Friday, November 30, 2018

Illumination: Experience Nature in a New Light at The Morton Arboretum

 Illumination: Experience Nature in a New Light at The Morton Arboretum's Interactive Light Show

Illumination: Experience Nature in a New Light at The Morton Arboretum's Interactive Light Display

**Disclosure: My family did receive complimentary tickets to bring this review to you. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Illumination at The Morton Arboretum celebrates 6 years this season and the interactive light event is just as engaging and inspirational as ever. Each year features a melding of both old favorites and new experiences. The innovative display beckons guests to engage with the lights and nature crafting a memorable holiday experience. Every year we find ourselves pondering what changes and additions will be made and eagerly awaiting Illumination's return. A family tradition has been born!



Simply Stunning!

Illumination lights up nature in new ways at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois

A Path Through Light Magic:

The path through Illumination is easy to navigate. The lighting does vary based on effect.

The path through Illumination is easy to navigate but lit with different effects in each section.
The path through Illumination is easy to navigate.
One of the newest spots is the disco ball section with thousands of rotating points of light twinkling upon the canopy. Really, my picture does not do justice and you need to see it yourself to understand the moment of wonder!



Choices, Choices:

Illumination does have a couple of path choices this year. There is one main route but you can veer off slightly to enjoy the Tinsel Forest. I was concerned that the Tinsel Forest was not part of the display this year, but to my delight it is!


Another spot where you can veer off is Ornament Hill. At Ornament Hill, a designated path allows you to walk a bit in between the glowing ornaments. I think this is a great feature and a way to allow kids to walk into the exhibit without actually walking into it. This section always looks like a field of glistening snow to me!


Crown of Light Sculptures:

New to Illumination are the stunning Crown of Light Sculptures. The cluster of five sculptures were crafted by the art collective HYBYCOZO formed by Northbrook native Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu. The five sculptures are between 9 to 12 feet tall feature intricate laser cut pattern evoking the crowns of the trees.

Stunning and intricate Crown of Light Sculptures by  HYBYCOZO at Illumination at The Morton Arboretum

This portion of Illumination really is an incredible addition and we spent some time watching the colors shift through the intricate designs.

Crown of Lights Sculptures at Illumination at The Morton Arboretum


Interactive Elements:

Illumination does have spots for interacting including the ever-favorite Hug-a-Tree! There are also portions where you can control the lighting effects including switching colors. These elements are fun for young and old alike.

Hugging an illuminated tree at Illumination at Morton Arboretum.
Hugging an illuminated tree at Illumination!

Special Effects with Light Rain:

We did experience a bit of light rain during our visit. I have to tell you, the rain actually added a little something special to some of the light effects. I really feel like we had a unique experience!




Overall Experience:

Illumination has become a winter tradition for us. Each year, we are eager to discover which favorites remain, how some elements have been changed and which new elements have been added. Plus, there is just something truly special and magical about being at Morton Arboretum in the evening all aglow. Illumination will be running this year through January 1, 2019. There are a variety of entertainment experiences including live music, so please check the schedule. Ticket prices do vary based on day but I do recommend getting tickets in advance as they do sell out.

Don't forget the gift shop at The Morton Arboretum for a unique gift including locally made and made in USA items.
Don't forget the gift shop for a unique gift!

Tips for Enjoying Illumination:

  • Purchase tickets early: They do sell out for particular evenings.
  • Purchase hot chocolate, coffee or tea to bring with you before getting there: The beverages can be very hot and not drinkable right away. So, we bring in our own so that it is the right temperature when we arrive. You will be able to get more inside, so on cold nights you are set!
  • Check out the gift shop: The gift shop has some unique Illumination items. Additionally, it has a nice cache of made in USA items. So, definitely a place to pick up a nice gift.
  • Dress for the weather!
  • Take advantage of the warming stations and campfires.
  • I recommend hitting the restroom before wandering through the show.
  • You can get s'mores kits at the warming centers which are fun.

Illumination Lights Up  Nature at Morton Arboretum Lisle, Illinois


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