VISIT & explore

Take a class. Now’s the time.

There’s still time to enroll! Register at mortonarb.org/education, in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.
Insects in Polymer Clay
3 Thursdays, September 5-19, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
$110 members, $130 nonmembers including admission
We will study the coloration and structure of insects ranging from dragonflies to beetles, then using polymer clay we will create a sculpture to display or wear. Students will heat set the sculpture at home.
Honey Lunch & Learn: Healthy Bees, Healthy Food
Saturday, September 7, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
$22 members, $30 nonmembers including admission
Over a honey-themed buffet lunch, entomologist and author May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois will update us on the health of our honey bee populations. Learn their biology, find out just what honey bees eat, hear the latest on Colony Collapse Disorder, and more.
Fall Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 7 and 21; October 5 and 19; November 2 and 16; and December 7, 8:00–10:30 a.m.
$8 members, $10 nonmembers plus admission
Search for birds across the Arboretum. 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. Children ages 12 and up are welcome with adult registrant.
Beginning Beekeeping
4 Tuesdays, September 10–October 1, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
$80 members, $94 nonmembers including admission
Interested in starting your own hive and harvesting your own honey? Already have a hive and want to learn more about managing it? Join Greg Fischer, beekeeper for the Arboretum and Wild Blossom Meadery, to explore the history of beekeeping, bee anatomy, colony management, equipment basics, honey bee pests and diseases, harvesting honey and more. All participants will receive their own hive tool to take home.
Night Sky for Naturalists
Wednesday, September 11, 8:00–10:00 p.m.
$16 members, $19 nonmembers including admission
For centuries, the night sky has been a source of wonder and interest for artists, writers, naturalists, scientists and other stargazers. As the days become shorter and cooler, study the changing features of the autumn sky. Learn the basics of astronomy and how to interpret the night sky for others. Children ages 12 and up are welcome with adult registrant. (Rain date: September 12)
Perennial Maintenance Walking Tour
Wednesday, September 11, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
$18 members, $21 nonmembers including admission
Most perennial gardens look their best when given a bit of care throughout the growing season. Walk through the Arboretum's perennial groupings to discuss and demonstrate late summer and fall season maintenance chores such as cutting back, pinching, deadheading, and disease and insect control on a wide variety of perennials.
Saturday Snakes
Saturday, September 14, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
$25 members, $33 nonmembers including admission
Why did the snake cross the road?  Keen-eyed naturalists spot large numbers of snakes alongside roads in Illinois during spring and fall. Learn to identify the common (and uncommon) snakes of Illinois you might be seeing along the roads, what drives their migration, and how biologists find and monitor snakes through field explorations on the ground of the Arboretum.
Cocktail Cruise
Friday, September 20, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
$19 members, $22 nonmembers including admission
Can you name a beverage that comes from a tree, shrub or vine? From wine to gin to coffee and tea, humans have found countless ways to derive beverages from woody plants. Take a summer evening open-air tram ride to discover which specimens in the Arboretum's collections are associated with spirited sipping and end the program with a thematic cocktail or refreshing iced tea.
Naturalist Skills 101: Expert tips for easy nature exploration
Sunday, September 22, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
$55 members, $65 nonmembers including admission and a boxed lunch
Get more out of the outdoors! Exploring the wonders of the natural world can be tremendously rewarding, but modern life and schedules often interfere with our appreciation.  Discover the incredible diversity of Northern Illinois; learn new skills, equipment and strategies for observing and enjoying nature; and test them out on the grounds of the Arboretum.
Intro to Smartphone Photography
Saturday, October 19, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
$35 members, $42 nonmembers including admission
Smartphones have opened up a new way to photograph. This class will cover 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.
Mosaic Pumpkins for Fall
Sunday, October 20, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
$83 members, $98 nonmembers including admission and supplies
Create a three-dimensional pumpkin or plaque, perfect for either the Halloween or Thanksgiving holiday. This piece will be an indoor or outdoor decoration. A wide variety of fall-themed ceramic shards will be available to cover the pumpkin, which is approximately 8 inches in diameter. Plus, bring your own buttons, beads, or costume jewelry to add to the piece. You will complete your project including grouting.
Inside the Collections
Tuesday, October 22, 9:00–11:30 a.m.
$8 members, $16 nonmembers including admission
Join Kris Bachtell, Vice President of Collections & Facilities, on a walking tour of the outstanding oak and maple collections. Stroll through 56 species of oaks from around the world and revel in the vibrant colors of the sugar maple, paper-barked maple, Manchurian striped maple, and more. During the walk, Kris will share the history, ecology and management of these two iconic collections.
The Curious Naturalist
Saturday, October 26, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
$72 members, $85 nonmembers including admission
Sharing your love of nature with others is wonderfully rewarding. Learn age-appropriate techniques to engage these "curious naturalists" from birth through elementary school in meaningful activities, explorations, and conversations to spark their excitement and appreciation for nature.
Register at mortonarb.org/education, in the Visitor Center or by calling 630-719-2468.