Remember when it was just eco-warrior hippy types who hugged trees? Well, now we can all get in on the nature-loving act, with interactive trees trending at Chicago’s Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. Hug or sing to the sycamores and they’ll respond – it’s simply magical!
An easy amble along a mile-long path takes you into wintry woods festooned with vibrant lights, chandeliers and projections, including interactive high-jinks. Winding around a lake and over a hill, the 90-minute trail also features warming fire pits for hot drinks and snacks. At Treemagination, abstract projections make hemlocks appear to breathe, while the Fantasy Forest finale creates the illusion of trees with pillars of light stretching skyward.
Musical accompaniment to the visual splendour includes lights dancing in time to The Nutcracker Suite, carol singers roaming the landscape, and occasional live musical performances at the Ginkgo Room, which also sports a bar serving seasonal tipples and Insta-me salted caramel gourmet hot chocs.
You’ll need to book in advance, with tickets timed for 5pm onwards. The first hour often sees a rush, so aim to go later if you want to dodge the crowds. Weeknight visitors can dress to impress, with Festive Sweater Tuesdays, Champion Gear Wednesdays, and Glow Wear Thursdays, and the Arboretum Store offers illuminated gifts. Go with the glow!
18 Nov, 2016–2 Jan, 2017.
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum / 4100 Illinois Route 53 / Lisle / +1 630 725 2066 / 5pm–8.30pm (lights out at 9.30pm) / closed 12 December, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, following Mondays / mortonarb.org