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Weekend Wellness Retreat

Schedule and Location

  • Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, 2019
  • Check in at 8:30 a.m. Saturday
  • Depart at noon on Sunday

Fees and Registration

$269.00 member
$309.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
Please Note: Cancellations made by May 31st are subject to a 10% administrative fee. No refunds after May 31st. 
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course Description

Focus on your wellness and spend a night under the stars on the peaceful grounds of the Arboretum during this weekend wellness retreat.

Research shows that time spent among the trees has clear benefits for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Set aside the rigors of your daily routine and take time for yourself. Connect your mind and body with nature through forest therapy, meditation, yoga, self care, fitness, and healthy eating in this immersive experience.


What’s included?


Included in the fee are

  • three nutritious meals prepared by Ginkgo Catering
  • the very special opportunity to spend the night at the Arboretum
  • seven health and wellness programs led by certified guides and wellness experts


Forest Therapy Walk

Experience the healing and wellness promoting effects of Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest. Take a slow and mindful walk with a certified Forest Therapy guide on a wooded trail as you awaken your senses and reconnect with nature. The walks will visit different locations at the Arboretum and will include a variety of sensory awareness exercises. The walks will conclude with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail. Instructors: Brenda Spitzer, Laura Kamedulski, Retta Hennessy


Food and Wellness Workshop

Explore the connections between nutrition and mood. Learn how to eliminate “downers” from your diet and boost your energy and mental state with smart food choices and delicious recipes for summer. 
Instructor: Evey Schweig, health coach


Essentials Oils Workshop

Learn how to use essential oils to create a calming, healthy home. Create products that you can use to clean and freshen up without introducing harsh chemicals into your home.
Instructor: Tamara Mannelly, health coach


Sunrise and Sunset Yoga

Start and end the day with a session of yoga. Improve your health and well-being with practice poses, breathing and meditation in the tranquil setting of The Morton Arboretum. Discover how sound meditation can deepen your yoga experience with relaxing tones that re-harmonize the body and release stress.
Instructor: Natalie Sord, certified yoga instructor, and Jay Taylor, sound artist


Guided Hike

Enjoy the health benefits of a walk in nature. Along the way learn about the ways that trees improve our mental, physical, and emotional health.
Instructor: Arboretum naturalist 


Meditation and Essential Oils

Explore meditative and self-nurturing yoga poses with the use of plant-based essential oils to restore and rebalance the mind and body. 
Instructor: Natalie Sord, certified yoga instructor


What do I need to bring?
A packing list will be provided. A tent and sleeping bag are needed. (The Arboretum has a limited number of tents and sleeping bags available to borrow. Contact the Registrar's office for more information.)

Course number



Brenda Spitzer has been a member and volunteer at The Morton Arboretum since 1993.  She has earned certificates from The Morton Arboretum in Natural History and Botanical Art and Illustration.  She became a Certified Forest Therapy Guide in 2015.  She is also a freelance artist and a staff writer for The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs.

Evey Schweig, AADP, is a certified Holistic Health Coach with degrees in biology and integrated nutrition. She has worked with clients from all over the U.S. serving as their personal guide to achieve more energy-filled, pain-free lives. She staunchly believes that eating nutritious whole foods and adopting a healthy lifestyle will improve your health and maintain optimal weight. She is the author of a blog and newsletter on healthy eating and lifestyle at www.eveyschweig.com. In addition to working with individual clients and leading group programs, she is a well-respected speaker in the health field, presenting to community groups and corporations. Follow her on Instagram (@eveypaleo); Pinterest (@EveyArt); and Facebook.

Tamara Mannelly is passionate about helping others live a healthy lifestyle. She educates and empowers people to make healthier choices with food, cleaning products, skin care products and more. As writer of the popular blog, www.ohlardy.com, she shares recipes and tips to help people make better choices.

Natalie Sord has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and blends her love for nature and wellness into all of her teachings. Natalie received her Registered Yoga Teacher certification in 2014, and also holds a certification in Children’s Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Horticultural Therapy. 

Jay Taylor of Current Vibrations leads experiences in sound, where by instruments such as the gong and singing bowls are played with the intention of re-harmonizing the body and releasing stress. A gardener and educator, Jay has developed nutrition, mindfulness, and wellness programs for students of all ages in the Chicago area. 

Course Details

Notes: Programs will be held indoors and outdoors weather permitting. Meals included: Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast. Cancellations made by May 31st are subject to a 10% administrative fee. No refunds after May 31st. Click here for participant information.  Limit 50


  • Basic camping gear including a tent, sleeping bag, and flashlight required. (The Arboretum has a limited number of tents and sleeping bags available to borrow; call the Registrar to inquire.)
  • Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes for hiking.
  • Bring a yoga mat if you have one.
  • Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and a sunhat.

Cancellation and Refund Policy specific to W200 Weekend Wellness Retreat: Refund request must by received by email or postal by May 31, 2019. Fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable after May 31, 2019. All other terms apply as listed at Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies.

People sit on yoga mats with arms outstretched on the grass