My husband and I love to ride our bikes but, like dinner and a movie, riding through our neighborhood or around the same park district path gets old. A change of scenery is always nice. The Morton Arboretum is a great option.
You can bike the nine miles (or less depending on your stamina) of paved roads through the Arboretum all year round but, from May through August, you can take advantage of “vehicle-free” days/times. No cars are allowed on their roads on Fridays from 5:30 pm to sunset and on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7:00-9:00 am. You can bring your own bikes, or they have rentals available.
We took advantage of one of the Saturday morning rides. If you don’t have a membership, which we don’t, you have to pay an admission fee. This one-time fee also includes parking and gets you access to the arboretum grounds. So, after a long bike ride, it was nice to walk around and stretch out our legs.
Now, when you think of an arboretum, you think . . . trees. Maybe not the most exciting place to spend a lot of time. But it is so much more than that. It is a “living museum” full of life and color. Something new is blooming all year long whether it be the trees themselves or the flowers in the many gardens that are a part of the landscape.
Additionally, every year the Arboretum has a special exhibits (generally in the form of art sculptures) scattered around the grounds. These sculptures become part of the landscape in June and are visible through the summer months. In the past, some of these exhibits have included treehouses, frogs, Lego, and origami sculptures. The 2018 special exhibit is a Troll Hunt.
So enjoy a bike ride and a picturesque walk through the gardens, and make sure to see how many of the special exhibit sculptures you can find. Then go grab some food – you’ll definitely be hungry after all that exercise!