Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Morton Arboretum

Yesterday I took the kids to the Morton Arboretum. We became members for the first time last year and our membership expires today. While we got our money's worth with the membership, I wanted to go one last time before it ran out.

It was a little hot (low 90s) but I wanted to see the Tree Houses. While I had read about them in our newsletter I forgot about them until I read this post from Two Moms a Little Time and a Keyboard.

When we got there I asked for directions and was told to follow the signs behind the lake, and that it was approximately a 4 block walk? I thought that was a weird way to describe a walk at an arboretum which has no blocks but I guess they get so many cityfolk, they need to speak their language. Anyway, it wasn't far from the main entrance.

The kids had fun playing in the different houses - pirate ship and log cabin being the favorite. After playing for a while, we headed back to our car and drove to Crabapple Lake for a picnic. Everyone was pretty hungry so we chose one of the first lakes on the East side. It wasn't the prettiest view as it was close to the lower border of the Arboretum (along the highway), but still shady.

After eating, we drove a bit further to a spot called Bulb Meadow. There were no flowers this time of year, but a nice climbing tree right by the road. The kids had fun climbing it, although Little Reader had a little trouble getting down the first time. Then we followed a path into a wooded area (which would be great for a picnic another time).

Little Man was tired from all the walking and the heat so we didn't walk too much.  As we were heading back to our car my kids pretended to be will-o-wisps from Brave guiding me down the path back to our car.  As I got close to each one they would giggle and run to a new spot.  

Our last stop before heading home was the Children's Garden. We didn't venture all the way up to the wading pool and river, as I was afraid Little Man would make me carry him all the way back to the car.  Instead we compromised and they played for a while at the small fountain and the little playground (which they renamed "fairyland").  All in all a good day.

We will probably renew our membership as there are still many more places to explore.  We never made it there last fall, but I would love to see the leaves changing, and I'd like to see the Big Rock.  I'm not sure how far the walk is from the parking area.  The path is paved so stroller friendly although I feel like Little Man is too big for a stroller these days.  I figure if we go on a cooler day it wouldn't be a big deal.

I'd also like to go on one of those warmer winter days when there is still snow on the ground but it's not bitterly cold.  I figure we could go for lunch somewhere else, and do a drive through and take short walks around some of the smaller areas.  Stay tuned.

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