VISIT & explore

National Public Gardens Day

Public gardens such as The Morton Arboretum offer visitors beautiful landscapes, give gardeners information and inspiration, and create refuges for beauty in the midst of cities and suburbs.

National Public Gardens Day, which falls this year on Friday, May 9, is an annual opportunity to pause and celebrate these marvelous oases. And 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.

It’s not only a place of beauty and a welcome to the natural world, but a museum for collections of living specimens that includes magnificent trees and other plants from around the globe. Some can be seen nowhere else in the area.

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

Garden Story Time
Fridays, Now-August 29
11:00 a.m.
Children’s Garden.
Free with Arboretum admission.

Acorn Express Adventures
Wednesdays and Fridays, now-June 27
11:00-11:45 a.m.
Visitor Center
A tram tour with stops to explore nature.
Stop by the Arboretum Visitor Center on day of program to register. Recommended for families with children age 2 and older 
$4 members ($5 nonmembers + Arboretum admission)

The A-MAZE-ing Quest
The quest leads adventurers through the Maze Garden and beyond.
Free with Arboretum admission.
learn more

Beaks are Back
Weekdays in May
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Children's Garden
Exploration of how birds use their beaks.
Free with Arboretum admission.

Family Twilight Adventure
May 9 or June 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
May 17 or June 7, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Children's Garden
An evening program for families with hiking, educational activities about turtles, a marshmallow roast, and a silent tram ride after dark.
Recommended for families with children 2 and older.
$16 per member ($19 per nonmember, Arboretum admission is included)

Vanishing Acts
7:00 a.m.-sunset
The Arboretum’s outdoor exhibit on endangered trees and how we can help preserve them.
Free with Arboretum admission. 
learn more

And of course there will be bloom and color all through the Arboretum, especially in the Flowering Trees Collection (Parking Lot 19), the Crabapple Collection (Parking Lot 4) and Daffodil Glade (Parking Lot 22).

National Public Gardens Day is sponsored by the American Public Gardens Association and the Rain Bird Corporation.

Drop-in & Family Adventure Program sponsored by Navistar 


May 9
7:00 a.m.-sunset