A new holiday light show is here!
The first holiday show designed specifically for children debuted at Kohl Children’s Museum on Friday, December 4. Kohlights: A Mesmertastic Holiday Lightacular features thousands of interactive holiday lights spread over the Museum’s two-acre outdoor Habitat Park.
Keeping social distancing and safety in mind, the exhibits encourage children to learn through play by changing colors, patterns, and motions of the lights in interactive stations. All stations have “no-touch” activation, with children either manipulating displays with their bodies through thermal sensors or by using individual glow sticks provided at check-in to control the lights. The museum is also using limited timed entry to the one-way path to allow distance between groups. Staff will also be stationed along the trail to assist with social distancing and ensure the exhibits are clean.
“The scale of Habitat Park makes for a manageable, contained, and most of all, safe experience,” says Mike Delfini, President and CEO of Kohl Children’s Museum. “Our goal is to give families who are weary of remote learning and COVID-19 fatigue an opportunity to explore and play as a family unit.”
The Kohlights display was created specifically for Kohl Children’s Museum by Lightswitch Chicago and installed by ILC. Both companies have also produced the Illumination: Tree Lights display at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Hailey Featherstone was the lead concept designer to help infuse a visually enchanting event with the playful learning experience the Museum is renowned for.
“Our members tell us they want and need some normalcy for their families,” adds Delfini. “Particularly during the holidays, interest in safe, outdoor events is high and we are confident that families will respond positively to this highly interactive and colorful presentation.”
Among the displays are interactive elements that include:
• Pixel Play Meadow: Thermal sensors read body heat of passing guests and project them onto a sea of lights in the Children’s Meadow in the park. Children will see their movements reflected in the changing light patterns.
• Rainbow Arbor: Children can use glow sticks to turn a color wheel that will change lights on trees in the park’s courtyard along the color spectrum.
• Color Play: A grove of trees are decked with lights whose colors are controlled by button stations along the path. Children can press buttons to change the hues on these trees, which include low branches for easy viewing.
• Rainbow Caterpillar: Another color wheel allows children to propel patterns of lights that wind up and down lighting fixtures on the park’s Rolling Hill, mimicking a caterpillar’s movement.
• Color Square Walk: A moving rainbow path of colors leads to the Lightacular’s exit, letting children choose a color and follow it to the end of the path.
• Lighted Art Installation: Children can choose to deposit their glow sticks into one of hundreds of recyclable plastic bottles, forming a collaborative glowing artwork.
Kohlights joins the Museum’s already-existing V.I.P. (Very Important Play) sessions in the Museum’s collection of COVID-19-aware offerings, including the popular Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! exhibit. The outdoor experience and holiday walk will be previewed this weekend before opening on select days from Friday, December 11, through Sunday, January 3. Advance reservations are required, and tickets are $25 per person for adults and children. Kohl Children’s Museum members may purchase at a discounted rate of $20 per person. Infants under 12 months of age are free.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kohlights.com.