New Sculptures to Be Unveiled at Morton Arboretum This Month

“Of the Earth” will feature five large-scale sculptures from Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska.

If you’ve been to The Morton Arboretum in the past few years, you’ve probably come across at least one mythical, larger-than-life sculpture — they’re hard to miss! From lovable trolls made from natural materials to sculptures that blended humans and nature together, the arboretum has made it a tradition to host art exhibits that fit seamlessly into the gorgeous natural scenery. 

These sculptures are often placed in areas that visitors wouldn’t usually stumble across while visiting the arboretum’s main attractions, making it all the more rewarding — and challenging — to find the art installations spread across the arboretum’s 1,700 acres.

Quick details about “Of the Earth” 

Photo credit: The Morton Arboretum

  • Opens: May 26, 2023
  • Address: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL-53, Lisle
  • Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset daily. 
  • Cost: $17/adults 18-64, $15/seniors 65+, $12/children 2-17, free/children 2 and under. Admission is discounted on Wednesdays. 
  • Parking: Free on-site parking lots

On May 26, The Morton Arboretum will unveil its latest installment, “Of the Earth.” The exhibit will include five new sculptures from Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska (fun fact: her last name translates to “Of the Earth” in Polish). Using reclaimed tree branches and other materials found at The Morton Arboretum, Ziemska’s work will remind visitors that everything on our planet comes from the same basic materials — including us! 

The exhibit will run through spring 2025, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to visit the arboretum. Start planning your trip to find the new sculptures with these helpful tips for visiting The Morton Arboretum with kids. 

Tips for visiting the arboretum with kids

  • Looking for family fun on a budget? Admission is discounted on every ticket on Wednesdays. 
  • Pack sunscreen, sunglasses and/or visors and hats if you plan to be out in the sunshine — and why wouldn’t you want to be? 
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes, preferably weather-proof ones. You never know when unreliable Chicago weather will muddy the trails. 
  • Wearing long-sleeved clothing and long pants and socks can help prevent contact with poison ivy and insect bites. Don’t forget the bug spray! 
  • If you need snacks or a lunch break, bring a picnic or a brown bag lunch. A full menu and concessions — including vegan and gluten-free options, coffee and alcohol — are also available for purchase at the Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe
  • There are a few interactive water exhibits that kids can enjoy, but they are not meant to be all-day splash pads. While sandals and aqua shoes are fine for splashing around, it’s best to leave the swimsuits and other swim gear at home. 
  • Personal strollers are allowed, but there are no rental strollers available. Scooters are not permitted. 

What else to see with kids at the arboretum

Once you’ve found all five of Ziemska’s sculptures, here are a few other sights we recommend seeing with your family: 

  • Play, explore and splash at the four-acre Children’s Garden, an imaginative nature playground that includes climbing structures, secret streams, accessible paved paths and wooden bridges and much more for your little explorers to discover. 
  • Take on a challenge by visiting the Maze Garden, a living puzzle made of shrubs. There’s also a toddler maze that offers an age-appropriate challenge for little ones. 
  • Visit the new Gerald T. Donnelly Grand Garden. The colorful grounds were curated to celebrate The Morton Arboretum’s centennial. 
  • Use all of your senses to appreciate the beauty of the Fragrance Garden, a secluded garden that is full of flowers, fruit and foliage that delight the senses. 
  • Ride the Acorn Express Tram and tour the arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands and prairies on a one-hour guided tour. Great for little legs that aren’t up for walking the trails for too long! There is a $6-10 fee per person to join the tour. 
  • Catch live music in the arboretum on select evenings during Arbor Evenings
  • Check the calendar for a variety of family and children’s programming, including gardening classes, family hikes, summer science programs and even seasonal baking classes. 

What to do near The Morton Arboretum 

  • Looking for more opportunities for outdoor play? The Sensory Garden Playground is thoughtfully designed for children of all abilities. Follow walking paths, explore the fully-accessible treehouse, play at the horse-themed playground and discover sculptures, music and more.
  • Splash around at the Sea Lion Aquatic Park, a water park with a Tot Pool, water slides, sand play area, zero-depth pool and more.
  • Order food from a local eatery and enjoy it at Bubblehouse Brewing Company, a kid- and dog-friendly taproom that has board games to keep the little ones entertained while you enjoy a drink.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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