Since the school year ended, we've been meaning to get to The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., a 1,700-acre living museum that champions trees throughout the world via scientific study, conservation and advocacy.
We made it! This beautiful oasis, situated almost exactly in between our western suburb and the bustling city of Chicago, is a perfect summer day-trip. And it's location also made it the perfect half-way point for a meet up with our city-dwelling besties the Dows.
Here are 7 things that made our trip so fantastic (other than spending the day with such lovely company):
1. Shade: The arboretum, as you might imagine, is covered in shade. Trees and structures throughout made it comfortable all morning, despite the 80+ degree temperatures.
2. Accessibility: The pathways are wide and smooth, making it easy for our big crew to get around and access the attractions.
3. Colors: The entire arboretum was bursting with color. The flowers definitely drew the girls' attention. (Sorry for the picked blossoms!)
4. Nooks and Crannies: While the grounds are pristine, they aren't precious. There are lots of wild bushes and brush areas for the kids to explore.
5. Active Features: The trees are the main attraction, but strategically placed playground structures delivered a nice dose of cardio for the kids.
6. Outdoor Adventure: In one portion of the arboretum, a stream trickles through. The girls whipped off their shoes and jumped right in. The feature was something fun that Elsa could easily access, too.
7. Sensory Experiences: One of my favorite focal points was a large, interactive stone globe sculpture, that seemed to levitate and spin in water. I loved that it gave Elsa a place to stand and touch something tactically interesting, while also directly interacting with her peers.
Simply showing up and paying your admission will secure a day of fun, but if you'd like to plan your trip around an event, the arboretum has a robust calendar of activities. Here's the link! If there's a feature of Morton Arboretum that you love, that wasn't noted in this post, please share in the comments below.