“Sensational Eight of Summer ’08” at The Morton Arboretum
Fun Activities To Enjoy Nature, Build Family Memories
LISLE, IL (June 12, 2008) – Summer vacation season is here, and more than ever before, families are seeking greater value for their dollar, and looking for fun closer to home. To meet their needs, The Morton Arboretum offers “Sensational Eight of Summer ’08,” eight intriguing family activities that are fun and economical, as all eight are free with Arboretum admission. Even better, whole families can do these activities together.
“Families will be seeing things here they may never see again, and will likely talk about long after they go home. These activities are a tremendous way for families to bond and create lasting memories,” says Marilyn Baysek, Arboretum Special Events Manager.
From gazing at incredible, 25-foot long Ant sculptures, to tip-toeing across Wonder Pond, to trying your skill at playing cricket, the Arboretum has eight activities for everyone to enjoy – all free with admission.
David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition has already drawn thousands of visitors. The 12 gargantuan wooden bug sculptures – the Praying Mantis alone is 20-feet tall – educate and entertain. It’s a role reversal of perception: instead of us looking down on the bugs, they look down on us! With the free, Official Bug Detective Guide, “bug detectives” can solve word games, uncover interesting bug facts, and stick a bug detective badge (found in the guide) on their shirts or hats. “Detectives” can continue their bug exploration later in their own backyards. This unique event runs daily through July 20.
Cricket, anyone? The Asian Festival on July 26 and 27 will fascinate visitors with music, art, dance, and sports! They can take part in an instructional cricket match, and view Tai Chi and yoga demonstrations. Visitors can ride rickshaws (slight extra charge), enjoy Japanese folktales, Chinese music, a Filipino stick dance, and hear the infectious beat of taiko drumming. There are beautiful Japanese flower-arranging demonstrations, a wonderful bonsai exhibit, and a lovely tea ceremony.
The four-acre Children’s Garden is a destination unto itself where kids can slide down giant tree roots, climb colossal acorns, and skip across a pond. The award-winning garden is designed to spark children’s curiosity about trees and the natural world with a hands-on, highly interactive approach. There are also drop-in programs where kids hear storytelling, make bug-related crafts, all creating discovery and delight! Open daily.
Experience an adrenaline rush as you bicycle 9-miles of roads and behold the sheer size of the 1,700 acre Arboretum. Whether you bike for fitness, pleasure, or to appreciate nature, the Arboretum is a perfect venue. Available daily.
For the true nature lover, hiking along the 16-miles of Arboretum trails is truly a treat! Take a “trip around the world” as you walk through the world-renowned tree collections. See, smell, and photograph trees from Europe, China, Korea and Japan, or stay close to home and appreciate the trees of Illinois and the Midwest. Available daily.
For those preferring a guided walk through the tree collections, docents can lead the way, sharing intriguing facts and stories of trees and other plants. Weekends in June and July, and Wednesdays and weekends in August.
Getting lost was never so much fun as losing your way in the Maze Garden. This one-acre maze and its weird twists and turns will challenge the most skilled navigators. Find the seven different rooms and enjoy the trees and other plants that make this maze truly unique. Open daily.
Summer brings many surprises at the historic Schulenberg Prairie, one of the oldest planted prairies in the Midwest and a unique destination. As guests stroll through, they take in the golden beauty of the tall coreopsis, discover the brilliance of the rough blazing star, and find delight looking at the whimsical smooth blue aster. At the Prairie Visitor Station, interpretive exhibits explain what to look for - there is always something blooming in the prairie throughout the summer months.
The “Sensational Eight of Summer ’08” are free with Arboretum admission, which is:
- $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 3-17
- Under age 3 is free - Parking is free.
In addition, the Arboretum offers exciting ticketed activities. Summer concerts let guests swing to the zany beats of Ralph’s World Family Concerts (July 12 and 13), relish in the beauty of Paula Cole’s sultry voice (July 12) or fall in love with Chris Isaak’s cool, rockabilly style (August 16).
Theater fans will enjoy our brand-new Theatre-Bike. Ride your bicycle amongst the trees as you experience Key Exchange, a story about swinging singles in New York’s Central Park, with a delicious picnic and cocktails afterwards. The Theatre-Hike series features Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Taming of the Shrew, and Dracula.
Check www.mortonarb.org for specific dates, times, and prices.
The Morton Arboretum gratefully acknowledges our biking sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; along with our Summer Concert Series sponsor, Harris Bank, and 93-XRT, the exclusive radio sponsor. The series’ featured wine sponsor is Bonterra Vineyards.
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 or call 630-968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contacts: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,