September-October Events, Programs And Classes At The Morton Arboretum

Dancers at the Passport Europe Festival.
July 21, 2016

The Morton Arboretum is celebrating its signature season in style with great events and programs for all ages. The popular dog-friendly event Tails on the Trails makes its return this September, along with the authentic music, dance and cuisines of the Passport Europe Festival. September is also the last month to catch the 23 whimsical copper frog sculptures of Ribbit! The Exhibit, going on through September 25.

Beneath a canopy of brilliant orange, red and gold leaves from trees around the world, the Arboretum will host a slate of seasonal events sure to wow—part of its Fall Color Festival taking place all October long. Arboretum classics like the Fall Color 5K Run and Walk, Scarecrow Trail and Glass Pumpkin Patch will return as will new visitor favorite Mystery Dinner at Thornhill Mansion and Halloween-themed offerings like the kid-friendly Boo Breakfast.

The Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic offers extended hours during the summer and fall. Those with plant-related questions or concerns can call on our experts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This helpful resource is available for free by calling 630-719-2424 or by email at

A complete list of September and October events is below.


September-October Highlights

Tails on the Trails
Saturday, September 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
$5 per dog, Arboretum admission applies
Enjoy a day out with your pup as you meander down the Arboretum's 16 miles of hiking trails.  Shop from local businesses and organizations in the pet expo, test out the agility course, and join us for guided hikes. Meet dogs available for adoption and inquire about volunteering with local pet shelters. Sign your pooch up for dog-friendly games, including the crowd-favorite peanut butter licking contest. Don't forget to pick up your free pet bandana at the vendor expo. Events and programs will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but dogs are allowed at the Arboretum all day, from 7 a.m. to sunset.

Theatre-Hikes® at The Morton Arboretum
Weekends in September at 1 p.m.
Weekends in October and Monday, October 10, 3 p.m.
$20 for adults, $10 for children
In September, experience Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Driving Miss Daisy.” Take in the warm-hearted story of an odd-couple relationship between an aging Jewish widow and her proud, soft-spoken African-American chauffeur. In October, join the fun in “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” It's the end of the world and gangs of brain-eating zombies are about to kill you. What do you do? Turn to this hilariously helpful performance to survive the apocalypse.

Full Moon Tram Tour  
Friday, September 16 and Thursday, October 13, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Discover what happens at the Arboretum at night when no one is around. With the moon shining through the trees, a tram ride reveals a captivating symphony of sounds, mysterious spaces, and wildlife on the move. During our ride and short hikes, we will discuss night ecology, share stories of moon lore, and enjoy the magic of nature at night.

Ribbit! The Exhibit
Through Sunday, September 25
Free with Arboretum admission
Don’t miss the chance to see The Morton Arboretum’s Ribbit! The Exhibit  , featuring 23 whimsical, larger-than-life frog sculptures fashioned from copper. The copper sculptures are created by North Carolina artist J.A. Cobb. Each frog has his or her own name, story and personality.

Passport Europe Festival
Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
 with Arboretum admission
Travel to Europe with culinary delights, authentic musical performances, impressive dancing demonstrations, and more during this second annual cultural festival featuring the dynamic cultures of Europe. Hike the trails and explore the Arboretum's collections of trees and plants native to central and northern Europe.  

Annual Bulb Sale
Opens Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Daily, October 3-31 while supplies last, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Head to the Arboretum Store to purchase bulbs that will make your spring garden pop with color. Shop dozens of varieties of beautiful Dutch bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, iris, alliums, crocus, fritillaria, and many more.


Fall Color Festival

The Arboretum will celebrate fall all October long with returning favorites and many new events.

Scarecrow Trail
Daily in October, 7 a.m.-sunset
Free with Arboretum admission
Gaze upon the nature-themed scarecrow trail created by local Scout troops while walking along a scenic one-mile paved path around Meadow Lake.

