Swap screen time for the wide open spaces at The Morton Arboretum. Kids can explore the gigantic tree house, build rock and stick dams in the creek or run through mazes, while also gaining an educational experience. Read on to hear how this mega park helps develop a passion for nature and fills those long summer days with exercise and smiles. Bonus cherry-on-top: A day well-spent at The Arboretum almost always ends in a solid nap time.

Morton Arboretum Ribbit 4

Catch it before it hops away!
Ribbit! The Exhibit, which runs through Sept. 25, features a collection of 23 large frogs, made from 500 pounds of sheet copper, created by sculptor J.A. Cobb. Kids can read about the trees and surroundings that inspired the artists’ creations and go on a hunt for all 23 frogs that are spread around the property.

Morton Arboretum Children's Garden

Feed your adventurous side in the Children’s Garden
The highlight of the arboretum for parents with children under 10 years old is the award winning, five-acre interactive Children’s Garden and hedge maze, a nature lover’s paradise. Ten themed gardens, bursting with interactive and learning-based play, will keep your kids on the move and engaged while they’re checking out various ecosystems that exist around the world. Kids will spot birds, turtles, frogs, squirrels, chipmunks and dragonflies in the Adventure Woods and the Backyard Discovery Gardens. They can put their bare feet in the stream and feel the smooth rocks, climb up rope bridges and pretend to be pirates in the tree houses. All they need is an imagination and a sense of adventure.

Not only are children safe and secure within the boundaries of the Children’s Garden, extraordinarily friendly and knowledgeable volunteers and staff mill about the area, welcoming conversation and offering guidance.

Morton Family Nights

Make the most of Summer at the Arboretum!
Morton Arboretum knows it can be hard to fill those long summer days when your kids expect you to play camp counselor. They’re helping you fill the agenda with Thursday Family Night, where you can enjoy live music, kid-friendly fare and entertainment after-hours. Visitors can also enjoy vehicle-free biking now through August 26 (Fri., 5:30 p.m.-sunset & Sat. & Sun., 7 a.m.-9 a.m.). Coast 9 miles of trails under a canopy of trees. Maybe even take off those training wheels!

Fall Family Concert with PJ Library at the Morton Arboretum

What else is at the Arboretum?
The Arboretum is comprised of 1,700 acres of space, which includes 16 miles of trails, 500 acres of plant collections and specialty gardens and 900 acres of woodlands, prairies, meadows, lakes and streams.  Families can take a ride on the Acorn Express Tram to cover serious ground, hike or bike. Visitors are able to take part in the great outdoors as well as contribute to a non-profit science, research and conservation organization that plants and protects trees for a healthier world — how cool is that?!

Chicago Morton Arboretum with kids

“From the amazing Children’s Garden full of fun and educational exhibits that explore the wonders of our natural world to our hedge maze and vast woodlands, families can always find something remarkable to discover at The Morton Arboretum,” says Kelley Regan, Senior Public Relations Manager, The Morton Arboretum.

Fresh air, sunshine, inspiration and exercise are all brilliant reasons to take a trip to the arboretum. Spend the day appreciating nature while supporting an organization that is doing good things for our environment and for our kids. Visit www.mortonarb.org for more information.


Morton Arboretum
4100 IL Rte 53
Online: mortonarb.org

What’s your favorite thing to do at the Arboretum? Tell us about it in the Comments below!

— Wendy Altschuler