Schedule and Location
Field trips can include either or both guided and self-guided adventures. See fees and admission for more details.
- Available during spring and fall school season for grades PreK-12
- Duration: 1.5 hours (PreK and kindergarten programs are 1.25 hours)
- Morning programs are scheduled Monday – Friday, 9:45-11:15 a.m.
- Afternoon programs are scheduled Monday – Friday, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
- Available year-round for grades PreK-12
- Scheduled Monday – Friday during open hours
Fees and Registration
Field trip fees:
- One guided adventure (1.5 hours): $8 per student, $15 registration fee
- One guided adventure (3.0 hours): $12 per student, $30 registration fee
- Two guided adventures (3.0 hours): $12 per student, $30 registration fee
- One guided adventure (1.5 hours) + Self-guided adventure: $12 per student, $30 registration fee
- Self-guided adventure: $6 per student, $15 registration fee
- Registration must be completed 3 weeks prior to field trip date.
- Dates are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is STRONGLY encouraged.
- Adult chaperones are required, three adults for every 20 students.
- There is a minimum of 15 students for guided and self guided field trips.
- Payment is due 3 weeks before the date of the field trip.
- Call the registrar at 630-719-2468, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fees include admission to the Arboretum for:
- All registered and attending students
- All registered and attending adult chaperones (three adults for every 20 students)
- State required aides
*Once you have registered- Plan your Trip
Make outdoor science fun and engaging on a field trip through The Morton Arboretum. Guided and self-guided programs listed are for high school students and are designed for student’s age 14 and up. Details concerning fees and other information are listed below.
Leave No Child Inside
1.5 hours | 200 students maximum
A growing body of research is telling us that unstructured time spent outdoors in nature is critical to children's physical, social, and emotional development. Such outdoor experiences can foster creativity, emotional well-being, independent learning, and problem solving. The beauty of the Arboretum changes daily, and your students will have an opportunity to explore whatever is most interesting on the day of your visit. One of our guides will be on hand to answer questions and guide students to exciting questions and observations, but the focus is on free exploration of nature.
This program is not meant to address any specific Illinois Learning Standards.
Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat
Time is running out for more than 8,000 tree species. Yet, few people know of their plight. All over the world forces threaten wild tree species. Explore this new outdoor exhibit and offer your students a timely and compelling look at endangered trees, reasons to care about this pressing global issue, an inspiring view of how trees enrich our lives and simple actions for environmental stewardship. The exhibit is located in the Conifer Collection on the east side of The Morton Arboretum.
Joy Path Backpack
120 students maximum
Use an interpreted trail, teacher guide, activity backpack, and map to explore woodlands and aquatic ecosystems. Each pack serves 20 students and three chaperones.
Potential to address the following IL Learning Standards:
11A – Scientific Inquiry
12A – Life Cycles
12B – Habitats and Food Webs
12E – Natural Cycles
16E – Environmental History
Woodland, Wetland, and Prairie
200 students maximum
Make discoveries on your own while exploring the Arboretum’s woodland, wetland, and prairie (no support materials provided). Below are some suggested itineraries that take up to approximately 90 minutes. These options may include interpretive trail signs.
- East Side: Starting at parking lot #8 walk the “Joined Loops 3 & 4 Trail” to Big Rock Visitor Station. Continue on the "Woodland Trail" to Big Rock. For a longer experience, walk the long way around the “Heritage Trail” back to the Big Rock Visitor’s Station.
- West Side: Starting at the Prairie Visitor Station (parking lot #25) walk the Prairie Trail loop and go to parking lot #30. For a longer experience, walk to the nearby Millennium Oak.
Magnolia Collection - Newly Added
Located on the west side of the arboretum, sits a living seed bank of the some of the world's oldest plants, magnolias. These trees are beautiful at all times of the year. Walk with your students through this new path with interpretation focused on the family history of magnolias, breeding/hybridization and the unique features of this flowering beauty. The self-guided digital guide is aligned to the NGSS and can be utilized in conjunction with our other self-guided options.
Tree Identification Self-guided Backpack
80 students maximum
Use a teacher guide, activity backpack and map to explore plants up-close. Through this map-reading scavenger hunt students are given the task of locating and identifying different tree species. Each student can create a series of sketches of Illinois trees. Each student should bring a notebook or sketchpad and pen/pencil for this activity. Each pack serves 20 students and three chaperones.