Youth groups and scouts: Self-guided adventures

Register your youth group or scout troop for a self-guided adventure at The Morton Arboretum.

REGISTER NOW for Winter and Spring programs


Backpack Program: Arboretum Adventures

Kindergarten–2nd grade | Backpack reservation required | Year-round
Find flowers, examine leaves, and search for signs of animals. Backpack supplies include: magnifying glasses, flower and tree identification guides, hands-on activities, and games. 

Backpack Program: Awesome Insects

Kindergarten-8th grade | Backpack reservations required | Spring, Summer, Fall
Investigate different insect groups and learn about their lifestyles and life cycles.

Backpack Program: Fun-tastic Fall

Kindergarten-5th grade | Backpack reservations required | Fall
Fall into fun at the Arboretum. Explore the seasonal changes of trees and wildlife in the woodlands and learn about the science behind these amazing changes.

Backpack Program: Go Green

2nd-6th grade | Backpack reservations required | Spring, Summer, Fall
Uncover nature's recycling techniques. Use nature's recycling as an example to learn easy ways to make eco-friendly choices and recycled projects.

Backpack Program: Hidden Habitats

Kindergarten-6th grade | Backpack reservations required | Year-round
Explore the Arboretum ecosystems and search for animal homes as you hike and participate in hands-on activities and games.

Backpack Program: Signs of Spring

Kindergarten-3rd grade | Backpack reservations required | Spring
Engage your senses while exploring the sights, scents and sounds of spring on a sensational hike around the Arboretum.

Backpack Program: Tree-mendous Trees

3rd-6th grade | Backpack reservation required | Spring, Summer, Fall
Explore The Morton Arboretum and take a fresh look at trees! Learn about the intricate workings of the inside of a tree and discover how to identify trees.  

Backpack Program: Vanishing Acts

4th-8th grade | Backpack reservation required | Year-round
See endangered trees and explore ways the Arboretum is helping to save them. Play games and discover how important one tree species can be in an ecosystem.

Backpack Program: Winter Wonders

Kindergarten-6th grade | Backpack reservation required | Winter
Experience the wonders of winter as you hike the trails and discover how plants and animals survive the cold months.

Children’s Garden

Kindergarten–3rd grade | Year-round
Enjoy the wonders of nature in the Children’s Garden. Splash through secret streams, climb colossal acorns, and slide down giant tree roots.

Throughout the Arboretum

For all ages | Year-round
Plan your own adventure at the Arboretum. Walk our 16 miles of paved or wood-chipped trails; be sure to notice the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and critters as you go. Touch the rough bark of trees or study the different shapes of leaves. Biking is also allowed on paved roads. Helmets required. 


Self-guided adventures are available throughout the year. Please dress for the outdoors and wear sturdy shoes. Programs are not cancelled due to inclement weather such as cold, heat, rain, or wind.

Children’s Garden adventures:

   - March-October 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily; Thursdays, open until 6:00 p.m.

   - November-February 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily

Backpack adventures: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 


Self-guided adventure fee is $105 per group.

  • Fee includes up to 15 scouts, 4 chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee.
  • Patches are available for purchase at time of registration and cost $4.00 each.
  • Additional chaperones are $14 per person.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations made less than 2 weeks in advance.

CALL: Call the registrar at 630-719-2468, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

ONLINE: Fill out the youth group and scouts online form. REGISTER NOW