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VISIT & explore

Children's Garden

*Please note that the Children's Garden will undergo required maintenance during the month of May (weather permitting).  During this time, sections of the garden may be closed. 

At The Morton Arboretum, imagination lives, curiosity grows, and kids flourish in the Children’s Garden. Splash through secret streams, climb colossal acorns, and slide down giant tree roots all day long. Explore, learn, and play among trees and the natural world.

In 2015, the Children's Garden celebrated its 10th anniversary. Our staff and those who have grown up with the Children's Garden share what the garden has meant to them and how it has grown throughout the years. 

The Children's Garden includes two main garden areas: Backyard Discovery Gardens and Adventure Woods, linked by a Central Plaza. The three areas incorporate ten themed gardens, each with engaging and interactive activities that children will find irresistible.

Children's Garden map

Download a copy ofthe Children's Garden map


Central Plaza

Central Plaza is the entrance to the garden and serves as a space for orientation, gathering, public events and making connections to other areas of the Children's Garden. learn more

Kids' Tree Walk and Tree Finder Grove

Backyard Discovery Gardens

Backyard Discovery Gardens present familiar things that children might recognize in their own backyard, in a way that encourages deeper exploration. learn more

Curiosity Garden
Bloom, Zoom, & Sprout
Every Which Way
Windmill Garden

Adventure Woods

Adventure Woods present the world beyond the backyard and show how the trees and plants in the Children's Garden reflect those of the Arboretum at large and the rest of the natural world. learn more

Wonder Pond
Under the Trees
Grotto and Secret Stream
Grassy Meadow
Evergreen Walk and Lookout


March through October
9:30 a.m - 5:00 p.m. daily
Thursdays, open until 6:00 p.m.
Members only: Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

June through August
Tuesdays and Thursdays, open until 8:00 p.m. 

November through February
Daily, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Closed during severe weather.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult while visiting the Children's Garden.

Water Features

The water features in the Children's Garden will be turned on the first or second week of April. NEW this year is a giant watering can that acts as a mister. Learn how it feels to be a plant that is being watered. The mister will be active from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

Kid and Family Programs

Drop-in nature activities at the Children's Garden are just the beginning of The Morton Arboretum's educational programs to get the entire family hooked on science, nature, and trees. LEARN MORE


The tadpoles we get each spring in the Children's Garden are American Toads. This is a natural occurrence and their arrival depends on the temperature of the water.