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 summer, the health and safety of visitors and employees will remain of utmost importance.
The Arboretum is now open to the general public. To ensure your wellbeing, entering and visiting the Arboretum will be different from usual.
Advance, online timed-entry member passes or visitor 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 other visitors by practicing social distancing around the Troll Hunt sculptures and in other areas of the Arboretum, such as parking lots and any of the buildings, as they reopen. 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.
On-site at the Arboretum
The Visitor Center, The Arboretum Store, and the Ginkgo café are currently open with modified operations. Please click here for further details. The Plant Clinic, the Ginkgo Restaurant, the Sterling Morton Library, and the Thornhill Education Center remain closed until further notice. The Children’s Garden and Maze Garden are also closed. 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.
Arboretum Online Store
The Arboretum Store reopened to the public on June 15 and will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. There are several ways to shop at the store following the reopening. For more information, please click here.
Events and Education Programs
All Arboretum private and public special events, field trips, and group tours through August are canceled or postponed. Many education programs have been moved to an online format, and select programs will take place on-site with modified operations. The first month of in-person Summer Science Camp has been canceled; July and August in-person sessions of camp will take place as scheduled. See full list of impacted programs below. Event and program registrants have been notified directly of these cancellations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. With many Arboretum staff working remotely due to health protection measures, we appreciate your patience.
Canceled Special Events
- Wine Tasting
- Iris Society Show
- Destination Asia
- Arbor Evenings
- Tuesday Family Nights
- Craft Beer Festival
- Walking Plays
- Destination Asia
- Farm-to-Table Dinner
Canceled Classes and Programs:
- Forest Therapy Walks (WELL034 and WELL016) through June
- Bird Walks (O010)
- MAPS Board Meeting
- Basic Plant ID In-person (W010)
- Full Moon Troll Hunt Tram Tour (N071)
- Field Study: Birds of Spring (O602)
- Spring Wildflower Walk (N020C)
- If These Trees Could Talk (N922A and B)
- Drawing Flowering Trees (A419 )
- Spring Warbler Workshop (O212)
- Visiting Photographer: Exploring Macro with Mike Moats (P553)
- Spring Floral Arrangement (H031A and B)
- DIY Garden Flag (A228)
- Spring Photography Walking Tour (P004A and B)
- Full Moon Tram Tour (N044, May and June)
- Nature Photography-Intro to Composition (P110)
- Habitat Hikes: Woodlands and Their Wildlife (N002A and B)
- Drawing Nature II (A002)
- Trolls After Dark Hike (N067A and B)
- Invasive Species Online and In-Person (W033)
- Drawing Bees (A263)
- Arboretum Uncorked (A064)
- Aerial Tree Yoga (WELL017, May and June)
- Weekend Wellness Retreat (WELL200)
- Sustainable Gardening Series:Pollinator Garden Seminar (H166)
- Endless Possibilities: Home Garden Tour (H582)
- Spring Ikebana (H152)
- Basic Tree ID In-person (N142B)
- Treasured Trees of the Aboretum Tram Tour (N254)
- Human+Nature Solstice Tram Tour (N620A and B)
- Field Study Birds of Summer (O603)
- Turtle ID and Ecology (N384)
- Dragonfly Stroll (N441)
- Plants of Wetlands (W319)
- Plants for Wilderness Survival (N114)
- The Morton Arboretum Photographic Society Exhibit
- The Nature Artists' Guild Exhibit
Early Childhood and Family Programs
- Little Acorns
- Little Sprouts
- Garden Story Time
- Acorn Express Adventures (May and June)
- Woodland Family Hike (May and June)
- Children's Garden Parties (May and June)
- Bi-Lingual Story Time
- Family Twilight Adventures
- Children's Garden Campouts
- Sensory-Friendly Sundays
- Summer Science Camp - June sessions
Moved to Online Format Early Childhood & Family Programs
- Garden Explorers-3-5 years (Y023)
- Garden Explorers-18-35 months (Y022)