Morton Arboretum Lights


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Morton Arboretum Lights is a much-awaited walking experience where you can see trees in different illuminations. This light exhibition lets you explore a 50-acre of majestic trees to enjoy a spectacular world of light, color, and sound.

When you visit this year’s festival of lights, you will be awed to see the returning favorites. Plus, there are some new sights like over 100 fairy lanterns and a Human+Nature display. You may see the traditional Christmas lights, such as rope lights, meteor shower lights, net lights, icicle lights, and LED curtain lights, but you will surely love the colorful, twinkle light trees.

Morton Arboretum Lights
Festival highlights

Lighting effects accompany your journey along the one-mile walking path to highlight the beauty of the trees. What’s more, you will also hear festive music to add more holiday vibe.

You will find cracking fire along the route, where you can roast marshmallows and warm up. You can also enjoy snacks and drinks in the concession tents. 

Morton Arboretum Lights highlights the gifts of trees, such as homes for wildlife, the air we breathe, peace and calmness, and natural beauty. Above all, you will connect a strong connection with nature while having quality time with your loved ones.

Morton Arboretum Lights Dates (2023-2024)

Morton Arboretum Lights is a one-mile walking path featuring Frost Hill and other inclines and declines. Each tree offers a unique appeal with magical and colorful beauty. It is not the typical light exhibition you see because you will get closer to nature.

This Christmas light show transforms the enchanted forest into a perfect place to experience interactive trees and dazzling projections. You will be surrounded by light and color while walking.

The light festival runs from November 18, 2023, until January 6, 2024. So, you still have plenty of time to prepare. Do not forget to invite your family and friends for a more meaningful holiday celebration. 

morton arboretum holiday lights

Where Morton Arboretum holiday lights is Located 

Are you looking for a unique way to celebrate the Christmas season? Are you a nature lover? Then, Morton Arboretum Lights is a perfect event for you. 

This Christmas light show is set in Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532, USA. It is situated around 25 miles west of Chicago. You can reach it through private vehicles, car services, or public transportation.

Here are different ways you can get to Morton Arboretum:

  • By Car

If you are from Westbound I-88, you must exit onto Route 53. Then, continue north 0.5 miles, and you will find the Morton Arboretum’s entrance on the right.

If you are from Eastbound I-88, simply follow signs onto southbound I-88. Next, exit to Route 34 (westbound Ogden Avenue). Continue west to reach Ogden Avenue and Route 53 north. Keep driving north one mile, and you will see Morton Arboretum’s entrance.

If you are from I-355, follow the signs. You need to exit onto westbound I-88. Then, exit north onto Route 53. Continue driving north 0.5 miles, and you will see the Morton Arboretum’s entrance.

  • By Train 

The nearest train station to Arboretum is the Lisle’s Metra Train Station. You can take the Burlington Northern Santa Fe BNSF line. It is recommended to arrange one of those ride services available if taking the train.

  • By Bike 

You can also reach the festival venue by bike, which is eco-friendly. The Arboretum itself is famous among bicyclists, and the surrounding areas are great bike trails. Ensure not to lean, lock, or attach bikes to structures, plants, or trees. Bike racks are available at the following:

  • Visitor Center 
  • Prairie and Big Rock Visitor Stations 
  • Thornhill Education Center 

If you liked this festival, you might want to check out these other enchanting garden lights:

Lewis Ginter Lights

Wakehurst Glow Wild

Festival of light festival Hours 

Morton Arboretum Lights welcomes you with interactive lighting effects and lets you enjoy the exquisiteness of wintertime trees. You will encounter 14 stops along the way. The entire light festival experience includes color projections, animation, interactive light designs, cozy spots, and holiday music.

You can enter the festival venue after 4:30 PM and continue the discovery and fun until 10:00 PM. Do not forget to grab some cups of hot chocolate along the route!

How Much It Costs to Visit Morton Arboretum Lights

With Morton Arboretum Lights, you do not need to spend lots of cash to make your holiday celebration extra special. The Christmas light show offers an affordable way to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones. For 2023, organizers are yet to announce the details for the ticket prices.

To give you an idea, here are the ticket prices from last year:

Member Tickets Standard 

  • Child (2 to 17) – $8
  • Adult – $14

Member Tickets Peak 

  • Child (2 to 17) – $11
  • Adult – $19

Guest Tickets Standard 

  • Child (2 to 17) – $13
  • Adult – $19

Guest Ticket Peak 

  • Child (2 to 17) – $16
  • Adult – $24

AnyDay tickets are also available, which indicate one date and are valid for any Morton Arboretum Lights date. If you are a Morton Arboretum member, you will receive a discount.

It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance. On-site purchase only accepts credit cards. The tickets are non-refundable. However, you can exchange them in advance for a $5 fee per transaction, depending on the event capacity and the venue’s discretion.

For the latest updates on ticket prices, stay tuned or visit the garden’s official website.

