VISIT & explore

Summer escapes at the Arb

Need a break? We asked Arboretum staffers for their favorite shady summer spots. Now you can make them your favorite escapes too.
“It always feels about ten degrees cooler in the Spruce Plot. It feels even cooler than the rest of the East Woods. Plus, I think it's the most beautiful spot in the Arboretum year-round.”
—Katie VanMetre, exhibit developer
“Lying on the Strength bench, under the shade of the oak tree.”
—Johnathan Coulston, exhibit designer
“A stroll through the Vanishing Acts exhibit has some shady, secluded spots to hide out from the heat. You can find plenty of shade in a clubhouse, castle, or cabin at Tree House Tales, too.”
—Mary Samerdyke, manager of interpretation
“The gravel road through the prairie savanna along Willoway Brook is shady and there tends to be animal life under the trees, such as birds and squirrels.”
—Joe Acosta, exhibit preparator
“The bench under the trellis in the Fragrance Garden is delightful, even when it’s quite hot outside. Plus the garden is lovely right now.”
—Anamari Dorgan, director of education
“The Evergreen Walk and Lookout in the Children’s Garden. Go up the long ramp and peer out at the Conifer Woods. You’re high enough up to catch a little breeze and enjoy the cool shade of the towering evergreens.”
—Susan Jacobson, landscape architect
“The Sterling Morton Library is a great place to cool off after a hike. You can view the Tales and Treasures exhibit, browse the book and journal collections in the main reading room, or take something to read and head out to the shady sitting area in the May T. Watts Reading Garden.”
—Rita Hassert, library collections manager
“Not only is the Ground Cover Garden shady, but there are great benches where you can curl up with a book or settle in for some people-watching.”
—Jenelle Hardtke, special events manager
“Play Tree Part Checkers under a shady hut in the Every Which Way Stem Station, located in the Backyard Gardens area of the Children’s Garden.”
—Lesley Kolaya, manager of youth and family programs
“Come see us in the Plant Clinic and check out the insects table set up right now as part of David Rogers’ Big Bugs, and bring your plant questions. We can help with fresh ideas for your home garden. Plus, it’s air conditioned!”
—Doris Taylor, plant information specialist
Have your own summer escape to share? Post your photos at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram #mortonarboretum.