Fall Color 5K Run and Walk
Sunday, October 2, 8 a.m.          
$35 , day-of registration is $40
$15 for children, day-of registration is $20
Experience the challenging newly recertified USATF course that follows the East Side Main Route through rolling terrain and spectacular fall color. Runners will receive a technical T-shirt and entrance to a new post-race party featuring live music with a complimentary beer for runners ages 21+. A Kid’s Dash will also take place beginning at 9 a.m. Children 2 to 4 years old will run 50 yards, 5 to 6 years old will run a quarter of a mile and 7 to 10 years old will run a half mile.

Glass Pumpkin Patch
Wednesday, October 12 to Sunday, October 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Delight in colorful hand-blown glass sculptures, watch the artists in action, and shop for one-of-a-kind works of art.  Live glass blowing demonstrations, art exhibition, and opportunities to meet the artists take place every day during the event. Glass art goes on sale beginning at 1 p.m. October 14 and runs through October 16.

Mystery Dinner at Thornhill Mansion
Thursdays, October 20 and October 27, 6:30-9 p.m.                                        
Join us for our Mystery Dinner at the Thornhill Mansion. Check back at for more details.

Cider and Ale Tasting
Saturday, October 22, 1-4 p.m.
Enjoy the crisp autumn air and spectacular fall color while exploring dozens of seasonal ales and ciders during this event for those 21 and older.

Boo Breakfast
Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30, 9-11 a.m.
Join us for BOO Breakfast on the morning of October 29 or 30 to jump start your Halloween. Treat yourself to a breakfast complete with visits from favorite characters. Costumes encouraged.

Trick or Trees
Weekends in October, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Play tricky games, fashion fun fall crafts and plant a tree seed to take home as your treat.  Small pumpkins to paint will also be available for purchase.

Store Events

Wood Turning Demonstrations
Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September, 11, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Local wood turner Richard Dlugo will demonstrate basic wood turning techniques. Come and watch this fascinating craft and see a simple block of wood transformed into an intricate spinning top or ornament. Dlugo is one of the few local artists who create beautiful and functional wood items for The Arboretum Store from felled Arboretum trees.

Meet the Beekeeper
Monday, October 10, noon-3 p.m.
Meet the Arboretum's beekeeper, Greg Fischer, and hear fascinating facts about bees and the delicious 'liquid gold' they produce.  Try a sample of the Arboretum's 2016 harvest of honey and purchase honey and bee-related merchandise from The Arboretum Store.


Dining Events

Vegetarian Dinner
Thursday, September 29, 6-9 p.m.
Enjoy delicious meat- and gluten-free dishes in our Gingko Restaurant which overlooks beautiful Meadow Lake. Check back at for more details.


Children’s Garden Programs

Frogtastic Play
Daily in September
Free with Arboretum admission
Hop, croak, and splash your way into imaginative play.   We’ll set out froggy play activities every day to spark your creativity in this self-guided hands-on discovery activity.

Goodnight, Frogs
Weekends in September, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Come and read our version of Goodnight, Frog, and play a fun hide-and-seek game.  Will you be able to find frog and all of his friends hiding in our story?  This self-guided hands-on discovery activity is available in the Children’s Garden.

Happy Bee-day!
Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Join us for a garden party celebrating the 11th birthday of the Children’s Garden.  Play pin the leaf on the tree, make a froggy party hat and enjoy a sweet b-day treat from the bees.  The garden will be hopping with fun activities. 

Garden Story Time
Fridays in September and October, 11 a.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
Gather in the Children’s Garden for story time and fun. 

Acorn Express Adventures
Every Wednesday and Friday in September and October, 11-11:45 a.m.
Join us on the Acorn Express for an adventure through the Arboretum. We’ll seek out fun destinations, make a craft, and explore new topics each week.  

Family Explorers Backpack
Daily in September and October, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Looking for a new experience in the Children’s Garden?  Reserve a self-guided family backpack to enhance your experience in the Children’s Garden.  Inside our backpacks are science tools, guides and fun props.  

