New exhibit features animal homes

There’s one sector of housing that hasn’t fallen prey to foreclosures and mortgage bailouts—animal houses. Critter homes will be celebrated at Morton Arboretum this month with the opening of a new exhibit featuring oversized animal shelters.

“Animal Houses” features 11 interactive animal houses that will give kids the chance to enter the habitat of creatures ranging from skunks to spiders.

The largest animal house is the 40-by-60-foot Pollywog Pond. As visitors walk inside, it’s as though they’re underwater, seeing more than 100 polliwogs overhead. Kids can climb through the Squirrel Drey, and when they emerge from a tunnel, they’re on a perch, just like a squirrel would be in a tree branch. The Spider Web will spark imaginations as children crawl on a net like a spider, suspended above the ground.

While this exhibition is at the arboretum, staff will offer drop-in programs in the Children’s Garden, guided walks, exhibits and family education programs related to animal houses.

Animal Houses is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. or sunset. It is free with arboretum admission, which is $10, $7 kids 3-17, free kids 2 and under. Wednesday is discount day. Parking is free. The arboretum is located at I-88 and Route 53 in Lisle. For more information, visit www.mortonarb.org or call (630) 968-0074.

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