I joined the Morton Arboretum right before Easter. The Boy has been there quite a bit with Grandma Naperville, and I've taken both him and The Girl several times since I "discovered" the Children's Garden two years ago. I had all these fantasies of taking the kids to the Children's Garden to run around this spring/summer. And then gas prices spiked to $4.50/gallon and a weekly trip to Lisle is suddenly less appealing.
But today we made the drive out there for the first time since mid-March to meet Cara and her kids. (Traffic tip: don't get in the express lane on I-88 after Oakbrook; you'll overshoot the Route 53 exit and there is no exit on the eastbound side. We took a 15-minute detour.) We spent all of our time in either the Children's Garden or the Gingko Cafe (which, mercifully, was air-conditioned) and, despite the humidity, we had a great time. On the car ride home at 2:30 p.m., all three kids fell asleep, which I usually take to be a sign of a good outing.
It was The Baby's first real trip to the Arb; he wasn't sure what to make of it all. Unfortunately for him, by the time he got acclimated to the area we were in and began to explore, the older kids were on to the next thing (or needed a potty-run). When we first arrived, The Boy, The Girl, John, Grace and Lily went into the hedge maze. Within 10 minutes, they were all red-faced, damp-haired and totally sweaty. Given the weather, we spent the bulk of our time in the water areas, including a long time in the "Wonder Pond," trying to catch tadpoles and looking at toads along the perimeter. Much to The Boy's chagrin, did not make it up to the treetop walk in our 3+ hours at the park.