Roadtrip Worthy: Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden

There’s something special about the holiday season, something that adds a subtle sparkle to our hearts, cozy evenings, and Indiana’s crisp air. This year, why not add an extra touch of magic to the festive season with a road trip to a mesmerizing light show? Just a 3-hour drive away in Chicago awaits a radiant celebration of holiday cheer. Brace yourself for an incredible journey through the alluring world of Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’s an adventure worth every minute of the drive this holiday season.

Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

An Immersive Winter Wonderland

Starting November 10 until January 7, 2024, Lightscape will illuminate parts of the Garden you’ve never seen this way before. The trail outside will shine with remarkable displays from around the world, some which are already favorites. Places like Evening Island will become sparkling worlds of light, color, and sound.

“Each year, Lightscape unfolds in surprising, delightful ways, inviting the audience into a world that merges nature with creative expression,” says Jodi Zombolo, Associate Vice President, Visitor Events & Programs at the Garden. As parents, we’re always on the lookout for experiences that captivate the entire family, and Jodi assures, “This is something you won’t want to miss.”

Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

Festive Fun for the Whole Family

Besides the dazzling lights, you can treat yourself with festive food and drinks at Lightscape. It’s a family-friendly event, so grab your loved ones and head over for a marvelous adventure this holiday.

Ticket Information

Advance ticket booking is highly recommended as popular dates and times sell out fast. The ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult Ticket: $30 for members, $34 for non-members (Advance); $33 for members, $37 for non-members (Day of)
  • Child Ticket (3-12 years): $17 for members, $19 for non-members (Advance); $19 for members, $21 for non-members (Day of)
  • Child Ticket (2 years and under): Free
  • Flex Ticket: $75 per person (includes parking for one vehicle)
  • VIP Pass: $60 per person (available for President’s Circle Members only)

For more information on non-member parking, food and drink options, and other event details, visit the Lightscape FAQs.

Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Belton House Christmas Lights 2019, Photography by Alex Hewitt

A Sneak Peek into What Awaits

Brace yourselves for an electrifying experience as you wander through a trail ablaze with new, artistically rich installations:

1. Lilies by UK artist Jigantics: Imagine strolling along a bridge, gazing down at a fleet of five-foot tall illuminated lilies adrift on the water. Sounds enchanting, doesn’t it?

2. Night Lights by French artist TILT: Picture the cozy, inviting glow of ambient colors radiating from lamp-shaped lights that tower nearly 19 feet high.

3. Sea of Light by UK artist Ithaca: On Evening Island, thousands of individual LED light spheres will glitter and sway to a specially curated soundtrack, creating a vibrant spectacle.

Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic GardenPhoto Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

Not to forget, popular installations like the Winter Cathedral will make a grand comeback, along with the Fire Garden, which returns with a fresh and innovative design.

Due to their wild popularity, most weekend dates from late November to early December are nearly sold out. To ensure you and your family do not miss this one-of-a-kind event, make sure to book your tickets soon.

Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

Let’s Keep the Holiday Spirit Aflame

Lightscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden is not just an ordinary event. It’s a vibrant celebration of beauty, a powerful testament to the strength of community, and a touching tribute to the spirit of the holiday season. A drive to Chicago could be the perfect solution for all our Indianapolis families seeking something different this season. Lightscape’s dazzling spectacle promises to be an adventure everyone will remember.

Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden
Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

Related Articles



From our Sponsors