We never associated the Morton Arboretum with a playdate or children's activities and we couldn't have been more wrong! Located in Lisle Illinois, this public garden is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day! This was a first time visit for both Katie and Amanda and we totally fell in love. We spent hours at the arboretum and barely made a dent in our explorations! If you love being outside this is a MUST SEE spot filled with trails, picnic areas, streams, cozy nooks and beautiful plant life. Member adult: $11/nonmember $16. Children ages 2 and under are FREE. All admission fees include parking.
Upon arrival we recommend joining a guided tour on the acorn express. This is a great way to see the grounds. The tour stops at each the sculptures and allows for time to walk, take photos and immerse in nature! Tickets can be purchased in the visitor center near the entrance. The trip takes about 60 minutes. Member adult: $10/nonmember $12; Member senior: $9/nonmember $11; Member child $8/nonmember $10. The park is filled with maps and signs to easily locate exhibits, restrooms and desired features.
The main attraction for us was the Children's Garden which has tons to offer your little ones. Kids of all ages can find something to love about these nature forts and obstacle filled attractions. The 4-acre space is filled with things to climb, splash in, dig and explore safely. Our kids loved the secret streams with stepping stones, and the twisty slides on the playground. The majority of the garden is accessed by paved paths and accessible wooden bridges making it accessible for strollers, wagons and push cars.
We packed snacks for the kids and took water breaks in the picnic areas and on shaded benches throughout the morning. We dinned in the Ginkgo Restaurant and Café for lunch which totally gives a Jurassic Park vibe and view through windows overlooking meadow lake in the dining room. We were pretty impressed by the menu options featuring kids meals, vegetarian dishes and even our fav WINE! The kids loved the French fries of course and we each had salads and flatbreads. After lunch we got lost in the plant maze, comparable to a corn maze!
It was fun to watch the kids try new things, Sonny was into climbing and loved all the rocks, ladders and hills. Remi enjoyed the bridges, slides and sprinklers. Our kids were physically challenged and totally exhausted by the time we left! Be sure to visit the website for seasonal and holiday events and exhibits! We have so much more to explore, we will defiantly be back!