The Morton Arboretum
The mission of The Morton Arboretum is to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world, to display them across naturally beautiful landscapes for people to study and enjoy, and to learn how to grow them in ways that enhance our environment.
Our goal is to encourage the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.
I love The Morton Arboretum. I've been to Illumination two years in a row and it's always such a magical and special experience. It really puts me in the Christmas spirit. It's also very beautiful in the spring. It's a really lovely place to wander if you like being outdoors. Highly recommend.
The annual Illuminations event never fails to astound, and a brisk walk in snow or not, depending on the weather, makes for a beautifully invigorating night tour and a magnificent light display to behold! Bundle up and take your own pace! Just don't miss it! The Morton Arboretum is an extraordinary haven with focus on healthy trees, plants and education. It offers dozens of interesting, interactive classes from art and botanical illustration to painting and from a lovely gift shop on the premises to guided tours, snow shoeing and cross country and dog sledding to outdoor theatre, hiking, or shuttling, and so much more!
The Arboretum has a wide variety of events and activities that go beyond the marvelous walking trails to see trees, plants and gardens. They have an amazing child garden that will entertain kids for hours. They also have have a train exhibit in the winter, illumination lights festival in winter and trade shows, ethnic fests and more that bring food, crafts and music. If you might go a couple times in a year get the membership as paying each time can get expensive. I've been to a wedding there as well and the venue, food and location was very nice.
Perfect place to go for a long walk. The west side has a lot of water and is more hilly. The east side is flat out spectacular during autumn. Try the soft toffee made with Arboretum honey in the gift shop. It's unbelievable. The children's garden is outstanding and full of activities and playgrounds. Dogs are allowed one Saturday in March, May, September and November. I have a 2 person yearly membership for $90 and any two of us can use it. It's well worth it.
The holiday Illumination was beautiful! I didn't think I'd be as impressed as I was. The trees and lights were pretty awesome. I am always cold & it was 29°, but I bundled up & loved the warming stations. There were just enough so I wasn't miserable in between stops and they weren't too crowded. Alcohol, hot chocolates (spiked or not) soft pretzels & some other limited snacks were available along the trail. There were more food/drink options in the cafe before you start & when you're done. They do have their specialty beer of which some $ goes back to the Arboretum. I was told by my husband that it was pretty tasty. I would definitely go back, but the illumination medallion was silly, so I'd skip it. Kids would probably love it, but I found it distracting to have a giant, flashing snowflake around my neck.