Summer is over and now autumn; his autumn leaves are on their way quickly. In addition, there is the winter season and the winter festivals. For those who live in Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a great place to experience the magic of winter. Come evenings in the early winter months and experience the charm of winter for the city’s lightscape. Many consider summer to be the best time to visit Chicago, but winter in Chicago also has its own charms.
Lightscape is a trail illuminated after dark in the Chicago Botanic Garden. It features a new path and new light-filled installations created specifically for the park. Experience the best of winter with music, light, fire and colour. The Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape is arguably one of the top things to do in Chicago to enjoy in the winter.
Why the light landscape of the Chicago Botanic Garden is worth it
“The light landscape in the botanical garden is a wonderful, breathtaking experience. Highly recommended to everyone.”
See a newly designed fire garden and see the glowing Winter Cathedral. The park gets in the mood for the winter festival with Christmas carols. There are many artistic exhibits dotted around the park, stretching along a mile-long path.
- Season: November 11, 2022 to January 8, 2023
The trail is 1.25 miles long and has been redesigned since last year, although it still includes some of last year’s favourites. It is a reverse route and guests exit the visitor center.
- Pets: allowed
- Duration: On average 45 to 75 minutes
There are stations for hot drinks and light snacks at the beginning and middle of the route (credit and debit cards only). So grab a hot drink to keep warm during Chicago winter nights.
Check out the many artistic light shows in winter and snap wintry Instagram pics that will make everyone jealous. Even if you attended last season’s Lightscape, go back this year and see how it’s been redesigned. It’s a great activity for couples, groups, and families whose kids can endure the chilly Chicago evenings.
Plan a visit to the wintry landscape of light
People planning to visit the Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden should purchase the ticket at least a day in advance (they cost $2 more on the day).
- Adult: $30 member l $32 non-member
- Child: $14 member l $16 non-member
- Flex ticket: $75 per person (including parking)
The opening hours of the event may vary depending on the day (e.g. November 19th and November 23rd), but in general the opening hours of the lightscape are from 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. On normal days, last entry is at 7pm.
- operating hours: 4:30pm to 11:00pm (most days)
Tips and important information about visiting the Lightscape
This is winter in the Windy City, so be sure to dress for the winter weather at night (this is an outdoor event).
Tickets are timed in 15-minute increments to stagger visitors and improve the flow of people along the way. Visitors can stay as long as they like until closing at 11pm.
Parking is something that should be planned in advance. Visitors save 50% by prepaying for parking (advance parking is $10 per vehicle, while on-arrival parking is $20). All non-members must pay for parking. Riders do not have to pay for parking.
- Park: $10 (if purchased in advance)
Be careful not to be late; If you miss your time slot, you can move to the next 15 minute time slot (subject to availability). But there is no entry after the last entry time. (e.g. if the last slot for the night is 9:15 p.m., then 9:30 p.m. is the entry closing time).
The event will take place rain or shine (moonlight as it is a night time event). A little snow really improves the ambiance and feel of the experience. The Chicago Botanic Garden may cancel the event in the event of dangerously adverse weather conditions (the decision will be made at 2 p.m.).
Enjoy Chicago’s crisp winter air and long dark nights at the Lightscape Show this winter.