A Little Time and a Keyboard: Marveling as Nature, Lights and Sound Blend During Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Marveling as Nature, Lights and Sound Blend During Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden

Marveling as Nature, Lights and Sound Blend During Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden

Lightscape Dazzles with Elements of Nature, Light and Sound 

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

Lightscape has transformed Chicago Botanic Garden into a triumphant celebration of nature and the arts highlighted through lights, sounds and effects. In its third year, Lightscape charms with several returning favorites, reimagined designs and many new displays. In fact, about eighty percent of the 2021 show includes new light displays. Once again, Chicago Botanic Garden has crafted wonder after wonder along the 1.25-mile trail.

The Pride & Promise Tree once again awes visitors!
The Pride & Promise Tree once again awes visitors!

 Tanner Woodford's "Pride & Promise" tree dazzles at Lightscape as it returns for a second year. Woodford's spectacular creation contains hundreds of stars inspired by the flag of Chicago. We were thrilled to see "Pride & Promise" back paying homage to Chicago.

The glittering splendor of the Winter Cathedral at Lightscape.
The glittering splendor of the Winter Cathedral at Lightscape.

Lightscape would not be Lightscape without the breathtaking Winter Cathedral! The Winter Cathedral remains a favorite spot for photos along the illuminated trail. This year's show begins with the lead-up to the Winter Cathedral but worry not -- there are many, many more photo-worthy spots as well as a selfie station!

Peonies Abloom

Peonies blaze against the night sky during Chicago Botanic Garden's Lightscape.
Peonies blaze against the night sky.

The new displays totally amazed us. We soaked each in with wonderment, pausing to admire the blend of light, sound and motion effects. The peonies in particular gave me goosebumps. Brilliant blooms with a paper effect changed in color and intensity to the music to the delight of the crowd in this peony garden!

Dancing Through Stained Glass

Unique stained glass effects awe at Lightscape.
Unique stained glass effects awe.

We had a seriously fun time dancing in stained glass! Stained glass-like lights created all sorts of moving patterns on the ground in one section of Lightscape. So fun! I was definitely not expecting a display like this and totally loved it!


Trees aglow and changing color enchanted us on the trail.
Trees aglow and changing color enchanted us on the trail.

One thing I absolutely love about Lightscape is that the entire trail has light-up effects. Some may be subtle, but the whole trail is full of merriment --- no dead space. Pure joy for the entire length of the trail!

Warming up at the fire during a walk through Lightscape.


Several stations for nibbles keep visitors satiated during visits to Lightscape. Warming stations where you can also make s'mores are particulate delightful!

A Sky Full of Poppies

Bold, red poppies float overhead in Lightscape's Floraison.
Bold, red poppies float overhead in Lightscape's Floraison.


Many of you may have already seen promo images of the floating poppy garden Floraison by artist Pitaya. The images are stunning but nothing compared to a stroll through the spectacular exhibit. The bold, red blooms float gracefully from the tree canopy above. The leaves still dangling from the trees as fall fades added an interesting element during our adventure.

Fire Garden Reimagined

The Fire Garden beckons visitors forward to the Japanese Garden during Lightscape.
The Fire Garden beckons visitors forward to the Japanese Garden.


During my visit to the first Lightscape, nothing amazed me more than the Fire Garden! This year, the Fire Garden guided us with a gentle stream of dancing flames to the Japanese Garden. Truly spectacular! I look forward to the Fire Garden every year and this year's is quite spectacular!

There are many more spectacular sections of Lightscape including a captivating laser light show. However, I don't want to spoil everything because I want you to enjoy an evening outdoors experiencing this spellbinding light extravaganza for yourself! Lightscape has quickly become one of our favorite evening adventures during the holiday season and a true tradition. This adventure full of light and jubilation will be ongoing through January 2, 2022. Tickets do sell fast, so be sure to reserve yours soon by heading over to the Chicago Botanic Garden website.

Nature and Lights  Dazzle at Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Garden









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