Don’t Miss Holiday Events In Lisle Include Illumination at The Morton Arboretum

Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum is back for the third year! This is quickly becoming one of the most favorite of holiday events in Lisle, growing larger and more popular every year.

A Winter Wonderland

stay in lisle illumination morton arboretum

Illumination is a special evening event that features several LED light displays set up on the grounds of the 1,700 acre Morton Arboretum, Lisle’s own natural gem. But don’t worry about trying to visit all 1,700 acres, the displays are set to music and sprinkled along the 1-mile paved pathway around Meadow Lake, just outside the Visitor Center and off the main parking lot. Guests walk through the woods in a self-guided fashion.

There are eleven distinct experiences at Illumination this year each featuring seasonal music and a unique visual and auditory experience with displays that are constantly changing. Several of the displays are interactive with trees responding to light and touch. This is the one time of year that visitors are encouraged to get up close and personal with the trees!

Symphony Hill features 10 minutes of music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There’s also a chance to sing to the trees or hug the trees and watch them respond.

To keep the kids from complaining about the cold, the Arboretum has created a special scavenger hunt for them. Glowman is a brightly lit snowman hiding somewhere along the trail. Anyone who finds him can earn a reward! There is even an app for the event. Illumination: The Game tests your tree knowledge.

Completing the winter wonderland experience are carolers, warming fire pits, and kiosks selling hot drinks and snacks. Many evenings also feature live music performed in the Ginko Room of the Visitor Center.

Morton Arboretum Illuminations Lighting Display

Morton Arboretum Illuminations Lighting Display

Only Here For The Holidays

Illumination is strictly a holiday event. Opening night was November 20 and the event runs through Saturday, January 2, 2016. Illumination is open every day except for Monday, December 14, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Gates open at 5:00 and guests are admitted until 8:30 p.m. with lights out at 9:30 p.m. It is open every evening, regardless of the weather, so dress appropriately!






Plan Your Visit In Advance

This is one of the most popular events in Lisle during the holidays and we encourage visitors to purchase tickets online and in advance of the date they plan to attend. Tickets can be purchased at There is a discount for Arboretum Members. The pathway is handicap accessible and stroller-friendly.

Illumination is the perfect holiday experience for all ages!

Visit Lisle this holiday season and experience the Arboretum as you’ve never experienced it before – at night and in dazzling color!

stay in lisle illumination morton arboretum