Depending on where you live, you’re likely within some distance to a holiday lights display — at a local zoo, park, or maybe just around your neighborhood. In my ‘hood of Chicago, I decided to check out Illumination at The Morton Arboretum since it had a reputation for being pretty spectacular. Who wouldn’t love a waltz around gorgeously lit tress? In December. When it’s 15 degrees out.
Oooh but it’s pretty!
Weather aside (it was actually totally fine), this display at the already amazing arboretum was spectacular. Everything seemed to be interactive, animated, or just plain magical. They do a great job of spreading out the crowds and leading everyone where they need to go so it doesn’t get too hairy. Plus, there are warming stations all around for specialty hot chocolates, treats, and well, warmth.
We bundled up and set off to explore all of the different areas of the tree light show. There were musical areas with some festive as heck Tchaikovsky playing along to dancing lights, colored lasers cast over water, huge multicolored globes lining slopes (aptly titled “Ornament Hill”), tons of crystal chandeliers hanging from the skies at “Crystal Promenade,” century-old Tanyosho Pines covered in lights, and even a light show which showed how trees breath in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Essentially, it was just a hell of a pretty walk around the arboretum.
The walk around took about an hour, but you could easily spend more time if you idle in the warming tents or linger taking photos (like I did, of course — until my camera started to die from the cold!). It was perfectly timed to get me in the mood for Christmas and New Year’s, too. The decorations are up, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel Christmas-y until I’ve seen some electric wonder.