Beneficial Bats
Weekdays in October, 1-4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
What hangs from its feet, loves mosquitoes, and sleeps all day?  A bat of course!  Come to the garden to make a bat finger puppet and discover how bats are beneficial. 


Family Programs and Classes

Forest Explorers: Art in Nature (18–35 months)
Tuesdays, September 6 through 27, 9:30-10:45 a.m. or 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Each day we will hike, read stories, play and create a nature art-based project.  Join us for this four-week sensory based outdoor adventure.  Adults will receive tips to continue exploration at home.

Forest Explorers: Art in Nature (3–5 years)
Thursdays, September 8 through 29, 9:30-11 a.m.
Each day we will hike, read stories, play and create a nature art-based project.  Join us for this four-week sensory based outdoor adventure.  Adults will receive tips to continue exploration at home.

Drop-in Acorn Express Adventures–– Homeschool Journey
September 7 and October 5, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
Join us on the Acorn Express for a family-friendly tram ride adventure through the Arboretum. We’ll seek out fun destinations to hike, make a craft, and explore nature topics.  Gather with homeschool families from the Chicago area and bring snacks to enjoy in the Children’s Garden picnic area after the program.  

Family Twilight Adventures
September 9 and September 17, 7-9 p.m.
Join us for a fun-filled adventure after hours at the Arboretum.  We’ll hike, do activities and roast marshmallows before going on a silent tram ride through the woods after dark. Children must be accompanied by adult registrant; please, plan to have at least one adult per five children and dress for the weather.

The Candy Garden-18-35 months
Wednesday, October 12 or Thursday, October 20, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Does candy grow on trees?  Come and find out what sweet treats grow on trees and other plants and play fun candy games in this sensory-based program.

The Candy Garden-3-5 years
Thursday, October 13, Tuesday, October 18 or Wednesday, October 19, 9:30-11 a.m.
Does candy grow on trees?  Come and find out what sweet treats grow on trees and other plants and play fun candy games in this sensory-based program.  


Wellness Programs

Tree Pose Yoga   
Mondays in September, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Mondays, October, 10-11 a.m.
Experience nature from a new angle through fun animal and tree yoga poses. Young students will learn about the environment while stretching, moving, and breathing like the creatures around them. We’ll practice outdoors if the weather allows.  Class will not take place September 5.

FIT4MOM Stroller Strides®        
Tuesdays, September 6 through November 8, 10-11 a.m.
$21 per class or $135 for a series
Experience the Arboretum’s beauty as you get fit with your little ones along for the ride.  Stroller Strides® is a stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with little ones. Each 60-minute, total body workout incorporates power walking/jogging, strength, toning, songs and activities. Certified FIT4MOM fitness instructors will help you become as strong, flexible, and enduring as the Arboretum trees. No umbrella strollers please.

Adult Yoga  
Wednesdays, September 14 through October 12, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. or Thursdays, September 15 through October 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m. or 12-1 p.m.
$19 per class or $85 for a series
Improve your health and well-being with yoga. We will practice poses, breathing and meditation in the tranquil setting of the Morton Arboretum.

Meditation and Essential Oils  
Mondays, September 12 or September 26, 6-7 p.m.
$21 per class
Explore meditative and self-nurturing yoga poses with the use of plant based essential oils to restore and rebalance the mind and body in the tranquil setting of the Morton Arboretum.   

Aviana Aerial Tree Yoga  
Wednesdays, September 7 through 28, 9- 10:30 a.m. or 11-12:30 p.m. or Sundays, September 11 through October 2, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Take advantage of a rare opportunity to experience aerial yoga at The Morton Arboretum. Aerial yoga offers wonderful benefits to the body such as inversion therapy, myofascial release, lymphatic massage, core strengthening, and muscle lengthening.  The practice is entirely safe and easily accessible for a broad range of fitness levels and offers a unique opportunity to exercise, stretch, relax, and even meditate while cocooned in your own colorful hammock in an oak tree.  

