Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum

The eighth annual Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, a reimagined driving experience with new displays, continues through Jan. 3, 2021. For more information or tickets, visit

The eighth annual “Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum” celebrates the holiday season as a reimagined driving experience with new displays, drive-up concessions and a customized music soundtrack—all enjoyed from the safety and comfort of the visitor’s vehicle.

Through Jan. 3, 2021, guests can drive a roughly two-mile route to view 11 light displays, including six new features and five returning favorites. Specially curated music will be available on a dedicated radio station.

In prior years, the exhibition was a one-mile walking path.

“Decisions about how to ensure staff and guest safety during Illumination had to be made earlier this year, when the status of the pandemic in winter was unknown,” said Preston Bautista, Ph.D., vice president of learning and engagement. “Transforming it into a driving experience also gave us the opportunity to create an innovative, new and expanded exhibition that can’t be seen anywhere else.”

Prepackaged snacks and non-alcoholic beverage options, such as hot cocoa and truffle-butter popcorn, will be available at a drive-through concessions tent at the beginning of the exhibition.

Embracing the Arboretum’s mission and identity as the Champion of Trees, the exhibition will take guests on a journey past a variety of tree collections that begins with passage through the Gateway to Illumination, a brilliant new tunnel of light.

Also new this year, the exhibition will stay open later, until 10 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and it will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas, in addition to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as in previous years.

Ticket prices range from $29 to $49 per vehicle; a 15-person passenger van ranges from $54 to $64.

Timed tickets for Illumination must be purchased online in advance. Tickets will not be sold on-site during the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit