the wooded one-mile path, visitors will find a series of unique experiences that highlight the many ways trees are a gift to people and communities.

This year’s outdoor exhibit offers several unique new features, the new IllumiBrew preview event, and added entertainment on weekdays.

A person stands before a tall lit sculpture with laser-cut patterns on the sides.
This piece from arts collective HYBYCOZO is representative of the new Crown of Light sculpture visitors will encounter along the Illumination trail.

New Experiences
Created exclusively for The Morton Arboretum by Smithsonian-featured collaborative installation arts collective HYBYCOZO, the five sculptures in the Crown of Light experience evoke a crown of trees. Each of these giant sculptures—measuring between 9 and 12 feet tall—feature intricate, laser-cut patterns calling to mind nature, harmony and trees. Visitors can look on as vivid light from within the pieces simultaneously beams skyward and spills through the patterns that adorn its sides, creating shadows on the ground below. Created by artists Yelena Filipchuk, a native of Northbrook, Illinois, and Serge Beaulieu, HYBYCOZO creates large-scale installations that investigate geometry through light, shadow and perception. Their art has been featured around the world.

In the Woodland Wonder experience, visitors will step into a grove of trees while enveloped by thousands of luminous, rotating points of light.

New IllumiBrew Event
On November 16, adults will be among the first to see the new season of Illumination at our new IllumiBrew preview and beer-tasting event. Event attendees will sample seasonal beer from more than a dozen of the area's best local breweries, stationed outdoors along the path. Illumination will open to all visitors beginning Saturday, November 17.

New Weekday Entertainment 
Weekdays at Illumination offer visitors a full slate of entertainment options in addition to lower pricing and lighter crowds. Those who visit Tuesday through Thursday will have the opportunity to enjoy live music from the area’s top bands, visits with Santa, or tastings of beer, wine or spirits.

As in past years, concession tents along the trail will feature snacks and hot beverages, including gourmet hot chocolate, and visitors can stop in the Arboretum’s Ginkgo Restaurant, offering a full dinner menu every night of Illumination. Visitors can also take advantage of cozy fire pits along the Illumination path.

“Illumination is celebrating a sixth season with dynamic new experiences that draw attention to the gifts trees give us,” said Sue Wagner, vice president of education and information at The Morton Arboretum. "By capturing the beauty and value of trees in radiant light and color and through special effects, Illumination is an unforgettable wintertime event full of fresh surprises and beloved experiences.”

Tickets range from $18 to $23 for adults and $12 to $15 for children and go on sale October 1, 2018. Members of The Morton Arboretum receive discounted ticket prices to Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. To purchase tickets, visit mortonarb.org/illumination.

Illumination is generously supported by Invesco QQQ and ComEd.

About Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum invites visitors to see trees in a different light on a one-mile path surrounded by 50 acres of the Arboretum’s trees, brought to life with LED lights, interactive elements and sound. With accolades from local and national media including Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today, Illumination has quickly become a winter tradition, welcoming visitors from around the world. The event is built in partnership with noted experiential lighting designers Lightswitch and production company Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC), and features energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lighting.