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VISIT & explore

Destination Asia Summer Festival

Destination Asia Summer Festival at The Morton Arboretum
Travel to the other side of the world without leaving our grounds. Join us as we explore the diverse culture of Asia through live music, authentic dance performances, Asian-inspired fare, and much more! Also, participate in a walking tour and discover our beautiful and historic tree collections from China, Japan, and Korea.

 

Live Music and Dance Performances:

Chicago Koto Group, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.
Traditional Japanese ensemble music
Kerry Leung, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Traditional Chinese music performed by a “one-man band”
Thai Cultural & Fine Arts InstituteSaturday, 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Enjoy traditional Thai music and dance
Tsukasa Taiko Drummers, Sunday, 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. 
Experience the beat of Japanese culture with traditional taiko drums 
Chinese Mystical Dragon Dance, Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
Follow the 100ft dragon in ceremonial dance
Friends of Gamelan, Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 p.m. 
Discover Japanese gamelan music and learn more about the variety of instruments from Indonesia      
USA Sumo, Sunday, 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 
Experience live Sumo Wrestling, a 1,500 year old Japanese traditional sport

                                                                                                                                                                                                        


Storytelling and Activities: 
Anne ShimojimaSaturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
Gather around for stories to experience Japanese culture
Elegant Henna Tattoo, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 
Experience traditional henna and learn more about its history 
BadmintonSaturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Pick up a racquet and learn to play badminton, a popular sport in Asia 
CricketSunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Discover the game of cricket, a sport similar to American baseball and popular in countries such as India
Illinois Shaolin Kung Fu School, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. 
Learn Kung Fu and Tai Chi
Origami Participation, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 
Learn the art of origami-folding paper into beautiful creations
Naperville Acupuncture Center, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Learn about Chinese medicine and participate in an acupressure demonstration

 

Botanical Activities and Instruction: 
The millennium-old art of bonsai is coming to The Morton Arboretum during the Destination Asia Summer Festival. Once a predominately Chinese and Japanese art form, bonsai can now be found around the world.  Bonsai are designed to showcase the inherent beauty of the trees and create a sense of nature in miniature -- the natural world captured within a single pot. Discover these imaginative miniatures for yourself as members of the Prairie State Bonsai Society show off more than 60 bonsai specimens, ranging in age from a decade to more than a century, then vote for your favorite in the best in show competition. Bonsai and bonsai supplies will be available for purchase.

Prairie State Bonsai Society, Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Explore award-winning Bonsai Trees and meet with tree vendors
Bonsai Demonstration, Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. 
Learn more about the care of Bonsai Trees
Ikebana Floral Demonstration, Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.
Discover the art of Japanese flower arrangement

 

Exploring our Asian Collections
Take a hike to our collections from China, Japan, and Korea and enjoy the beautiful plants native to Asia. Stop by the Destination Asia Discovery Cart located in Arbor Court to take a virtual tour of our trees from China, Japan, and Korea.  Pick an object from the cart and hear a story about one of the trees in our Asian Collections.  Each journey is unique based on the item picked. Explorers can also walk out to our tree collections to meet the tree whose story you heard.  Learn more about our Asian Collections at The Morton Arboretum.

 

Want to dig deeper? Enroll in a bonsai workshop Saturday, August 2 or Sunday, August 3. For a full list of available workshops and to register, please click here. We also have a Summer Ikebana class on Saturday, August 2nd, for more information and to register, please click here.

 

Asian Cuisine Options

Enjoy a taste of Asia with these food trucks:

                 Yum Dum
                 Bob Cha
                 OMango (Sunday Only)

Ginkgo Grill in Arbor Court, serving classic grill favorites

Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, regular menu service inside the Visitor Center

SCHEDULE AND LOCATION: 

August 2-3
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

FEES AND ADMISSION: 

All activities and demonstations for Destination Asia Festival are FREE with regular admission.