In April and May, The Morton Arboretum in suburban Chicago will offer special events and in-person and online programming for all ages.
All fees listed are for general public admission to the Arboretum and include free parking. Information is accurate as of the date of this release. Members of media are encouraged to check the website prior to publication as times and dates may change. For more programming information, visit mortonarb.org.
EARTH AND ARBOR DAY-RELATED PROGRAMMING
To celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day in April, the Arboretum will offer special events and programs. See additional details for each program below.
April 22: The Champion of Trees 10K
April 24: Powering Your Home with Solar Energy
April 26: Meet Nature Cat
April 27 through 29: Arbor Day Plant Sale
April 28 or May 6: Spring Flowering Trees Walking Tour
April 29 or May 6: Woodland Family Hikes: Trees in Bloom
Of the Earth – PHOTOS – New exhibition opens May 26!
Friday, May 26 through spring 2025
Free with admission
The Morton Arboretum’s highly anticipated new art exhibition, Of the Earth, by Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska opens May 26. Experience five exclusive works created from reclaimed tree branches and other natural materials gathered from throughout the Arboretum. More information to come at mortonarb.org.
Spring blooms – PHOTOS and B-ROLL
Weekly Bloom Reports detailing the trees and flowers blooming at the Arboretum in spring are now available at mortonarb.org/blog. For springtime photos and b-roll of the Arboretum and its spring blooms, please see the Dropbox folder here.
Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Art Exhibit
Saturday, April 15 or Sunday, April 16 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free with admission
Enjoy nature-themed art at the juried Nature Artists’ Guild Spring Art Exhibit at The Morton Arboretum. Many pieces by the local artists can be purchased at the exhibit. For more information, visit mortonarb.org.
The Champion of Trees 10K – PHOTOS
Saturday, April 22
Find your inner tree champion during the 13th annual The Champion of Trees 10K while running or walking on a springtime morning surrounded by trees from around the world. The USATF-certified course follows the Arboretum’s East Side Main Route through rolling terrain. Participants can enjoy a post-race party with live music, recovery food and a complimentary beer for those ages 21 and older, and a commemorative t-shirt. Alternatively, participants in the Virtual Champion of Trees 10K can run or walk on a course and date of their choosing. Virtual 10K participants wanting to run or walk at the Arboretum must reserve a timed-entry pass or ticket prior to visiting. Both options support the Arboretum’s work to plant and protect trees. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Meet Nature Cat
Wednesday, April 26 | 10 a.m.
Free with admission
Have fun in nature with PBS Kids’ Nature Cat during an Arbor Day celebration with activities and prizes in The Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden. For more information, visit mortonarb.org.
Arbor Day Plant Sale – PHOTOS
Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$42 for early access Thursday morning (includes general admission)
$27 for regular access beginning Thursday afternoon through Saturday (includes general admission)
The annual Arbor Day Plant Sale at The Morton Arboretum is one of the largest plant sales for a public garden in the U.S. It will have over 32,000 carefully chosen plants, including trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, hostas, native plants, perennials and ornamental grasses. Expert Plant Geniuses will be available throughout the sale to answer questions and suggest plants. Tickets will be available to the public April 15 at mortonarb.org. The Arbor Day Plant Sale is supported by International Paper and Boxed Water is Better.
Tails on the Trails – PHOTOS AND B-ROLL
Sunday, May 7 | 7 a.m. to sunset
$5 per dog
During the Tails on the Trails dog-friendly event, guests can explore the Arboretum’s 16 miles of trails, visit the Pet Expo with vendors from local businesses and organizations, and learn about dog adoption and volunteering opportunities at local animal shelters. Dog-friendly days are the only times that non-service dogs are allowed at the Arboretum in cars or on the grounds. Dogs are welcome during Tails on the Trails from 7 a.m. to sunset. The vendor expo runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Timed-entry admission is required for members and guests, and tickets for dogs are $5 each. For tickets and information, visit mortonarb.org.
