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Morton Arboretum offers food, wine, pumpkins, hiking

Berries grow some trees MortArboretum. Check Arboretum's weekly color guide for updates.  |  Sun-Times Medifile

Berries grow on some of the trees at the Morton Arboretum. Check the Arboretum's weekly color guide for updates. | Sun-Times Media file

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Fall Color

♦ Through Nov. 3

♦ Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle

♦ Tickets, $9-$12

♦ (630) 968-0074

Updated: November 5, 2012 4:02PM

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle is taking advantage of the autumn season with the annual Fall Color Festival running through Nov. 3.

Visitors can soak up nature’s splendor while taking hikes, sampling wines and ciders, enjoying fall treats and checking out some special glass pumpkins.

“One of the must-sees that people love to take advantage of is the Fall Color Festival Fare,” said Jenelle Hardtke, special events manager at the Morton Arboretum. The Fare is held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekend in October in Arbor Court. “People can enjoy our German-inspired themed food, as well as hamburgers and taffy apples and kettle corn.”

Grown-ups can partake in a complimentary wine tasting with wine samples from Wente Family Estates.

Meanwhile, members of the Illinois Gourd Society will carve up some unique gourd creations at Gourd Works. Children can play some autumn crafts and play some games at Trick or Trees in the Children’s Garden.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to come in and enjoy the Children’s Garden and take part in some Halloween-inspired games and crafts,” she said. “We encourage kids to wear their costumes. They have a blast in there.”

“Our glass pumpkin patch was such a hit last year that we’ve brought it back … and extended it a little bit,” she said. “People that came last year are going to be amazed to see that this year we’ve increased our amount of pumpkins to over 3,000. It’s really going to be quite a spectacle to see them glimmering and shining in the sunlight.”

The glass pumpkins will be on exhibit Oct. 17-19. There will be glass workshops Oct. 15-19 as well, she said, where people can create pumpkin paper weights. The glass pumpkins will go on sale Oct. 19.

“People love it and it’s unique to the area,” she said.

Fall is a magical time of year at the Arboretum, with the myriad colors exploding from the foliage. It’s her job to help create as many experiences as possible for visitors.

“We want to have something for everyone to take advantage of at the Arboretum, in addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery,” she said.

Another fun fall event is the Scarecrow Trail, where visitors can admire more than 50 nature-themed scarecrows showcased around Meadow Lake.

“New this year, we have our family hikes on the weekends,” she said. “They can walk from the visitor’s center to our new exhibit, Tree House Tales, and along the way they’ll be exploring the trees and hearing the background stories on the trees.”

Daily in October — Free with Arboretum admission

Most events are included with Arboretum admission.

— Annie Alleman

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