Chicago Botanic Garden Dazzles with a New Interactive Holiday Lights Path

With light display shows buzzing around Chicagoland, here’s a new one you must visit this holiday season.

Chicago Botanic Garden kicks off its new illuminated trail, Lightscape, on Nov. 22. Running on select dates through Jan. 5, the one-mile path is filled with interactive light displays and holiday music to get anyone into the spirit. Originally from London, Lightscape is making its U.S. debut in the Chicago area.

Visitors will experience a variety of light scenes, from a field of dancing lights to tall singing trees and a towering 110-foot cathedral arch tunnel with 100,00 lights. Not to mention, you’ll hear plenty of holiday classics throughout the trail. Kids will especially enjoy walking through strands of lights and interacting with holiday-themed projections.

Take your time to walk through the path, which should take about an hour (especially since you’ll want to take photos at every display). Hot drinks are available—including some alcoholic options for adults!–and savory snacks and sweet treats are also for sale. We recommend trying the Lightscape DIY S’more Package ($7) because how can you say no to marshmallows roasting on an open fire?

Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lightscape for the Holiday Season

Here are some quick tips for families making the trek out to experience Lightscape:

  • Dress warm! The path is about one mile long along the Garden’s main island.
  • Book in advance because tickets are timed in slots.
  • Save 50 percent off and pay for your parking in advance ($10).
  • There is no strobe lighting, but there are some displays with flashing lights.
  • Strollers are allowed. The trail includes paved and crushed gravel paths.
  • Restrooms are available throughout the path.
  • For fans of the Wonderland Express, the holiday train exhibition will not take place this year.



Nov. 22-Jan. 5

  • Address: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
  • Cost: Advance tickets are $21 member/$23 non-member for adults, $10/$12 for kids 3-12, and kids under 3 are free.

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