Spring Wine Tasting
Saturday, May 13 | noon to 4 p.m.
More than 80 wine varieties will be available for sampling in a scenic outdoor setting during the Spring Wine Tasting at The Morton Arboretum. Booths will be spread out along Meadow Lake, Frost Hill and the Conifer walking paths. Each ticket includes 25 1-ounce pours and a souvenir tasting glass. Food will be available for purchase and various art vendors will be scattered along the event trail. After sampling, stop by the Famous Liquors tent and pre-order your favorite wines. Order pick-up will be at Famous Liquors in Lombard or Forest Park at a later date. Also, 10% of all wine sales will be donated back to The Morton Arboretum. More information to come at mortonarb.org.
Iris Society Show
Monday, May 29 | noon to 5 p.m.
Included with Arboretum admission
Experience nearly 100 varieties of blooming irises with some available for purchase in the Arboretum’s Sycamore Room. This event is presented by the Northern Illinois Iris Society. For tickets and more information, visit mortonarb.org.
Arbor Evenings – PHOTOS
Wednesday evenings, May 31 through Aug. 23 | 6 to 9 p.m.
$13 for adults, $5 for children and free for children ages 1 and younger
Come with friends and family to The Morton Arboretum Wednesday evenings and enjoy great live music while relaxing outdoors on picturesque Frost Hill. The event begins at 5:15 p.m. with music from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring blankets or chairs for lawn seating. Outside food and sealed non-alcoholic beverages are welcome. Cocktails, wine, beer, water and other beverages, along with food truck options, will be available for purchase. Tickets will be available soon at mortonarb.org.
APRIL AND MAY EDUCATIONAL/WELLNESS PROGRAMMING
Admission to the Arboretum is included in in-person class and program fees. All pricing listed is for the general public. To see more adult educational and wellness programs offered by the Arboretum, visit mortonarb.org. Additional youth and family programs can also be found on the website here.
Black Earth Wisdom: Afro-Ecological Survival Strategies with Leah Penniman
Thursday, April 6 (online) | 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for individuals or viewing parties, ranging from $8 to $125; a limited number of no-fee spots are available for those who could not otherwise participate
Hear from Leah Penniman, co-executive director and farm director of Soul Fire Farm, as she weaves together the lessons from today’s most respected Black environmentalists in this online program from The Morton Arboretum. This discussion will embark on a sensory journey through Black ecological thought. At Petersburg, New York-based Soul Fire Farm, Penniman is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs, including farmer training for Black and Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Navigating with a Map and Compass
Saturday, April 8 | noon to 4 p.m.
Participants will learn how to use a map and compass and practice their navigation skills outdoors during this class at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms
Saturday, April 22 | 1 to 4:00 p.m.
Learn about the importance of fungi in woodland ecosystems and how to grow mushrooms at home in this hands-on workshop at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Powering Your Home with Solar Energy
Monday, April 24 | 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Hear from an Illinois Solar Energy Association ambassador about ways to run a home on solar energy in this discussion at The Morton Arboretum. The Arboretum’s sustainability director will also share information about the upcoming switch to solar energy at the Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Spring Flowering Trees Walking Tour
Friday, April 28 or Saturday, May 6 | 1 to 3 p.m.
