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“Spend a night at Illuminations!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum
4100 Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532
+1 630-719-2400
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Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Lisle
Type: Gardens, Parks, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: Only 25 miles west of Chicago, there's something for everyone in all four seasons at The Morton Arboretum. Whether you seek a quiet hike in the woods or an active family day out, The Morton Arboretum offers a wide variety of fun activities, events, tours, and classes for all ages and interests. Here you'll find an oasis of 16 miles of hiking trails and nine miles of paved roads, perfect for hiking, running, biking or just exploring. From a guided tour on an open-air tram, to the award-winning Children's Garden and Maze Garden, to outdoor summer concerts, to lunch in The Ginkgo Room restaurant overlooking Meadow Lake, the Arboretum is a unique place to explore, discover, escape, and connect with trees and nature.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Spend a night at Illuminations!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

We had 12 of us of all ages that went over the weekend for the new Illumination show. Be prepared for long lines if you don't buy your tickets in advance or avoid the family hour from 5 to 6.30 pm. The crowd thins out after seven. Tip 1 - buy your tickets on line. Tip 2 - Dress for the weather, you are outdoors for up to 1 hour or more depending on crowd and how much time you want to spend on the interactive attractions. Tip 3 -The light show is dramatic but more fun with others and young ones. If you are a couple - pick a time to enjoy without strollers and screaming kids. Overall, a great winter night to enjoy trees, lights and crisp winter air. Plenty of refreshment stops including alcohol winter drinks, fire pits and take in the holiday train display at the conclusion. Hopefully you will enjoy your night in the woods!

Visited November 2013
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348 reviews from our community

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English first
Chicago, Illinois
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

I had high expectations for this light show after reading a review in the Chicago Tribune recently. So I packed up the kids and visiting grandparents and headed to Lisle. We bought tickets right before 4 pm. There was still plenty of parking. At 4:30, when the arboretum reopened, we headed for the train exhibit first. The pros: the exhibit was just the right height for my 20 month old. There were even buttons for him to push that made noise or caused something to move. The cons: the model railway was in a tight space that filled up quickly. So we left and went to Illuminations. We stopped at the outdoor concession for some s'mores packs. The lines were really long. By now, it was dark enough to enjoy the lights. I've visited the Arboretum once before in warmer weather and can't say enough good things about this place. But maybe it was just too crowded that day. It was also quite dark and we lost one in our party at one point. The path is not lit in parts and not as many trees were illuminated as I had thought would be. Also, I had read that some exhibits were interactive but I was never sure if I was missing something. At the end of the exhibit, you could hug a tree to make the lights change color, but the first tree we came across was "out of order" already. There were some fire pits for warming and toasting s'mores about halfway along the path which added a nice ambiance, but the concessions there had already run out if hot chocolate. If you just want to come and enjoy a outdoor stroll through the woods at night, forget about the finicky technology and overpriced concessions, you may actually enjoy this. Just choose a less crowded (week)day. N.b.: I bribed my kids with hot chocolate and s'mores, so if you go that route, hopefully the Arboretum keeps them in stock along the Illuminations path.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
350 reviews 350 reviews
134 attraction reviews
Reviews in 109 cities Reviews in 109 cities
312 helpful votes 312 helpful votes
“Don't miss the current "light show"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

We attended on the opening day of the Light Show last Saturday and while it was absolutely freezing it was a wonderful event and the Arboretum deserve accolades for its presentation. The employees were of high spirits despite the temperatures; where we normally would have ambled our way around the lake, stopping at the various lighting destinations, we sort of ran from destination to destination, stopping to pick up a hot chocolate or hot cider at multiple locations enroute. It was frightfully cold and I hope those who were working escaped without frostbite.
There are noise activated, motion activated, and facially activated lighting experiences and this outstanding installation should not be missed by singles, couples, families, nor the curious.
It's WONDERFUL. There is an extra charge for the light show so call ahead to learn.

Visited November 2013
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2 reviews
“Morton Arboretum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Beautiful place that captures the essence of the area. Nature and rural splendor gives a feel for what the region was like a 100 years ago!

Visited October 2013
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Joliet, IL USA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Illumination:Tree lights at the Morton Arboretum. . .beautiful!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

Last night we took three of our grandchildren to see the lights. The display is beautiful but I gave this otherwise 5* attraction 4*'s because of the cost. $15 for adults, $10 for kids over 2, $4 for a small cup of hot chocolate. . .

It took us about and hour and fifteen minutes to walk the mile around the lake in bitter cold weather. We probably would have stayed longer if it hadn't been so cold. They have fire pits set up along the display but they weren't much help as far as warming up. The path is paved and is great for strollers or wheelchairs. Bathrooms are located in the visitors center but a porta-john here and there would have been welcome for the two year old who had to go potty about half way around the lake.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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