016 holiday lights guide: Morton Arboretum flips the switch early
By Steve Johnson
What is it about lights displays and the wintertime holidays?
Is it the longer nights leading us to covet a little extra brightness, even if it's from a bulb attached to wire?
Is it the tradition of it, packing the kids and their grandparents into the car and heading to a nature park or a magnificently emblazoned neighbor's house to take in the glowing spectacle?
Is it the joy/guilt in seeing that someone else has done all that work — the stringing and the plugging and the testing — while it took us until mid-December merely to mount a couple of light strands around the porch perimeter?
Whatever the reason, Chicagoans are suckers for a year-end lights display, as the traffic around Lincoln Park or Brookfield Zoo on a warm December weekend evening will attest.
The newcomer to this kilowatt party, Morton Arboretum, is once again the first to flip the switch this year with Illumination, its artful highlighting of the west suburban park's trees opening Friday, almost a full week ahead of Thanksgiving.
The mile-long path around water and through wooded groves adds new lighting and music features in this, its fourth season.