Special Guests Visit 31st Annual Yule Log HuntNew Yule Twig Hunt Gets Kids Involved In The Search; Huskies Part Of Celebration
LISLE, IL (December 15, 2008) – Ready, set, hunt!
The trumpeter is ready to sound the beginning of the Morton Arboretum Yule Log Hunt, a unique and fun post-holiday activity on January 4, from 1 – 3:30 p.m. This is also the last Holiday Celebration day that children are admitted free to the Arboretum, with a paid adult.
Visitors become detectives when they receive a sheet with rhyming clues that lead to eight locations, and ultimately, the elusive log. The rules require that contestants visit all eight locations before finding the log. At each location is a hole-punch with a unique shape; contestants must punch a hole in their clue sheet at each location to prove they visited all eight sites! Eventually, log with its beautiful red bow is found.
There’s a new twist this year: a team of beautiful Siberian huskies “guest star” as they tow the log on a sled back to Arbor Court, in a preview of the delightful “Husky Heroes” event January 24-25 at the Arboretum. (For more on this, visit www.mortonarb.org.)
Once all are back in Arbor Court, a celebration begins amid trumpet fanfare, and guests receive free kazoos. Everyone toasts the Yule Log Hunt winner with a cup of cocoa or wassail, a spicy ale.
The winner douses the log in wine and adds it to the roaring bonfire, a way to wish prosperity to all participants for the coming year. As the Frozen Robins provide festive holiday music, the log is sawed in half, with one half saved as kindling for next year. The Yule Log tradition dates back many centuries, when the burning symbolized the return of light after the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.
New this year in the Children’s Garden: the Yule Twig Hunt. Kids search for five clues around the garden and solve fun riddles to find their very own Yule Twig to bring home. Fun, rhyming clues take children on a hunt around the entire garden to a basket of special twigs, adorned with beautiful red ribbons. This hunt is an effort to get children involved in this storied tradition.
“We have decided to offer the Yule Twig Hunt in conjunction with the Yule Log Hunt for our young visitors. The Yule Twig Hunt is just as fun and offers the same excitement of following a set of clues to find the twigs, yet on a smaller scale,” says Lesley Kolaya, Assistant Manager of the Children’s Garden.
Also new this year: The Fabulous Fruitcake Fling that opens the Yule Log Hunt. Guests can bring their own leftover fruitcake from home or take advantage of the limited supply onsite. This fruitcake fling tests contestants’ skill in four categories: 1) how far they throw the fruitcake, (2) how close they get fruitcake to the mark, (3) their flair in throwing cake over the shoulder, and (4) which 2-person team can toss a fruitcake back and forth for the longest time, without dropping it. Contestants may compete in only one category, and a fruitcake referee who will determine the winners. They are honored in a medal ceremony while the Yule Log is sawed.
“We felt this would be a nice complement to our Yule Log Hunt, because tossing stale, leftover fruitcake represents flinging off your cares from the old year, and flinging yourself into the hope and prosperity of the New Year,” says Mary Samerdyke, Arboretum coordinator. “Similarly, the log hunt represents the light and hopes of the coming year.”
Contestants should wear appropriate clothing and hiking-type shoes (tennis shoes not recommended) in the hunt that starts at the Visitor Center. Expect to walk across the stunningly beautiful terrain at least 45 minutes.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 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. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit www.mortonarb.org, click About, and then Press Room, or call to learn more.