VISIT & explore


LISLE, Ill. (December 27, 2013)—Celebrate this winter at The Morton Arboretum!  This season, embrace the chill and head outdoors to visit Husky Heroes, The Morton Arboretum’s own Siberian husky demonstrations. Or in February, celebrate chocolate with your family, friends or your valentine at one of several chocolate-themed events. Choose from a chocolate truffle-making party, our Chocolate Expo and Market or a special presentation on February 15 about Chicago’s storied candy history with historian and author of “Chicago’s Sweet Candy History,” Leslie Goddard.

And NEW this year, Chef’s Table Cooking Classes start in January.  These monthly, themed classes are led by the Arboretum’s chef, Jean-Louis Clerc.

For more up-to-date information, please visit: http://www.mortonarb.org/visit-explore/news-events/calendar-events

Husky Heroes Returns to the Arboretum

Meet the Huskies at the Arboretum! On Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26, Husky Heroes returns with Siberian husky sled pulling, skijoring and speed demonstrations. Meet these amazing canines and sign up to adopt a husky without a home.

Be a musher, inspect the equipment and have your photo taken with the rig. Presentations are at Noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Seating is limited. Please leave pets at home.

Celebrating Chocolate this February

There’s no better time to celebrate chocolate than the month of February, and the Arboretum has “sweet” events planned throughout the month. Stop by our Chocolate Expo and Market, or see top author and historian Leslie Goddard discuss why Chicago is the candy capital of America.

Chocolate Expo and Market

Saturday-Sunday, February 1-2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Shop for distinctive chocolate treats and learn more about the delightful world of chocolate through presentations and demonstrations.

Chocolate Truffle-Making Party

Saturday, February 8, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.
$35 for members, $40 for nonmembers
Starting with a basic truffle recipe, learn how to elevate your creations with unique gourmet flavor combinations and make them look like the pros! Plus, enjoy wine and light refreshments, and take home a gift box of up to six truffles, a $15 value.

Chicago’s Sweet History Wine Dinner

Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m.
Enjoy an entertaining dinner and perfectly paired wine with historian Leslie Goddard,  author of “Chicago’s Sweet Candy History.” Learn why Chicago has called itself the Candy Capital of America since the turn of the century.


Chocolate & Beer Pairings

Saturday, February 22, 6 p.m.
Let your taste buds dance as you enjoy chocolate delights paired with locally brewed craft beers.


NEW:  Chef’s Table: Cooking Classes at The Morton Arboretum

Join us for our new monthly cooking classes! The Arboretum’s new Chef’s Table cooking series kicks off on Thursday, January 16 with a Caribbean-themed class.  During these interactive classes, guests will assist the Arboretum’s chef, Jean-Louis Clerc, in preparing a themed meal. January’s meal is a Caribbean Colombo stew. Then, on Thursday, February 20 guests will assist the chef in preparing steak chili and braised chocolate short ribs to celebrate National Chocolate Lover’s Month.

Classes begin at 6 p.m. Afterwards, engage in a Q & A session with the chef and enjoy your culinary creation! All participants will leave with the recipe.

Cost for the January event is $55 for members, $60 for non-members.  Space is limited.


NEW: Whiskey Dinner & Tasting

On Saturday, January 25 at 6 p.m., enjoy a delicious whiskey-themed dinner and whiskey tasting with each pairing at our Ginkgo restaurant.  Enjoy a delicious whiskey inspired dinner paired with three whiskey tastings. All guests will receive a souvenir tasting glass, recipe cards and tasting guide.
Must be 21 and over to participate. Price is $60 for members, $65 for nonmembers.

Youth & Family Programs


Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum

January 1-4, 4:30-last entry at 8:30 p.m.
$10/adults, $5/children for members, $15/adults, $10/children general admission
See trees in a different light this winter, during the final days of Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. Engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and ComEd. Learn more at mortonarb.org/illumination.

Enchanted Railroad

January 1-5
Free timed tickets with Arboretum admission, and free with Illumination admission; first come, first served.
An intricate mini-railroad travels through an indoor winter wonderland, through January 5.

Arbor Reading Adventures

Wednesdays and Fridays, January-February (except Dec 25 and Jan 1), 11-11:45 a.m.
$5 per child with Arboretum admission, weather permitting
Join us in the Sterling Morton Library for this popular and interactive story time! We’ll read weekly themed stories, make a craft and then head out on the grounds for an adventure walk.

Cool Kids Winter Play

Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, January-February, 11-11:15 a.m. & 1-1:15 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission, weather permitting
Join us for some outdoor fun. This 15-minute guided session of outdoor play will depend on the day. Come out for snowman and snow fort building with natural materials or garden scavenger hunts for natural objects.

Gnome Hunt

Daily, January-February
Free with Arboretum admission, weather permitting
The animals may be hibernating, but we still have gnomes. Can you find all of the gnomes hiding in the Children's Garden?

Tree House Tales

Daily, 7 a.m. to sunset
Free with Arboretum admission
Play in the Empress Tree Castle or the Bur Oak Clubhouse Hideaway at Tree House Tales at The Morton Arboretum! This imaginative and entertaining exhibition comprises six kid-friendly, fun-filled and educational tree houses. Each house celebrates the story and significance of a species of tree. Play-to-learn is the underlying design concept that runs through the exhibition, and it’s why every tree house is a house full of activity, adventure and excitement.

Toddler Winter Explorers

Four Tuesdays, January 14-February 4, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
$65 for members, $78 for nonmembers
Join us for this four-week outdoor adventure among the trees. Kids will connect with nature in this sensory-based winter program.  Each day we will hike, read stories, make a nature-related craft and play cool games.  Adults will receive tips to continue the exploration at home!

