There is no shortage of amazing trees and nature in Lake County. However we don’t have an Arboretum (noun: a botanical garden devoted to trees). And while I big puffy heart love the new Children’s Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, once a summer (at least) we trek down to Lisle to visit the Morton Arboretum and the amazing Children’s Garden.
The Children’s Garden contains ten themed gardens and offers so much for kids to do and explore. Our kids range in age from 4-12, and they all find something to do (even if it’s just catching Pokemon). Every time we go we find something different to explore. This time we headed into the Adventure Woods for the first time, where the kids climbed ropes and walked bridges up in the trees. There are two playground-type areas that allow climbing and sliding for kids who just need to move, and there is so much to discover in the stream.
The stream provides wading and exploring opportunities. When we were there back in May, there were tadpoles in all stages to be seen and watched. Note to parents: the stepping-stones can be slippery and I have had more than one child go down face forward into the water, so stay within arms reach.
The other reason I love the Arboretum is that every summer they have some type of art exhibit throughout the garden. Two summers ago they had the amazing Nature Connects Lego exhibit. This summer, they have brought giant metal sculptures that look like origami to the garden.
The sculptures are made of metal, but they were all modeled after actual origami designs. In fact, in the visitor’s center, you can see a comparison of a piece of paper folded and the sculptures. There are 25 displays featuring 40 sculptures spread out along the walking paths throughout the arboretum. Unlike the LEGO exhibit, these sculptures feel more spread out, and without a stroller, there was no way we were even going to see half of them. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, you will definitely want a stroller or wagon to take it all in.
My oldest daughter is currently obsessed with origami and she loved every single sculpture we saw; pictures can’t do them justice. In addition to the sculptures, there are hands-on activities, including origami paper and instructions in the Children’s Garden to make your own paper art to take home. Thursdays, now through August, are family nights and include performances, kid-friendly fare and games in the Children’s Garden.
Origami in the Garden runs through October 22 and is included in the price of general admission.
Open 365 Days a year at 7:00 a.m. and closes around sunset.
Visitor’s Center open May through October: Daily, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(Check website for seasonal changes to schedule.)
See more photos from our visit to Origami in the Garden on Facebook. Take a two-minute tour of the Children’s Garden below: