September 3, 2015
Children dash up a wooden plank way and climb ropes to a lookout where they can survey the woods beneath them, they scoop a handful of pond water with hopes of capturing a tiny tadpole in their cupped palms, and learn about the role of bees and other pollinators in fragrant flower gardens throughout the four-acre space.
Since its inception, the Children’s Garden at The Morton Arboretum has been a place where children and families have explored nature in interactive and unique ways. This September, the award-winning garden will celebrate its 10th year—in that time welcoming 3 million visitors to the garden’s exhibits and programs, all designed for the learning stages and development of children from 2 to 10 years old.
The Children’s Garden will celebrate the occasion with a Birthday Bash from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 13.
Party guests will enjoy:
- Dance to the music of Earthsinger. Singer songwriter Dave Orleans will perform his nature-inspired songs for kids throughout the day.
- Make birthday treats for the birds. Take this project home to hang in a favorite tree.
- Blow colored bubbles onto a big birthday paper mural. This sensory-based art project will combine fun colors and fruity fragrances along with a favorite childhood pastime.
- Search for 10 unique trees throughout the garden. Celebrate 10 years with a scavenger hunt that takes visitors from clue to clue to find those trees that have had a big impact in the garden’s history.
- Bust a birthday pinata. Every hour of the birthday bash, kids can try their hand at breaking a pinata full of birdseed.
- Try some goodies from the garden. Sample fruits and veggies as well as the less traditional edible flowers and insects.
- Get your face painted. Pick from one of four fun nature designs.
- Make a wish. Help the Arboretum celebrate by writing a wish for the garden onto a ribbon and decorating the trees with it.
“The Children’s Garden teaches kids about trees and nature in ways that tap into their sense of wonder and excitement about the world that surrounds them,” said Lesley Kolaya, manager of youth and family programs, who has overseen the garden since its establishment in 2005. “The Children’s Garden is often peoples’ first experience with the Arboretum. Through our exhibits, activities and programs, we are creating the next generation of tree champions.”