Enjoy emerging spring blooms and colors and hear about the seasonal changes of trees on a guided walk at The Morton Arboretum led by two of its scientific researchers. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Birds and Bourbon (21+)
Wednesday, May 10 | 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Sip a bird-inspired bourbon cocktail while learning about spring bird migration in this 21-and-older program at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Spring Wildflower Photography Workshop
Saturday, May 13 | 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Photograph and identify the spring wildflowers of Northern Illinois in this workshop at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Natural Dyes Workshop: Layering with Blues and Yellows
Saturday, May 13 | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dye a scarf using natural blues, yellows and greens in this hands-on natural dyes workshop at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Plant Health Care Walking Tour
Saturday, May 20 | 9 a.m. to noon
Learn to recognize and interpret the signs and symptoms of pest, disease and environmental impacts on plant health during this walking tour at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Wednesday, April 19 | 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Learn about great garden plants that will return year after year in this class at The Morton Arboretum. Participants will also tour the Arboretum’s hoop houses to see dozens of high-quality perennials that will be sold at this year’s annual Arbor Day Plant Sale. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Sustainable and Resilient Gardens Workshop
Wednesdays, May 3, 10 and 17 | 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn about plants and design techniques for gardens that can withstand the impacts of climate change in this three-session workshop at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Colorful Shade Gardens
Friday, May 5 | 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
This class at The Morton Arboretum will explore how to bring life and interest to even the shadiest parts of a garden or landscape with plant lists, design ideas and maintenance tips for shade gardens. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Forest Therapy Walks
Mondays, April 24 or May 8 (two-hour walk) | 1 to 3 p.m. or
Saturdays, April 8, April 22 or May 20; or Fridays, April 14, May 5 or May 26 (three-hour walk) | 9 a.m. to noon
$36 (two hours)
$46 (three hours)
Experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of shinrin-yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest, while taking a mindful two- or three-hour walk along a tree-lined trail at The Morton Arboretum with a certified forest therapy guide. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Live Sound Meditation
Wednesday, April 19 | 7 to 8:30 p.m. (meditation begins at 7:15 p.m.)
Attend a live sound meditation featuring crystal singing bowls at The Morton Arboretum. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
YOUTH AND FAMILY PROGRAMMING
Curiosity Woods Forest Play Program
Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20; or May 2, 4, 9, 11, 16 and 18 | 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Children become active learners in this program at The Morton Arboretum as they follow their curiosity about the natural world, and draw on direct physical and social experiences outdoors. The drop-off program offers child-led nature play and exploration in the Arboretum’s East Woods, along with storytelling, sharing time and other developmentally appropriate activities. The program is for children ages 3 to 6 years old. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Mondays, April 3, 10, and 17 | 9 to 11 a.m.
Search for signs of animals and learn how life adapts to the changing seasons in this three-week drop-off program at The Morton Arboretum for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Participants will engage with nature through play and discovery as well as deepen their observation and inquiry skills. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Woodland Family Hikes: Trees in Bloom
Saturday, April 29 | 1 to 2 p.m. or
Saturday, May 6 | 11 a.m. to noon or 1 to 2 p.m.
In this guided, family-paced hike, participants will get inspired by some of the earliest bloomers in The Morton Arboretum’s diverse tree collections and create their own magnolia print. The program is recommended for families with children ages 4 and older. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Woodland Family Hikes: Spring Wildflowers
Saturdays, May 20 or 27 | 11 a.m. to noon or 1 to 2 p.m.
Participants will explore the ephemeral beauty of spring wildflowers with all of their senses in this guided hike recommended for families with children ages 4 and older. Sign up at mortonarb.org.
Art in the Garden
Sundays, April 23 or May 21 | Every 30 minutes between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$8 per participating child
Let nature inspire creativity as children explore art in this hands-on discovery workshop at The Morton Arboretum’s Children’s Garden. Participants will create their own nature-inspired art piece to take home. Art mediums change monthly. This drop-in program is for children ages 3 to 8 years old with an accompanying adult. Space is limited. Program tickets are available in the Children’s Garden for the day of visit only. Tickets cannot be purchased over the phone, online or for another day. For more information, visit mortonarb.org.
Little Trees Nature-based Early Learning Program (for members only)
Registration for the 2023-2024 season now open to members
Tuition ranges from $3,200 to $5,600
Members of The Morton Arboretum have access to its Little Trees Nature-Based Early Learning program, which runs Sept. 5, 2023 to May 10, 2024 for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Kids will discover the wonder and beauty found within the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres as they play, learn, grow and explore nature throughout the changing seasons. For program information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.