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Illumination: Tree Lights returns Nov. 20 as driving experience

Chandeliers sparkle and shine amid the branches of Douglas fir trees.
September 8, 2020
LISLE, Ill. (Sept. 8) — Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum will return for the eighth year as a reimagined driving experience featuring new displays, a customized music soundtrack and returning favorites.  
From Nov. 20 through Jan. 3, 2021, guests will remain in their cars and tune to a synced musical soundtrack via radio while driving nearly two miles among the Arboretum’s majestic trees. In prior years, the exhibition was along a one-mile walking path. 
“The safety of Illumination guests during this pandemic was the top priority in our decision to transform it into a driving experience this year,” said Alicia LaVire, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “It also gave us an opportunity to create an innovative new twist on this tree-focused exhibition that can’t be seen anywhere else.” 
Embracing the Arboretum’s mission and identity as The Champion of Trees, the reimagined exhibition will take guests on a journey that begins with passage through a new tunnel of lights. The winding road will pass by annual Illumination favorites such as Symphony Woods, Woodland Wonder and Crystal Promenade, as well as five new visual exhibits enhanced by beautiful woodland lighting among the trees.
Also new this year, the exhibition will stay open later, until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and will be open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas, in addition to New Years Eve and New Years Day as in previous years.
The event is built in partnership with noteworthy experiential lighting designers Lightswitch and production company Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC), and features energy-efficient, eco-friendly LED lighting. “No matter how physically distanced we are from others, this year’s Illumination is designed to be a shared experience, bringing much-needed celebration and joy to the holiday season,” said Lightswitch’s John Featherstone, the exhibition’s lighting designer.
Tickets to Illumination go on sale for members-only early bird pricing Oct. 1–7, and to the general public beginning Oct. 8. Ticket prices range from $29 to $49 per vehicle. Timed tickets must be purchased online at mortonarb.org/illumination or in person at the Arboretum Visitor Center in advance of arrival at Illumination. Tickets will not be sold on-site during the event.  
Illumination is generously supported by Invesco QQQ and ComEd.