Nature Rx: Forest Therapy Walks
Saturdays, October 1 through October 29, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or Mondays, October 3 through October 31, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$25 per class or $115 for a series
Experience the healing and wellness promoting effects of Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. Take a mindful walk with a certified Forest Therapy guide on a trail at The Morton Arboretum as you awaken your senses and reconnect with nature. The walks will visit different locations at the Arboretum and will include a variety of awareness-raising exercises. The walks will conclude with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.  

Arboretum Running Tour
Saturday, October 15, 8- 9:30 a.m.
Strap on your running shoes for an informative running tour of the Arboretum. Learn about the natural surroundings with an experienced guide. In October, we’ll take in the rolling terrain on this 5k route on the west side, with an option to include the lovely Lake Marmo. The tour will include stops along the way to learn about the Arboretum and the plants and animals that call it home. Suitable for all levels of runners, with two guides to accommodate varying paces.


Botanical Art

Begin to Draw Nature
Mondays, September 12 through 26 and October 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Learn the basics of drawing nature in this course designed for true beginners. We will discuss everything from how to hold your pencil to what kind of paper to use. You will have time to work on drawing skills in a no-pressure setting.

Arboretum Uncorked: Painting Wood & Water
Thursday, September 22, 7-9 p.m.

Enjoy a glass of wine and create a vibrant painting that harkens nature’s basic elements of wood and water. Choose your subject from one of the three images offered.  Work step-by-step with a skilled instructor and leave with a visual memory of The Morton Arboretum.

Golden Hour Photography
Sunday, October 2, 4-7 p.m.
Join an expert photographer for golden hour, that magical moment just before sunset when the soft light gives the Arboretum a special, warm glow. Working under the guidance of your instructor, learn how to use the settings on your camera and how to compose your shot to best capture the scene. Experiment with front-lighting, backlighting, rim lighting, and flare. Go home with new knowledge to practice and apply on your own.

Color Composition for Fall Photos
Wednesdays, October 5 through October 26, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Improve your fall photography through thoughtful composition. Study color theory and color management used to create compositions using color in nature photography. Learn about the use of complementary colors and color harmonies, and create a final portfolio for presentation.

Botanical Art with Colored Pencil  
Mondays, October 10 through 31, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Explore the nature of color and how colors impact each other and the viewer. Develop the vocabulary to discuss color and practice its application in the medium of colored pencil. Add to your sketchbook and finish several colored pencil drawings.

Graphite and Watercolor
Wednesdays, October 19 through November 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Learn how to apply color to graphite drawings by applying glazes of watercolor. We will concentrate on the textures of autumn found on the grounds of The Morton Arboretum.

Nature Printing: Make a Fall Wreath
Sunday, October 23, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Learn the art of botanical printing and take home a one-of-a-kind, fall-inspired creation. Use leaves to create your print, coating each one with paint and hand rubbing it onto printmaking paper. We will warm up by making note cards before creating a larger scale piece—a print of a lovely fall wreath. Learn about color theory and composition and leave with a finished piece of art. No art background is necessary.


Bird Walks

Field Study: Birds of Fall
Sundays, September 11 through 25 and October 2, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Enjoy autumn’s amazing birding as you learn to identify the migratory birds filling the air Learn about fall migrants and newly arrived winter residents. Field work will concentrate on identification skills: how molt, feather wear, and age vary a bird's fall plumage.

Fall Bird Walk
Saturday, October 8, 8-10:30 a.m.
Search the woods, fields, and hedges? of the Arboretum for fall birds. Join us every third Saturday to learn about fall migrants and year-round resident birds with an expert guide. Please be prepared to spend most of the class outdoors; no prior experience in birding is necessary. The class fee is in addition to Arboretum admission.  

