Chicago Botanic Garden’s LIGHTSCAPE

Last week, my husband and I went to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s holiday light extravaganza, called Lightscape. We had to purchase tickets online in advance, and reserve a specific entry time. Many of the dates were sold out, particularly weekends, but I was able to register for 7:15-7:30 on Thursday, Dec. 19. Once we entered, we could stay as long as we wanted until closing time at 10:30. Of course, we didn’t stay that long. Fortunately, it was a relatively pleasant evening, although we were glad we had dressed warmly.

A lot of spectators were there when we were – it was quite crowded, and on the dark path, it was inevitable that we would accidently run into someone. There were lots of children running, also, who also ran into people, including us. Everyone was nice about it, though – there was a general understanding that there were crowds, it was dark, but with patience, we would be rewarded with spectacular light shows.

I’ve been to Chicago Botanic Gardens often enough to understand the basic layout and the types of gardens that are showcased in different areas. Each of these designated areas was used by the artistic light companies to showcase to best advantage each particular light display. The path through the exhibit was marked and one only had to follow it to see everything.

Entrance to the exhibit was through this arc of changing colors of light – it’s hard to see but there is a bow on the top, to resemble a giant light wreath!

These photos were all taken at Lightscape.  Overall, it was a fantastic show and definitely worth the price of admission + parking!
This brilliantly lit Christmas tree was surrounded by trees with multicolored lights, like the one in the photo above.
This part was called “Singing Trees.” As carols played, the trees lit up according to the tone and pitch of the music. I have to admit, though, that in these photos, the trees look like giant Daleks (“exterminators” on the Dr. Who series)!
Looking across one of the ponds to the Japanese garden, with the red lit trees reflecting in the still water.
In the warm seasons, water tumbles over these rocks to form waterfalls. These strings of flowing white lights are meant to resemble waterfalls.
Lights in the form of snowflakes on the path leading to…

…pink “cherry blossom” trees.

I took a video walking through hanging curtains of light that pulsated and changed colors.

The tulip garden

This realistic looking “carpet” was projected onto the path.

Dale took this photo of me standing on the “light” carpet – my coat was transformed into an amazing technicolor dreamcoat!
Cathedral of Light

It’s no wonder that this “cathedral of light” was used in the advertising for this event!

A rainbow of pulsating, moving lights covered a large (normally) grassy area, which I recognized as the place where crowds lay on the ground to watch the solar eclipse two years ago!

This was the last thing in the exhibit.
One of the coolest photos I took was in the parking lot on our way out – the border of the Botanic Garden was marked by a series of trees, whose branches were traced in brilliant white lights. We had seen this from the road when we were entering, but couldn’t get close enough for a good photo, until we were leaving.
The lights were actually brighter than in this photo, but I took it without flash, without changing the ISO setting. I like it because all the details of the tree can be seen.
I hope you enjoyed this photographic tour of Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Gardens!



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