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 2021 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 2021 from those in the video.


Concession tents along the trail sell hot beverages and snacks. S’mores are available at fire pits. 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 20, 2021, and is open most days through Monday, January 2, 2022 (check website for available dates). Tickets are available for specific admission times, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with the last admission at 8:30 p.m. Lights turn off at 9:30 p.m. Tickets often sell out, so advanced purchase is strongly advised.

Important Covid-19 Information

Masks are required for entry, in refreshment tents, and in buildings. However, you don’t have to wear them along the Illumination trail.

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