Night Passages: Perils of Migration
Thursdays, September 15 through 22, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
How do animals decide that it is time to migrate?  How do they prepare for their perilous journeys?  Explore the Arboretum at night as we search for answers to questions about migration.  In the classroom, discuss migrational instincts and the benefits as well as hazards of migration.  We will examine the effects of urban development, man-made obstacles and the strain that is put on vulnerable animal populations. Outdoors, bats, birds and insects, as well as other lesser known migrants, will be encountered as we visit various habitats within the Arboretum grounds after nightfall.

Fall Warbler Workshop
Tuesday, September 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 17, 8 a.m.-noon
Enjoy the fall warbler migration while learning a methodical approach to dealing with fall plumages, arrival dates, migration patterns, habitat preferences, and alternate feeding approaches. Brightly colored warblers are now greatly altered in appearance but still recognizable.

Learn about Nature

Backyard Prairie Plantings in Six Easy Steps
Saturday, September 10, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Add a prairie planting to your backyard. The decline of bees, Monarch butterflies, pollinating insects and native birds is directly related to reduced open spaces due to housing development, agriculture, and industry. Gardeners can replace crucial habitats that provide food and homes by planting attractive native plants in their yards. Stroll the Schulenberg Prairie to see prairie plants in their habitat and discuss their use in home gardens and containers.

Beginning Beekeeping
Tuesdays, September 13 through October 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn the basics of beekeeping. Curious about honey bees?  Interested in starting your own hive and harvesting your own honey? Already have a hive and want to learn more about managing it? Join the Arboretum’s own beekeeper Greg Fischer and explore the history of beekeeping, bee anatomy, starting up a colony and managing it through the year, equipment basics, honey bee pests and diseases, harvesting honey, and more.

Beginning Home Composting  
Wednesday, September 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Discover the basics of backyard composting and composting with worms. The result of decomposed organic materials, compost improves the structure and texture of the soil enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture, and air around plant roots.  Learn how to turn yard waste and kitchen scraps into wonderfully rich, free compost—black gold for your garden.

Perennial Maintenance Walking Tour  
Thursday, September 15, 6-8 p.m.
Discover the tasks and care that keep perennial gardens looking their best throughout the growing season.  Walk through the Arboretum's perennial groupings to talk about maintenance chores such as cutting back, pinching, deadheading, deadleafing, and disease and insect control on a wide variety of perennials.

Fabulous Fall Containers
Sunday, September 18, 10 a.m.-noon or Tuesday, September 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Learn the principles of container design in this hands-on workshop. Want to add exciting containers to your deck, yard, or home? Creating beautiful containers is easy when you have the right tips. Learn about great plants for fall containers as well as the principles of container design and correct potting strategies. Bring your favorite 10-12” pot and we’ll provide plants, soil and instructions so you can create a complete container to take home.

DIY Green Cleaning Products
Monday, September 19, 2016, 6:3-8 p.m.
Saturday, October 8 or Thursday, October 27, 10:30 a.m.-noon
Make your own environmentally-friendly household cleaners. Save money and reduce chemical use in your household with tried-and-true recipes for homemade natural cleaning products.  We’ll discuss the benefits of homemade cleaning products, talk about why they work, and then make five sample recipes in class. Make your own laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and more.

Arboretum Uncorked: Fall Table Arrangement
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7-9 p.m.
Enjoy a glass of wine and create an early autumn arrangement in a small pail. Work step-by-step with a skilled instructor, learning how to use botanicals to give height to an arrangement that you can then replicate in larger containers. Leave with an artistic memory of The Morton Arboretum.

Fall Ikebana
Saturday, September 24, or Saturday, October 1, 1-3:30 p.m.
Capture the graceful curve of an unfolding bud, the surprise of new leaves, or the lightness of a cloud through Ikebana -- the art of Japanese flower arranging. The instructors will demonstrate several techniques and then help you create your favorite version. All plant materials will be collected fresh from the Arboretum grounds. Each student will create an arrangement to take home.

