VISIT & explore

National Public Gardens Day

Aerial view of the Maze Garden

May 12, 2017
7:00 a.m.-sunset

Public gardens, like The Morton Arboretum, collect and display nature's bounty, provide information and inspiration for gardeners, and create refuge and beauty in the midst of our cities and suburbs.

National Public Gardens Day, which falls this year on Friday, May 12, is an annual opportunity to celebrate these marvelous oases. Of course, the best way to celebrate public gardens is to visit one.

The Morton Arboretum is a special kind of public garden. “Arboretum” means “a place planted with trees” in Latin, and the goal of this public garden has always been to plant, protect, and study trees. That is why we are known as "The Champion of Trees." 

The Arboretum is more than a place of beauty and calm. It's also a museum for collections of living specimens that includes magnificent trees and other plants from around the globe, including 100 rare or endangered species. Some can be seen nowhere else in the area.

Here are some sights and events to enjoy on your visit to The Morton Arboretum on National Public Gardens Day:

Visit with plant experts in our Plant Clinic
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Find the Plant Clinic office across the courtyard from the Visitor Center.

Wheel of Curiosi-trees
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Stop by the breezeway and answer some tree-via questions to win a prize!


Ground Cover Garden Nature Walk
10:00 a.m.

Meet in the breezeway with horticulturalist Michael Butler for a guided tour through our Ground Cover Garden

Toad-ally Tadpoles! Children's Garden Drop-In Program
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

Prince or frog...can you guess what our tadpoles turn into? Look at pictures, get fun facts, and make a toad-ally cool tadpole to take home. This is a self-guided, hands-on discovery activity. 


Garden Storytime
11:00 a.m.

Visit the Children's Garden for story time. Learn more


Acorn Express Tram Tours
11:00 a.m. 
Experience the beauty of the Arboretum's 1,700 acres on a guided tram tour. This one-hour ride winds you through the Arboretum's woodlands, wetlands, and prairie while listening to a narrated tour.
Additional fee applies. For tickets, see the information desk in Visitor Center. learn more


Tour Arbor Court and Meadow Lake

Meet in the breezeway to tour with horticulturalist Katrina Chipman through Arbor Court and around Meadow Lake. 

Children's Garden Tour
1:00 p.m.

Meet horticulturalists Gigi Brucker and Kat Haberman at the entrance to the Children's Garden for a tour of the plants and trees. 

Vehicle-Free Biking
5:30 p.m. to sunset

Enjoy biking our nine miles of roads at the Arboretum free of cars.  Learn more

And of course there will be bloom and color all through the Arboretum. Check out our Bloom report for the most up-to-date bloom information. learn more


Enjoy discounted admission on National Public Gardens Day

$9 Adults ages 18–64
$8 Seniors ages 65+ 
$6 Youth ages 2–17

Children 1 and younger are free

Members always free

Become a member and save!