Your family guide to Morton Arboretum’s Nature Connects

Lego fans, nature fans, exercise fans and fans of family time can explore and learn at Morton Arboretum’s reimagined exhibit: Nature Connects by Sean Kenney.

With 15 Lego statues built with 501,158 bricks and totaling more than 4,570 building hours, nature is highlighted through plant growth, pollination and human intervention. Ranging from a family of deer, to a grandfather and child planting a garden, to a spider hanging from the visitor’s center, each display incorporates information about the plant, animal or bug shown (such as the proliferation of deer in Illinois). 

Spread throughout the Arboretum campus, families will stay active walking the trail and learning about the plants, trees and wildlife along the way.

Play

The trail is approximately a mile long, giving families a chance to see the east side of the Arboretum filled with trees, plants, flowers and the animals that inhabit them. Stop at the Administration and Research Center to see the Lego Bonsai, and you’ll find the library to study and explore.

The Children’s Garden, near the half-way mark of the tour includes Brick Play. With buckets of Lego, kids can build their own displays and sculptures among the trees. Brick Play is open daily from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Eat

Bring a lunch, if the weather is perfect, and there are picnic spots to enjoy a meal on the path. Or, buy one – moderately priced – at the lunch counter at the Visitor’s Center. 

Shop

Download the Morton Arboretum app for iPhone or Android before your trip to Lisle. The app will help your family navigate which tour you’d like to tackle and how long you have to see it. Check off the highlights of the tour and mark your progress on the map. 

Explore

  • Look up, down and around to find all of the Lego displays. Some are well hidden, as nature tends to be. 
  • There is an opportunity to become part of a display. Start at the Lego ant hill just past the entrance at the Visitor’s Center and stick your head into the hole to be an ant.
  • Bring a camera. These Lego sculptures are Instagram, selfie and photo worthy. 
  • Of the 15 displays, the single biggest in terms of bricks is the peacock, which uses 68,827 Lego bricks and took 625 hours to assemble. 

If you go

Nature Connects by Sean Kenney

Runs through Sept. 15

The Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL-53, Lisle

$15 adults, $13 ages 65 and older, $10 ages 2-17 and free 2 and under. Reduced rates on Wednesdays. 


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