Spring has sprung! To make the most of the fresh-faced new season, take the 40-minute trip west to the verdant 1,700-acre Morton Arboretum, Chicago’s “great outdoor museum of trees”, which is finally blooming back to life. Nature lovers can bliss out, with all kinds of green-fingered good times to be had while escaping the metropolitan whirl.
Much-loved Arbor Weekend, from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 April, welcomes the arboretum’s famous signature holiday with loads of fun hands-on events for the whole family in the award-winning Children’s Garden. Plant tree seeds, investigate tree cookies and go on a hunt for five special trees in the grounds. Self-guided discovery experiences are also part of the eco-friendly action.
Take away a little of the garden at the huge Arbor Day Plant Sale, open to the public on Sunday 30 April (or Arboretum members on 28 and 29 April). More than 100,000 diverse plants are up for grabs, from shrubs to ferns and herbs, with gardening experts offering tips.
Fancy flexing your green muscles? Then register in advance for the Champion of Trees 10K Run, which kicks off at 8am on Sunday 23 April and follows a pretty route through the spring trees. The challenging USATF-certified course follows rolling terrain on the Arboretum’s main East-side route. Live music, recovery food and a free beer make for a sociable post-race party. Just go green…
Arbor Weekend / Children’s Garden at Morton Arboretum / 4100 Illinois Route 53 / Lisle / +1 630 968 0074 / 11am-4pm 28-30 Apr / mortonarb.org
Arbor Day Plant Sale / Morton Arboretum Parking Lot 33 / West Side / 9.30am-6pm 28 Apr, 9am-4pm 29 Apr (members only), 11am-4pm 30 Apr (public day) / mortonart.org
Champion of Trees 10K Run / Morton Arboretum Visitor Center / race through East-side roads / starts at 8am 23 Apr / mortonarb.org