50 Shades of Greens
Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m.-noon
Incorporate dark leafy greens into your diet. Learn how these nutritious veggies benefit your health. Enjoy demonstrations and samples of tasty and sometimes unconventional recipes kale, chard, and other nutritious greens. Go home armed with recipes and inspiration.  

10 Best Deer-Resistant Plants
Wednesday, October 5, 10 a.m.-noon
Learn the best plants and new ideas to help keep deer from munching your garden. Feel like your garden is a salad bar for deer? Get great new ideas for plants that are less appealing to deer as well as ideas for managing deer behavior.  We’ll discuss deer resistant plants in the classroom and then go for a walk to look at examples on the Arboretum grounds.

Beginning Home Composting  
Thursday, October 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Discover the basics of backyard composting and composting with worms. Compost is that dark crumbly material—the result of decomposed organic materials—that improves the structure and texture of the soil enabling it to better retain nutrients, moisture, and air around plant roots.  You can buy it in bags, but it’s easy to make your own. Learn how to turn yard waste and kitchen scraps into wonderfully rich, free compost.

Planning for Fall Color
Tuesday, October 18, 9 a.m.-noon
Select plants and plant combinations to add fall color to your landscape. See and discuss autumnal horticultural displays on the Arboretum grounds. Learn which plants succeed in shade, part shade, dry sun, and wet locations.

Landscape Design Basics
Tuesdays, October 18 through November 8, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Begin the process of designing a home landscape. Want to give your yard a fresh look this spring? This class will get you started on a plan for your yard, or for that troublesome bed. Learn design terminology and the application of various garden styles.  You’ll prepare a scaled base map of your garden and create an inventory of your property.

My Journey Into the Wilds of Chicago
Saturday, October 22, 1-2:30 p.m.
Join professional nature photographer Mike MacDonald as he takes you on a virtual journey that celebrates the wonder and drama of the paradise known as “Chicago Wilderness.” His presentation is a celebration of the sublime and mysterious natural wonders that exist right next door. Don’t miss this inspirational talk, suitable for the whole family.


S’Mores and Stories

Wednesday, October 26, 7-8:30 p.m.


Join us for a night of spooky tales after dark. Gather around the fire and enjoy a round of s’mores and a cup of hot chocolate or cider as you listen to folktales and lore with elements of mystery, the supernatural, and the unknown.


Nature and Food

Growing Greens Indoors
Saturday, October 15, 9-11 a.m.
This winter, grow your salad indoors. As the garden manager for the Rick Bayless Organic Garden in Chicago where he grows salad greens, herbs, tomatoes and chile peppers for Rick’s restaurant, Topolobampo, Bill Shores is an expert at producing high-quality salad greens all year round in small spaces. Join Bill to discover how to grow your own microgreens and salad greens indoors under a very simple grow light system. Participants will learn to set up their growing system, plant seeds, grow and harvest, set up a soil recycling system, and taste different varieties of microgreens.

Grow Vegetables Year-Round
Thursday, October 27, 6-9 p.m.
Learn to grow vegetables in any space or season with a simple home hydroponics system. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, using nutrient-rich water solution. Learn why this is a new and upcoming method for gardeners with any space or budget and how you can actually get faster yields using less water.  Arboretum experts will introduce the basics of hydroponics, demonstrate how to set up two simple and inexpensive systems, and share tips and resources to get you started.

Fermented Foods Series: Dairy-Free Yogurt
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Learn to make almond yogurt and add mixings for a healthy, delicious treat. We’ll discuss the benefits of yogurt and then demonstrate how to use almonds to make a non-dairy version of this fermented favorite. Sample the end result and go home with recipes to make your own homemade yogurt.

Fermented Foods: Kimchi
Saturday, October 29, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Kimchi is the fermented Korean side dish that’s good on, well, just about everything. It can be spicy, sweet, garlicky, red hot or salty, but regardless of the taste, it’s guaranteed to be packed with flavor. Join us for a crash course in the basics of preparing kimchi. Sample several varieties for inspiration, then experiment with fresh, organic and local ingredients sourced by Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op from local area farmers. Leave with your own unique concoction and the know-how to make more while your vegetables ferment at home.


