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(Above) Hundreds of handmade stars line the 130-foot-long Starscape installation at Chicago Botanic Garden. Photo provided by Mandylights. Click on images to view larger versions.

Share the magic outside with friends and family at Lightscape, the brightest spot for holiday cheer.

28-Nov-22 – Celebrating its fourth year, Lightscape is now open at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe through January 8, 2023. This highly acclaimed holiday classic features a new path and new light-filled installations by international artists.

Embrace nature as you walk through the after-dark illuminated trail with lyrical music, bright lights, fire, and changing colors. Luminous works from previous years, such as Winter Cathedral and Fire Garden, have been re-imagined by popular artists.

Chicago Botanic Garden

We strolled through the park and oohed and aahhed at the colorful, changing lights, accompanied by classical music and popular holiday tunes, stopping for coffee and a holiday treat along the 1.25-mile trail.

(Left) Everyone’s favorite, Winter Cathedral, is like a canopy with white sparkling lights that envelop you as you walk through. Photo provided by Chicago Botanic Garden.

“Lightscape provides a festive setting to see the natural world sparkle while creating memories with friends and family,” said Jodi Zombolo, Associate Vice President of Visitor Events & Programs at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Our favorite was Starscape by Australian artist Mandylights. More than 700 handmade acrylic stars create a stunning, immersive experience. We stood and watched as brilliant flashes of saturated color moved up and down a 130-foot-long tunnel.

As previous years have shown, this is the hottest ticket in town and promises to sell out again quickly.

(Right) Path to new luminous artwork at this year’s Lightscape. Photo provided by Chicago Botanic Garden.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe. Tickets start at $32 for adults ($30 for members), $16 for children ($14 for child members), and all little ones under two can enter for free.

Tickets and more info: Chicago Botanic Garden

Brighten the holiday with Chicago classics

Check out the city’s “official” Christmas tree in Millennium Park at the intersection of Michigan Avenue & Washington Street through January 8, 2023. More info: City of Chicago Christmas Tree

The annual Zoo Lights are on at Lincoln Park Zoo through January 1, 2023. Tickets are $5 for general admission, members-only nights, and sensory-friendly night. Tickets to Free Admission Mondays will be released the previous Tuesday each week at 11:00 a.m. More info: Lincoln Park Zoo

Light Up The Lake is back, through January 7, 2023, at Navy Pier. Experience the magic with interactive light displays, whimsical skating rink, birch tree maze, visits with Santa, and more. Pricing is $27 for adults and $17 for children (ages 3-12). More info: Navy Pier

On the Chicago stage

Recently extended through December 11 at Porchlight Music Theatre is Rent. This Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical features an enduring story of love, hope, and resilience that went on to change the face of musical theater. Porchlight’s production is high-energy and retells the story with passion and power.

Photo by Liz Lauren

Porchlight is located at 1016 North Dearborn Street. Masks are required.

Tickets: Porchlight Music Theatre

Photo by Liz Lauren

See Larry Yando in his 15th year as the miserly Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre through December 31, 2022. Tickets: Goodman Theatre

Or delight in The Nutcracker performed by the Joffrey Ballet at Civic Opera House December 3-27. Tickets: Joffrey Ballet

Wishing you and yours a bright, festive holiday season!