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updated: 10/6/2013 5:31 PM

Morton Arboretum celebrates fall

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  • Wendy Schmitt of Elmhurst enjoys apple slices with caramel Sunday at The Morton Arboretum's Fall Color Festival. The event kicked off Sunday with a 5K run and walk and included seasonal food, a Scarecrow Trail around Meadow Lake and numerous other activities.

       Wendy Schmitt of Elmhurst enjoys apple slices with caramel Sunday at The Morton Arboretum's Fall Color Festival. The event kicked off Sunday with a 5K run and walk and included seasonal food, a Scarecrow Trail around Meadow Lake and numerous other activities.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Lorelai Francis, 7, of Addison paints a pumpkin Sunday at the Morton Arboretum's Fall Color Festival Sunday. The event kicked off Sunday with a 5K run and walk and included seasonal food, a Scarecrow Trail around Meadow Lake and numerous other activities.

       Lorelai Francis, 7, of Addison paints a pumpkin Sunday at the Morton Arboretum's Fall Color Festival Sunday. The event kicked off Sunday with a 5K run and walk and included seasonal food, a Scarecrow Trail around Meadow Lake and numerous other activities.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

Bert Chaney said fall is likely his favorite time to visit the Morton Arboretum.

"It's cool outside, but not freezing. And when the leaves change color, it's a pretty neat sight," the Naperville resident said.

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The Arboretum is celebrating the arrival of fall, too, with a slew of events throughout the month of October that make up this year's Fall Color Festival. Nature-themed scarecrows, handblown glass pumpkins and numerous children's activities are all part of this year's fest.

"The Arboretum is open year-round, but fall is what we really seem to be known for," Arboretum spokeswoman Sarah Clark said. "It's certainly our busiest time of year."

The activities got started early Sunday, with the Fall Color 5K Run and Walk, which was held at 8 a.m. Later, visitors stopped by the Children's Garden to take part in games and pumpkin-painting, while others enjoyed the food offered at the outdoor Festival Fall Fare, which included grilled burgers, sliced taffy apples and glasses of wine.

"We came for the kids' games," Wheaton resident Karen Ellis said, her two daughters munching on taffy-apple slices. "We'll probably come back quite a bit before winter really gets bad. We all like coming here."

Clark recommended that people planning a visit to the arboretum check out the Scarecrow Trail, which features scarecrows made by local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Later in the month, a collection of handblown glass pumpkins will be on display. And Clark stressed that the Arboretum's trees are a must-see attraction all their own.

"We have trees from 40 different countries," she said. "There are thousands of specimens, and when the colors start to change, it's really spectacular. Because we have such a diversity of trees, our color-change season lasts longer than what people are probably used to at home."

The Morton Arboretum is located at 4100 Route 53 in Lisle. For a full list of Fall Color Festival events and times, go to mortonarb.org.

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