Nature Photography

Smartphone Photography
Saturdays, September 3, October 8 or October 29, 1-4 p.m.
Discover the best ways to use your phone to capture attractive images, a selection of good starter apps, and some basic post-processing of your photos.  We will demonstrate with an iPhone and iPad but the techniques and apps apply to most smartphones. Remember, “the best camera is the one that’s with you.” Whether you are new to photography or an old hand, discover techniques for getting great nature images with your phone, and be prepared to capture the season.

Out of the Box: You and Your New Camera
Saturday, September 3, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-noon
Take a staycation at the Arboretum and learn the basics of how to use your new camera. Whether you’re using a point & shoot camera or a digital SLR, you will be introduced to focus, exposure, histograms, and how to take a picture in the field.

Fall Photography Walking Tour
Saturday, October 15, 1-4 p.m.
See the Arboretum through the eyes of an expert photographer. Learn how to notice your surroundings with attention to light, angle, subject, and creative interpretation. Begin with a brief classroom session in which our instructor will share examples of these fundamental elements of photography. Then head out onto the grounds for a walking tour. Learn what catches the attention of a professional photographer and how to capture it with a camera.

Nature Photography: Create a Personal Project
Thursdays, October 27, November 3-17, 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 5, 2016, 8-11 a.m.
Develop your nature photography portfolio and hone your personal style in this project-based class. Choose a subject or theme that resonates with you, and work closely with the instructor to create a series of images that showcase your growth as a photographer. Over the course of five class sessions, you will improve your ability to see nature photographically, make choices about light and composition, and learn how to control shutter speed, aperture, focus, and white balance. Leave with a portfolio of nature photographs that reflect your skills and style.


Guided Hikes

Trees of Illinois I
Sunday, September 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Learn to identify the trees you see every day in the woodlands and neighborhoods of the Chicago region. Stroll under the leafy canopy, examine 20 to 30 of our most common trees, learn the skills to identify them and discuss their biology and ecology.

Grass Identification and Ecology
Thursday, September 8, and Friday, September 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Learn to identify the grasses that add beauty and interest to the summer and fall landscape. Grasses allow us to read the landscape: from soils, habitat, disturbance and past land uses. They form a critical component of the biodiversity and with nearly 11,000 species, it is the fourth largest plant family. This workshop consists of an intensive, hands-on approach incorporating both classroom work and field study. Identify warm season grasses in the field and lab, learn the specialized terminology and distinguishing features, discuss their ecology, and practice identifying species from keys.  

Fall Prairie Walk
Thursday, September 15, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Explore the colorful landscape of the fall prairie. Take a morning stroll with an Arboretum expert and immerse yourself in the colors and scents of tall grasses and wildflowers, enjoy hearing birds and insects, and learn about the complex interactions that support this diversity of life. A plant list will be provided but feel free to bring your own field guide and hand lens.

Wild Suburbia: The New Wave of Urban Wildlife
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7-9 p.m.
Learn more about the wildlife in your backyard. As we expand and improve our urban forest, we also create new habitat and access for wildlife. Coyotes have become the top carnivore in an increasing number of metropolitan areas, including the Chicago metro region, and last year, Illinois added the black bear, gray wolf and cougar to its list of protected species. Learn about the animals living in your neighborhood; discover who might be new on the block, how they got there, and how to co-exist.

Fall Woodland Walk
Sunday, September 25, 1-3 p.m.
Saturdays, October 1, 8, or 15, 8:30-11 a.m.
Sundays, October 23 or 30, 1-3:30 p.m.
Stroll through the colorful fall woodlands with an expert guide. The Arboretum’s fall woodlands are an ever changing palette of colorful foliage and wildflowers. Learn which trees are changing colors, listen for birds and animals, and explore the hidden features of the woodland landscape.

The Plant Clinic is generously supported by Bartlett Tree Experts.