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Adventure Woods


Growing Brilliantly at The Morton ArboretumAdventure Woods present the world beyond the backyard and show how the trees and plants in the Children's Garden reflect those of the Arboretum at large and the rest of the natural world.

Adventure Woods consists of Wonder Pond, Under the Trees, Grotto and Secret Stream, Grassy Meadow, and Evergreen Walk and Lookout.

Wonder Pond

The pond was created by a beaver damming a stream. Stepping stones, a faux beaver dam, and colorful water plants make this a kid’s favorite spot.

Kids, look at all the plants and animals living in this pond. Can you find one that looks like a segmented green stalk? Watch all the insects that land on it to rest. Walk out onto the stepping stones to get a better look. 

Under the Trees

Children get "up close and personal" with trees and other plants by accessing pathways and adventurous playground equipment. The opportunity to play in this naturalistic area will promote the appreciation and understanding of trees and will lay the foundation for understanding more complex concepts of diversity, adaptation, and interrelationships.

Kids, pretend you're a woodland creature enjoying the day in nature's playground. How does the world look to you? How do the trees help you? Who might you share your home?

Grotto and Secret Stream

Children can play in this stream, exploring the properties of moving water and learning that streams carry water into lakes, ponds and rivers.

Kids, climb, splash and get your toes wet! Can a bug swim upstream? What do you see in the stream besides rocks? Why are the rocks smooth? Which way does the water flow? Find two objects that float and race them downstream. Which won?

Grassy Meadow

Children explore tall grasses on the pathways, maneuver over a net crawl, and stop for a rest at one of the picnic tables.

The Bur Oak Clubhouse tree house has arrived in its new home in the Children's Garden! Discover why bur oaks reign supreme, and how they bar other trees from their territory. At the Bur Oak Clubhouse enjoy the handmade, hideaway feel.

Kids, what kinds of sounds might you hear in the tall grasses? In the woods? Near a pond? Ever wonder why bur oaks are the kings of the prairie? 

Evergreen Walk and Lookout

How high can you go? How about climbing 14 feet to get a better view of the tree branches and look down on the entire Garden! Can you believe it? You are now 3 stories higher than when you came through the Garden entrance! A challenging suspension bridge brings you closer to the tree canopy.

Kids, can you walk on a rope bridge that sways in the wind? What animals do you see in the branches of the spruce trees? What advantage do they have over the animals that live below? What do you see from way up high?