Weather and What to Wear 

Morton Arboretum Lights starts in November, and you may experience brisk weather and somewhat snow or rain. The daytime average temperatures are in the single digits C (the high 30s to 40s F), while the nighttime average temperatures can dip into single digits below 0 C (low 20s F). So, make sure to pack the following:

  • Fleece 
  • Extra socks 
  • Warm jeans or pants 
  • Mittens or light gloves 
  • Coat or jacket
  • Standard footwear 
  • Waterproof snow boots
  • Waterproof jackets 

The weather is extremely cold in December, and you may also experience rain. The average temperatures during the day are in the single digits below 0 C (20s F), while night temperatures can dip onto 10+ below 0 C (single digits F). Make sure to pack the following:

  • Heavy sweaters 
  • Heavy heated socks
  • Insulated ice boots 
  • Extreme weather jacket shell
  • Neck warmer or scarf 
  • Extreme cold weather gloves 
  • Fleece 
  • Thermal undergarments 
  • Pajamas
  • Snow pants 
  • Waterproof jacket 

The light festival lasts until the first week of January, and the weather is frosty. You will experience occasional snow. The average temperatures overnight are in the single digits below 0 C (10s F). So, do not forget to pack the following:

  • Pajamas 
  • Insulated ice boots 
  • Heavy heated socks 
  • Neck warmer or scarf 
  • Heavy sweaters 
  • Extreme cold weather gloves 
  • Thermal undergarments 
  • Fleece
  • Extreme weather jacket shell 
  • Snow pants 
  • Waterproof snow boots 
  • Waterproof jacket

Where to Sleep 

Here are the top accommodation recommendations near the festival venue:

DoubleTree by Hilton Lisle/Naperville 

This accommodation is located on Corporate West Drive, Lisle, off Interstate 88. It is approximately 3 miles from the Arboretum. The staff is friendly and professional.

Hyatt Regency Lisle 

Hyatt Regency hotel is 0.7 miles from the festival venue. It features a free train station shuttle and free Wi-Fi. You can also enjoy free parking.

Extended Stay America Suites Chicago Lisle 

This hotel is 0.9 miles from the Arboretum. It features a free train station shuttle, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.

Best Western Chicago 

Best Western Chicago is a 4-star hotel and 2.1 miles from the Arboretum. It features spacious rooms, 2 on-site restaurants, and free Wi-Fi.

Where to Eat 

Lisle, IL, is also a perfect place to try tasty dishes. Do not forget to visit the following food destinations:

The Ike & Oak Brewing Company

This food destination is 4.7 miles from the Arboretum, about a 10-minute drive. Aside from craft beers, you can also try Four Cheese Pizza, The Ike Burger, BBQ Brisket Pizza, Grilled Octopus, and more.

The Bavarian Lodge 

The Bavarian Lodge is famous for offering authentic German recipes. It is also a 6-minute drive from Arboretum. 

You can order Liver Dumpling Soup, Wiener Schnitzel, Roast Duck, Gourmet Burgers, Scotch Egg, and many more. Make sure to check out their extensive beer list.

Carnivore & The Queen 

This restaurant offers an upscale fine dining experience. It is an 11-minute drive from the festival venue. You can order Walleye Ceviche, Roasted Chicken, Scallops, Shrimp Cocktail, Relish Tray, and Veal Chop.

More Things to Do in the Area 

Aside from Morton Arboretum Lights, you can also try other destinations in Lisle, such as;

Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum 

This museum has over 10,000 items, most of which were collected in the mid-20th century. Some zoological specimens are a black bear, a pair of African lions, a whale skeleton, and various invertebrates and birds.

Lisle Community Park 

This park is on rambling landbanks on both East Branch DuPage River banks. It provides lots of amenities, such as ball fields, a playground, tennis courts, a skate area, and more.

ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center 

This art studio focuses on the community’s growing clay arts and is run by a non-profit organization. It hosts plenty of workshops and classes conducted by clay art professionals. You can also join seasonal events or buy unique pieces by local artists.

Four Lakes Ski Area 

You can find this ski area in the southern part of the Lisle Community Park. It lets you enjoy snowboarding and skiing. You can try different trails dedicated to beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers.


1. Where Can I Park?

Parking is included in the price of your ticket. However, it’s a good idea to arrive early as parking spaces can fill up quickly, especially on weekends.

2. Is Smoking Allowed?

The Morton Arboretum is a smoke-free environment. Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, is not permitted anywhere on the property.

3. Can I Bring My Pet?

Sorry, pets are not allowed at this event. Only service animals are permitted.

4. Are There Food and Drinks Available?

Yes, there are several food and beverage stations located throughout the event. Enjoy a variety of options, from hot chocolate to seasonal treats.

5. How Long Does the Light Display Last?

The light display typically runs for a few hours each evening. Check the official website for exact timing and dates.

6. Is the Event Wheelchair Accessible?

Yes, the paths are wheelchair accessible. However, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast as some paths may be slippery in inclement weather.

7. Can I Purchase Tickets at the Door?

Tickets are usually available at the entrance, but it’s highly recommended to buy them in advance, especially for weekend visits, as the event often sells out.

8. What Should I Wear?

The event is outdoors, so dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a fair amount of walking to fully experience the light displays.


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