Preschool Winter Explorers

Four Thursdays, January 16-February 6, 9:30-11 a.m.
$70 for members, $83 for nonmembers
Join us for this four-week outdoor adventure. Learn about winter as we hike, read stories, make crafts and play games to discover season’s unique possibilities for fun. Adults will receive tips to continue exploration at home!

Birdhouse Workshop

Saturday, January 18 or Sunday, January 19 or 26, 10-11:30 a.m.
$10 for members, $17 for nonmembers
Each family will receive their own wooden birdhouse to decorate and take home. Discover the perfect place for your bird house and explore some birds in winter on a short walk through the woods.

Groundhog Daze

February 1-2, 11 a.m.-4p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Learn about groundhogs and make one of your own. Touch real groundhog fur and investigate a groundhog skull, as well as the pets of some groundhog cousins including a beaver, mouse and muskrat.

Chocolate Garden

Tuesday, February 11 or 18, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Taste and smell your way through this sensory chocolate celebration!  Discover why we need trees to enjoy chocolate and other sweet treats, for 18-35 month olds with adult.

Meet Owls, Hawks and Falcons

Monday, February 17 or Sunday, February 23, 1-2:30 p.m.
$10 for members, $17 for nonmembers
Come face to face with birds of prey.  Experts from SOAR (Save Our American Raptors) along with some of their feathery friends will shed light on the lives of owls, hawks and falcons.  Kids will also make a craft to take home and remember the experience.

Adult Programs and Events

Chamber Concert Series: Second City Musick

Sunday, January 5, 2:15–4:15 p.m.
$24 members, $29 nonmembers including Arboretum admission
Second City Musick is a consort of viols based in Chicago. The group has evolved over the years, and current members, Craig Trompeter, Russell Wagner and Anna Steinhoff, are proud to carry the torch. Second City Musick specializes in 16th-18th century consort music, bringing this intimate chamber music out of the chamber and into the lives of modern concert-goers. Craig, Anna and Russell are active members of the early music community in Chicago who have founded other ensembles such as the Haymarket Opera Company and Wayward Sisters and regularly perform with Baroque Band, Callipygian Players, Music of the Baroque and the Newberry Consort.

Chamber Concert Series: Fifth House Ensemble

Sunday, February 2, 2:15–4:15 p.m.
$24 members, $29 nonmembers including Arboretum admission
The Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic chamber group praised by The New York Times for its “conviction, authority and finesse.” Having established itself as a regular on the Chicago chamber music scene, Fifth House has performed on some of the city’s most well regarded series and venues including Ravinia, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Mostly Music Series, Waukegan Chamber Music Society, Pritzker Pavilion, Byron Colby Barn, PianoForte Chicago, Live from the Morse/WFMT, WFMT Impromptu, Sunday Salon at the Chicago Cultural Center and Rush Hour Concerts at St. James.

The Arboretum Store’s Semi-Annual Clearance Sale

January 3-26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Arboretum Store’s semi-annual clearance sale starts on Friday, January 3 and is open to members and the public. Get great deals on holiday merchandise, home decor, clothing, books, jewelry and more. Shop early for the best selection and bring a friend for discounts between 30 - 60%! Enjoy extended hours until 9 p.m. on January 3–4 when you purchase a ticket to Illumination! Members receive their 10% discount on sale merchandise when they present their member card and photo ID.

Begin to Draw Nature

Five Mondays, January 13-February 10, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
$160 for members, $188 for nonmembers
Learn the basics of nature drawing in a class designed for true beginners. Everything from how to hold your pencil to what kind of paper to use will be discussed. You will have time to work on drawing skills in a no-pressure setting.

Landscape Design Series

Plan Your Landscape I: Four Wednesdays, January 15-February 5, 6:30-9:30 p.m., $128 for members, $150 for nonmembers
Begin the process of designing a home landscape by learning to prepare a scaled base map of your garden and create an inventory of your property. Learn design terminology and the application of various garden styles.

Creative Nature Close-Ups

Four Wednesdays, February 5-26, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
$138 for members, $162 for nonmembers
Review the principles of close-up nature photography then challenge yourself and your fellow photographers by bringing in natural items to work with or shoot some items from the instructor’s collection. Subjects could range from flower arrangements to seashells with only your imagination and creativity as a guide.


Sunday, February 9, 1-3:30 p.m.
$16 for members, $23 for nonmembers
Join us on a real world outdoor treasure hunt among the trees around Lake Marmo! Participants try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a GPS or smart phone. Use one of our handheld Garmin GPS units to find hidden caches on the west side and learn about woodlands and wetlands during this guided adventure.  Enjoy hot chocolate under the spruces for a sweet finish to the program.

Do-It-Yourself Rain Gardens

Saturday, February 15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$35 for members, $43 for nonmembers
Learn how to design and plant a rain garden for your home. Discover how to combine water-loving perennials and shrubs to create eco-gorgeous rain gardens that help manage water on your property and seamlessly blend into traditional landscapes.

Winter Wildlife Tracking

Sunday, February 16, 10 a.m.-noon
$16 for members, $23 for nonmembers
Meet the animals that prowl our woods and ponds all winter long. We rarely see them—mink, beaver, coyote and deer—but they are here.  Follow them around the Arboretum and learn to read the messages they leave behind: tracks, scat, gnawing, tunnels and burrows.

Lunch and Learn: Stump the Horticulturist!

Thursday, February 27, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
$25 for members, $33 for nonmembers
Get answers to your garden and tree questions from a panel of Arboretum experts.  Bring your trickiest plant questions and experts from our plant clinic, collections and horticulture crews will use their wealth of experience to help you get ready for the spring gardening season.


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.