Lightscape FAQs

Dates and Hours:

This event is held rain or shine.

November 11, 2022 – January 8, 2023
November 11 – 13, 4:30 – 11 p.m.
November 16 – 20, 4:30 – 11 p.m.
November 23, 4:30 – 9 p.m.
November 25 – 27, 4:30 – 11 p.m.
November 30 – December 4, 4:30 – 11 p.m. 
December 7 – 11, 4:30 – 11 p.m. 
December 14 – 18, 4:30 – 11 p.m.
December 21 – January 8, 4:30 – 11 p.m.
Closed Nov. 24, Dec. 24 and 25

Event hours:
4:30 – 11 p.m., last entry at 9:15 p.m.; except Nov. 19, entry begins at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 23, hours are 4:30 – 9 p.m. with last entry at 7 p.m.; Garden closes each night at 11 p.m.

Each day, the Garden will close at 3 p.m. and re-open for ticketed guests only at 4 p.m.

Tips for Your Visit

✓ Dress for the weather, as this is an outdoor event.
✓ The reimagined trail, which is 1.25-miles long, includes some favorites from last year and a reverse route—guests will exit through the Visitor Center.

Ticket Information

Ticket prices did increase this year for the first time since 2020, and we are now offering the same price for each evening instead of Regular and Premium as in the past.

Tickets for this event are timed in 15-minute increments to stagger visitors for a better experience. However, each night you may stay until the event closes and enjoy the event. Please note times above.

Buy Parking

Buy your parking in advance and save 50 percent. Advance parking for nonmembers is $10 per vehicle; if purchased upon arrival the night of your visit, the nonmember parking fee is $20. Parking fee applies for all nonmembers entering the Garden for Lightscape after 4 p.m. each night of the event. Garden members always park for free. We strongly advise you to buy parking online in advance or to become a Garden member. Nonmembers who purchase advance parking can enter via the member lane. Parking fees does not apply to those arriving via a ride-share vehicle.

Limited complimentary parking for the following: Active-duty U.S. military personnel and/or their families, reservists, and former POWs. Please show valid ID at the gatehouse upon entry.

Please note: Complimentary parking for corporate partners, reciprocal members (i.e., Morton Arboretum, Cantigny Park), and teachers does not apply to Lightscape.

If I book the wrong date, can I transfer my ticket to another date?
Yes, but exchanges are subject to a $10 transaction fee per exchange. This fee applies to members and nonmembers. Exchanges will not be allowed after November 1, 2022. Please contact the Customer Call Center at (847) 835-6801 to process. Tickets are subject to availability. 

If I am delayed and miss my slot, can I join a later slot?
Yes. We will accommodate you in the next slots based on availability, but please be aware that there is no entry 15 minutes after the last entry time (i.e., if the last slot for the night is 9:15 p.m., then 9:30 p.m. is the cutoff for entry). See dates and hours above for closing time by date.

What happens if the weather turns bad after we buy tickets?
We think a little snow adds to the beauty of the event, but, of course, if the weather presents a hazard and a risk to safety, the Garden’s decision to cancel the event will be made at 2 p.m. on the day of the event. You will be notified via email of any cancellation and the rebooking process. Also, please check our website and social media pages for updates. Rebookings will only be allowed if the Garden cancels the event; otherwise, the event will take place rain or shine.

I am visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden during the day.  Will I have to leave the Garden before entering Lightscape in the evening?
Yes, to ensure that only ticket holders for Lightscape have entry to the evening event, daytime visitors must vacate the Garden. During the days when Lightscape is offered, the Garden will close at 3 p.m. and will reopen at 4 p.m. for ticketed guests only.

How should I dress for this event?
This is an outdoor event, so please come prepared for the elements by wearing appropriate footwear and dressing warmly. Umbrellas are allowed on the trail in/near most installations, and we ask that you are courteous of other patrons when using them.

How long is the trail?
The trail is approximately a 1.25-mile path around the Garden’s main island.

Will there be restrooms available?
Yes, restrooms will be available along the Lightscape trail.

How much time should we allow for this event?
That depends on your pace and how often you stop. However, as a rule, you should allow about 45 to 75 minutes.

Should I arrive in advance of my visit time?
Please do allow extra time for entry and parking, but do not arrive more than 15 minutes before the entrance time printed on your ticket. Your entry time is a 15-minute window from the time printed on your tickets (i.e., 4:30 - 4:45 p.m.). After you are admitted, you may stay as long as you would like. See dates and hours above for closing time by date. Our goal is to reduce wait times by staggering ticket sales, although there may still be some waiting time.

Are there any COVID-19 restrictions?
The health and safety of our staff and our visitors is our top priority. We will follow all state and Cook County guidelines to mitigate COVID-19 that are in place at the time of the event, including guidance on wearing masks.

COVID-19 modifications include:
There will be a separate entrance and exit.

We ask anyone who is sick, or who has been in contact with someone who is sick, to please stay home. You may contact our Customer Call Center at (847) 835-6801 regarding your tickets.

Can I come to the Garden after it closes if I do not have a Lightscape ticket?
No, the Garden will be open to Lightscape ticket holders only.

Will there be places to get a snack?
Yes, there will be hot drinks and light snack stations at the beginning and middle of the route. Credit or debit cards only will be accepted.

Will there be places to shop?
The Garden Shop will be open in the Visitor Center.

Can I take pictures?
Absolutely. However, no tripods, monopods, or UAVs/drones will be allowed.

Are the pathways wheelchair accessible?
The route is designed so that it can be navigated on paved and crushed gravel paths. The Chicago Botanic Garden has manual wheelchairs that can be loaned, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of use; no advance reservations accepted. 

The Garden’s ECVs (scooters) will not be available for rent during this event. If the weather conditions prohibit the trail from being fully accessible, for those needing mobility devices (wheelchairs, ECVs, walkers, etc.), consideration will be made on a case-by-case basis to allow for tickets to be transferred to alternate dates. If you have particular access requirements, please call the Garden at (847) 835-6801 for further inquiries.

Are strollers allowed?
Yes, strollers are allowed. 

Are pets allowed?
No pets allowed, except for service animals.

Is there white strobe lighting?
There will be some lighting sequences that have some flashing lights contained within them; however, there is no strobe lighting.