Chicago is ready to flip the switch. You’ll hear oohs and aahs when streets, shopping centers and parks light up for the holidays — and you can be there when it happens. If you can’t make the kick-off ceremonies, don’t worry: these hotspots will stay brilliantly lit through the end of December. Click through our guide to the best and brightest.

Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

This isn't your typical twinkling and blinking. Morton Arboretum's event — now in its third year with even more lights and sounds — turns its pretty forested landscape into a real winter wonderland. Walk on a mile-long, paved trail and see dazzling projections and tree lights that respond to your touch and voice. You can even hug a tree and it will respond with lights! New this year is a dazzling display of orbs on Arboretum’s Frost Hill that creates a glowing landscape visible throughout the trail.

Nov. 20-Jan. 2 (closed Nov. 23, 26 & 30 and Dec. 7, 14, 24 & 25)
Nightly, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (last entry at 8:30 p.m.)
Admission is $12-20 and requires a dated ticket
4100 IL Rte 53

Where will you go to see holiday lights this year? Let us know in the Comments section!

— Lisa Snart & Kelly Aiglon