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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention

The Morton Arboretum continues to closely monitor national and local guidance related to the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Arboretum is reopening its grounds and buildings in phases, with adjusted hours and operations aimed at protecting public health. As everyone anticipates the beauty and respite of the Arboretum this season, the health and safety of guests and employees remains of utmost importance. 

The Arboretum is currently open to the general publicTo ensure your wellbeing, entering and visiting the Arboretum will be different from usual. 

Advance, online timed-entry member passes or guest tickets is currently required to ensure paced arrivals and safe attendance levels. Visit the Know Before You Go visit information webpage for more information. Not a member? Join today.

Ensure a Safe Visit
Social distancing is essential for all who visit. Special measures are in place to ensure this on-site. To maintain recommended public health standards, no print materials are available at the Visitor Center at this time, including maps. Please visit the Maps and Directions page for printable maps of our grounds and directions to the front gate.

Please be considerate of others visiting the Arboretum by practicing social distancing in areas such as parking lots and any of the buildings. If you encounter others on the trails, pass from behind by announcing you are passing, wait for those in front to move to the right, then pass to the far left. The Meadow Lake and Lake Marmo trails will be one-way. Be considerate of others by moving to the right in single file when passing those walking the opposite direction. Bicyclists, please ride in single file on the far right of the roads. 

We rely on you to help The Morton Arboretum remain a safe place to enjoy. Please monitor your health for your own wellbeing and be respectful of its potential impacts to others. If you are not feeling well, please refrain from visiting the Arboretum until you are fully recovered. Please bring a mask when you visit in case you have encounters with others not in your visiting party closer than six feet away or plan to enter any of the buildings. Masks must be worn when interacting with any Arboretum staff, including with gatehouse staff when entering the grounds. In accordance with CDC recommendations, this includes those who have already received their COVID-19 vaccination.

On-site at the Arboretum

The Visitor Center, The Arboretum Store, the Children's Garden, the Maze Garden, and the Ginkgo Café and Restaurant are currently open with modified operations. Please click here for further details. The Plant Clinic, the Sterling Morton Library, and the Thornhill Education Center remain closed until further notice, though call lines are open to the Plant Clinic for those seeking plant care advice. Manual wheelchairs and strollers will not be available for loan at this time.

The restrooms inside the Visitor Center and the West Pavilion are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

  • Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the day and fully closed for 30 minutes every two hours for a sanitizing deep clean. The Visitor Center bathrooms and West Pavilion bathrooms will be closed for cleaning on an alternating schedule.
  • The restrooms at the Thornhill Picnic Shelter will remain closed until further notice.
  • Portable restrooms are available throughout the Arboretum, including in the bus lot (Visitor Center parking area), Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking lot 13 - East Side), and Prairie Visitor Station (Parking lot 25 - West Side).

Portable restrooms are also available in the bus lot (Visitor Center parking area), Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking lot 13 - East Side), and Prairie Visitor Station (Parking lot 25 - West Side).

Please leave dogs and other pets at home. If you arrive with a dog, you will not be allowed to enter, and will be asked to leave if seen on the site (refunds will not be available). Special dog admission days will be scheduled, when possible, in the future.

Please leave sports equipment at home. Kite-flying, ball-playing, scooters, and other active sports are not allowed on Arboretum grounds.

How You Can Support
Like many other organizations, The Morton Arboretum is not spared from the unfortunate financial effects that accompany this difficult period. As a nonprofit institution, the Arboretum relies on public support from admissions, tuition, and events, as well as financial donations. Increased support at this time through philanthropic gifts, annual memberships, and business and community partnerships will be essential to help offset this COVID-19 impact.

If you are able to help, any amount makes a difference and is greatly appreciated. You can support the Arboretum by making an online gift today or by becoming a member.  

Arboretum Online Store
The Arboretum Store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. There are several ways to shop at the store right now. For more information, please click here.

Events and Education Programs
Some Arboretum private and public special events, field trips, and group tours have been canceled or postponed. Some education programs have also been moved to an online format, with select programs taking place on-site with modified operations. 

A full or prorated refund will be issued to anyone registered for events or programs that have been impacted and are not continuing via an online learning format. An Arboretum representative will contact registrants directly to process refunds. Registrants can also choose to donate event or program fees to support the Arboretum in this time of reduced operations. If you have not been contacted within 30 day of your program or event, please email trees@mortonarb.org. With many Arboretum staff working remotely due to health protection measures, we appreciate your patience.