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Youth groups and scouts: Self-guided adventures

Schedule and location

Following state recommendations to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), this program has been cancelled. For refund and more information, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Prevention webpage.   


Self-guided adventures are available throughout the year. Please dress for the outdoors and wear sturdy shoes. Programs are not cancelled due to inclement weather such as cold, heat, rain, or wind.

Children’s Garden adventures:

   - March-October 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily; Thursdays, open until 6:00 p.m.

   - November-February 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily

Backpack adventures: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

Fees and registration

Self-guided adventure fee is $105 per group.

  • Fee includes up to 15 youth, 4 chaperones, and a $15 non-refundable registration fee.
  • Patches are available for purchase at time of registration and cost $4.00 each.
  • Additional chaperones are $15 per person.
  • Additional youth are $6 per youth.
  • There are no refunds for cancellations made less than 3 weeks in advance.

Course description

Register your youth group, scout troop, day camp or day care for a self-guided adventure at The Morton Arboretum.

*All Scout Programs are currently suspended, please check back in 2021


Backpack Program: Arboretum Adventures

Kindergarten–2nd grade | Backpack reservation required | Year-round | 30 youth maximum
Find flowers, examine leaves, and search for signs of animals. Backpack supplies include: magnifying glasses, flower and tree identification guides, hands-on activities, and games. 

Backpack Program: Awesome Insects

Kindergarten-4th grade | Backpack reservations required | Spring, Summer, Fall | 30 youth maximum
Investigate different insect groups and learn about their lifestyles and life cycles.

Backpack Program: Fun-tastic Fall

Kindergarten-5th grade | Backpack reservations required | Fall | 30 youth maximum
Fall into fun at the Arboretum. Explore the seasonal changes of trees and wildlife in the woodlands and learn about the science behind these amazing changes.

Backpack Program: Hidden Habitats

Kindergarten-6th grade | Backpack reservations required | Year-round | 30 youth maximum
Explore the Arboretum ecosystems and search for animal homes as you hike and participate in hands-on activities and games.

Backpack Program: Signs of Spring

Kindergarten-3rd grade | Backpack reservations required | Spring | 30 youth maximum
Engage your senses while exploring the sights, scents and sounds of spring on a sensational hike around the Arboretum.

Backpack Program: Tree-mendous Trees

3rd-6th grade | Backpack reservation required | Spring, Summer, Fall | 30 youth maximum
Explore The Morton Arboretum and take a fresh look at trees! Learn about the intricate workings of the inside of a tree and discover how to identify trees.  

Children’s Garden

Kindergarten–3rd grade | Year-round
Enjoy the wonders of nature in the Children’s Garden. Splash through secret streams, climb colossal acorns, and slide down giant tree roots.

Throughout the Arboretum

For all ages | Year-round
Plan your own adventure at the Arboretum. Walk our 16 miles of paved or wood-chipped trails; be sure to notice the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and critters as you go. Touch the rough bark of trees or study the different shapes of leaves. Biking is also allowed on paved roads. Helmets required. 


* For groups larger than 30 youths and looking for summer programming, please visit our School Groups page for additional options.  

Course details

*All Scout Programs are currently suspended, please check back in 2021


1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade