View Nature’s Kaleidoscope Of Colors At The Morton Arboretum
Fall Color Festival Features Daily Activities And Events
LISLE, IL (August 25, 2006) – You don’t need to travel out of state to see some of the most brilliant, beautiful and bountiful displays of autumnal colors. The Morton Arboretum offers an inspiring and engaging 1,700 acres of blazing red, gold, orange and even luscious purple foliage throughout fall. In addition, the Arboretum presents its annual “Fall Color Festival,” a month-long extravaganza celebrating the beauty of autumn with enjoyable family activities and entertainment.
“With 66 types of oaks, 130 varieties of maples, 73 different elms and hundreds of other beautiful trees that flourish on our grounds, Arboretum visitors will experience a full palette of fall colors while also traveling our Grimm Maze or Scarecrow Trail, making a great craft or seeing giant pumpkins carved into art,” said Marilyn Baysek, Arboretum Special Events Manager.
Challenge yourself with the 3rd Annual Fall Color 5K Run – on a course certified by USA Track and Field, the national governing body of track and field. The event occurs Sunday, October 1, at 8 a.m. A 5K Walk starts after all 5K runners clear the start; and a free Kids Dash occurs at 9:30 a.m. Adult participants receive a t-shirt and goody bag. Fees are $30 ($25 in advance; $23 in advance for Arboretum members); Kids Dash free for age 12 and younger. To register, visit www.mortonarb.org/events or call 773-868-3010 x 224.
Enjoy a spooky autumn treat! Join “villagers” who chase Dr. Frankenstein’s monster through the groves of the Arboretum in the Theatre-Hike presentation of “Frankenstein,” adapted by Tim Kelly. Dr. Frankenstein flees to his Swiss chateau to escape the creature he created. The monster tracks Victor to his sanctuary to demand a bride to share his loneliness. While at times scary, this play is very funny, too. Audience and cast move about the grounds, with different scenes performed at different locations. Performances are at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day, from October 7 through October 22. Tickets are $15 ($12 for Arboretum members) and reservations are recommended. Call 630-725-2066 or visit www.mortonarb.org. The non-strenuous two-mile hike covers some off-trail areas and lasts approximately 2 and one-half hours.
Two terrific themed walks will enthrall visitors of any age. First, solve the puzzle of our Grimm Maze and encounter Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales characters as Arboretum Maze Garden’s seven rooms take on a decidedly autumnal feel! Illustrated panels feature characters such as Hansel and Gretel and quotes that will make your trip through the Grimm Maze a fairytale! On Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the “Grimm Brothers” will be on hand to share their fantasy tales with families. Then, venture over to Meadow Lake for the Scarecrow Trail, daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to view 40 different scarecrows designed by local Girl Scout troops.
The Great Pumpkin comes to the Arboretum on October 1 and 15 as carving artist Steve Dahlke demonstrates his talent in turning 500-pound pumpkins into giant jack-o-lanterns. Get some great ideas on how to carve your own pumpkins, gourds and various fall veggies at these two great demonstrations, noon to 4 p.m. each day.
Let your imagination fly as you decorate a pumpkin or a mini-grapevine wreath using only natural materials such as acorns, seed pods, dried grasses or pinecones – all gathered from the Arboretum. “Harvest Crafts” occurs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day.
Get inspiration for creating your craft by first viewing the “Harvest Showcase” on weekends at the Visitor Center. Each weekend – starting September 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – we present a different art show by Midwestern artists or plant and hobbyist organizations, including “Gourd Works” and the “North Suburban Carvers” show.
Let the kids become “certified leafologists” in the Arboretum’s “Leafology Lab,” on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children enjoy hands-on activities to discover the science behind colorful autumn leaves, and they can take home leaf prints and a collecting bag to pick up colorful leaves from the Arboretum grounds or in your neighborhood.
Don’t forget to stock up on great items in the outdoor shopping experience of “Garden Marketplace,” featuring The Growing Place Nursery and Flower Farm, Inc. Shoppers can choose from a potpourri of garden accents including colorful fall plants, bulbs, garden ornaments and container garden items. The Garden Marketplace is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Learn how the beauty and abundance of autumnal flora affected the lives of Native Americans and early settlers in the Arboretum’s Fall Color Walks, a one-hour guided tour of the Schulenberg Prairie on Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and on Wednesdays at 1 p.m.
A visit to the Arboretum wouldn’t be complete without some great “Culinary Treats.” In addition to our wonderful breakfast and lunch offerings in our Ginkgo Café and Restaurant, visit our outdoor food court. You’ll choose from taffy apples, popcorn, an ice cream parlor and special tasting sessions of organic wine. Three grill stations offer upscale “fall festival fare” including the Brat Shop, the Italian Village and the Ginkgo American Grill. These food specials are offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.
One of the best ways to see all the fall colors is on the Acorn Express open-air tram. Let us do the driving as you sit back for a guided tour of the Arboretum. The Acorn Express runs daily, with extra tours on Saturdays and Sundays and also on Columbus Day. Tours are $5 for adults and $3 for children (ages 3-12). Call ahead or check in at the Visitor Center Information desk for the daily schedule.
Sara Lee Corporation is the Presenting Sponsor of the Fall Color Festival.
The Fall Color 5K Run is presented by LaSalle Bank with additional support by Dick Pond Athletics, Saucony, Hind, Hinckley Springs and AthletiCo.
Unless otherwise specified, all Arboretum events and destinations, including the Children’s Garden, are free with Arboretum admission, which is:
- $7 per person ($4 on Wednesday), ages 13-64
- $5 per person, ($3 on Wednesday), ages 65 and over
- $4 per person, ($2 on Wednesday), ages 3-12
- (Under age 3 is free)
- Parking is free.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,800 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contacts: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103