Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

Change the color of a tree when you hug it…or sing to it…or press a button near it. These are some of the fun interactive features of Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. Other lights dance to music, and trees light up in a rotating array of colors.

We’ve updated this article for 2023 dates.

Fifty acres of Morton Arboretum transforms into the Illumination magical atmosphere. You’re kept spellbound with lights and music, much of it interactive.

We put together a three-minute video (above) to give you an idea of what to expect. Note: Displays may differ somewhat in 2023 from those in the video.


Concession tents along the trail sell hot beverages and snacks. S’mores are available at fire pits. The Ginkgo Restaurant in the Visitor Center offers a full menu from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

If you go to Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum begins November 18, 2023, and is open most days through Monday, January 6, 2024 (check website for available dates). Tickets are available online for specific admission times, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with the last admission at 8:00 p.m. Lights turn off at 9:30 p.m. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the better the admission rate may be, as ticket prices may increase with less availability but will never reduce.

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