VISIT & explore


LISLE, IL (April 30, 2013) – Larger-than-life insects are invading Chicagoland this summer, as The Morton Arboretum celebrates the world of bugs with David Rogers' Big Bugs exhibition. 
From May 10 - September 8, the Arboretum will be a hive of activity highlighting our insect world.  Stare up in amazement at twelve larger-than-life insect sculptures and feel what it's like to be a bug! On display will be an oversize bee hive, lady bug, assassin bug, damselfly, spider, daddy long legs, praying mantis, dragon fly, grasshopper and three ants - some nearly 10 feet tall. The sculptures are built using natural materials including willow, cedar, walnut, and other woods, supported by metal armatures.
“When you’re standing in the shadow of these giant sculptures, you really get a feel for what it’s like to be a bug,” says Mary Samerdyke, manager of interpretation. “This exhibit helps you see bugs in a new way and appreciate the many ways bugs help us even when we don’t realize it! "Kids of all ages really respond to David Rogers’ Big Bugs and it’s exciting to see visitors experiencing new things—such as insect petting zoos or edible bugs—and having fun while learning.”
To celebrate the exhibition, the Arboretum is offering interactive, bug-themed activities all summer long.
Join in on a special opening weekend ‘Goin’ Buggy’ celebration May 11 and 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Garden, including bug games, beneficial bug releases and an insect petting zoo. Plus, edible bugs will be available to sample, including Bacon and Cheese-flavored crickets and BBQ worms!
Throughout the summer, kids can pick up their free Official Bug Detective Guide and uncover the truth about bugs as they explore the exhibit.
Continue exploring the world of bugs in the Children’s Garden through our self-guided drop-in programs. In June, test your skills in a bug board game and make a ladybug mask at our Lovely Ladybugs program. Then learn about ants and make an a-maze-ing craft at Ants in Your Plants.
In July, check out Splendid Spiders, where you can discover where spiders live and how they help gardens. Then, at Grand Grasshoppers, learn all about grasshoppers and why they’re so noisy.
Come August, it’s all about bugs with wings. At From Water to Wings, learn about dragonflies and make a winged craft. At Butterflies and Blossoms, find out facts about butterflies and create a disguise.
This September, it’s Mantis Mania: Spotting these camouflaged creatures can be harder than you think! Find out some of the unique habits a mantis has and make a camouflaged creature to take home. At Busy Bees, buzz around like a busy little honey bee, make a bee mask and find out what all the buzz is about. Children’s Garden drop-in programming is sponsored by Navistar.
Plus, bug out at our insect-themed events and classes:
Incredible Insects - June 8-9
Get an up-close look at giant Madagascan hissing cockroaches, a leaf-mimicking praying mantis, a tarantula named Cecil, and more. Join us June 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Garden. Free with Arboretum admission.
Meet Ladybug Girl - June 22
Meet and take photos with Ladybug Girl, get a sweet "ladybug" treat, color, craft, and have fun! Join us June 22 from 10 a.m. to noon in The Arboretum Store. Free with Arboretum admission.
Ladybug Picnic - June 30
Celebrate ladybugs with a picnic. Discover why they are beneficial to plants, make fun crafts and join in a live ladybug release. Join us June 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register at mortonarb.org/education. Cost is $18 member, $25 nonmember.
Edible Insects - July 14 and 21
Insect cuisine is enjoyed in many parts of the world – do you dare to try it? Join us as we learn about the food chain, sample tasty insects, and make insect crafts. Note: Bug tasting is optional. Join us July 14 and 21 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Sycamore Room. Register at mortonarb.org/education. Cost is $10 member, $17 nonmember.
Spider City - July 20-21
Join Brian Moskalik PhD, assistant professor of zoology at the University of St. Francis, to view local spiders, praying mantids and exotic tarantulas. Join us July 20 and 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Garden. Free with Arboretum admission.
Meet the Monarchs - August 6 and 14
Kids ages 3-5, with an adult, can join us as we act out the lifecycle from crawling caterpillars to fluttering beauties. We'll also play games and make a marvelous monarch craft. Join us August 6 and 14 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Children’s Garden. Register at mortonarb.org/education. Cost is $18 member, $25 nonmember.
Monarch Madness - August 24
Explore the wonderful world of monarch butterflies. Take a closer look at tiny butterfly eggs, view how scientists tag butterflies for research, and take home milkweed seeds to start your own butterfly feeding ground. Join us August 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Children’s Garden. Free with Arboretum admission.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival, and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.
Admission Rate 
Nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $12 for adults ages 18-64 ($8 on Wednesday), $11 for seniors ages 65 and over ($7 on Wednesday), $9 for children ages 2-17 ($6 on Wednesday) and free for children under age 2. Parking is free with admission.