Brand-New at the Morton Arboretum: Cross-Country Skiing
Children’s Arboretum Admission Is Free Now Through January 4
LISLE, IL (December 9, 2008) – There’s an exciting, new option for enjoying wintertime beauty. Visitors may now cross-country ski across The Morton Arboretum’s gorgeous landscapes, where a pristine blanket of snow against the backdrop of magnificent tree collections from all over the world beckons all to fill their senses with awesome sights, smells, and sounds.
“It’s something the whole family can enjoy, it’s great exercise, and it doesn’t take much training. Cross-country skiing is a great way for people to see the Arboretum in ways that they may not have seen before” says Rick Hootman, Arboretum Director of Visitor Programs.
It’s the ultimate sense of freedom when cross-country skiers go off-trail and explore places they may not normally go when hiking in summer, when grasses are tall. This new experience gives them “a new perspective” on the grounds, Hootman says.
To encourage families to get outdoors in wintertime, the Arboretum is launching a holiday special: children’s Arboretum admission is free of charge through January 4, with a paying adult.
Across the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres, wintertime brings its special kind of natural delights. Visitors can close their eyes, listen to the wind and take in its calming effects; or they may spot and listen to birds such as cardinals, cedar waxwings, blue jays, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and others. They may well see a red-tailed hawk perched on a branch!
Cross-country skiers also get a chance to be more “up close and personal” with wildlife, and may even see rabbit or other tracks in the fresh snow.
Following their invigorating trek, visitors can “park” their skis at racks outside the Visitor Center, and grab a cup of hot coffee, tea, cocoa at the Ginkgo Café (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily), or have lunch in the Ginkgo Restaurant (11 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily).
Visitors need to bring their own cross-country skis, and they may also bring their own snowshoes or rent them. Snowshoes are limited; cost is $8 per three hours (Arboretum members receive a discount). Snowshoes are rented from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and only when there is at least four inches of snow.
For added family fun, the Arboretum’s Holiday Celebration runs from now through January 4.
Visitors can step into a heated, indoors “winter wonderland” with “The Holiday Railroad,” a large display of miniature trains centered among a floor to ceiling ice palace featuring sparkling snowflakes and icicles. For extra fun, grab a list of surprising, “out-of-place” items hidden around the display and see if you can locate them. It’s all in the Visitor Center Events Room, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day).
In the Visitor Center, see the magic woven into seven, fantastic trees decorated professionally by local artists and designers. The pinnacle of the display is the 14-foot Arboretum Tree entitled Magical Enchanted Forest. Available 8 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Enjoy winter seasonal stories on The Evergreen Express, a heated trolley ride around the grounds. Munch on sweet treats and drink cocoa while storytellers recite holiday tales and poetry. Select dates in December; ride lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Advance tickets $18-$24; walk-up $23-$29 (includes Arboretum admission). Arboretum members receive discounts. Order at 630-725-2066 or the Visitor Center front desk.
Unless otherwise specified, all Arboretum events and destinations including the Children’s Garden are free with Arboretum admission. (Fees subject to change):
- $9 per person ($6 on Wednesday), ages 18-64
- $8 per person, ($5 on Wednesday), ages 65 and over
- $6 per person, ($4 on Wednesday), ages 2-17 (free through January 4)
- Parking is free
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.