Nature Play is every day in the Sculpture Garden at Morris Arboretum. The concept of Nature Play is to give children space to discover the wonders of the natural world in an intuitive and unstructured way. Nature Play is a specific, designated area that gives kids space where such behaviors were previously ‘not allowed.’
In their article “Nature Play,” the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association says, “This type of unstructured, make-it-up-as-you-go play [has] existed since the dawn of humanity, with changes in its details but not in its essence. It [has] long served human children well: firing their imaginations, building their physical endurance and coordination, testing their initiative and courage, nurturing their people skills, and fostering life-long friendships with other kids and with nature.” (“Nature Play,” conservationtools.org)
This new space is Morris Arboretum’s “yes” area. Yes to going off the path. Yes to touching. And best of all, YES to climbing. As one parent expressed, “Love it! It was a nice break for my three kiddos from the gardens where they could look but not touch.” Nature Play helps children learn self-reliance, explore their interests, make independent observations and decisions, and solve problems. Such experiences encourage a lifetime of environmental stewardship and connections with the natural world.
Featuring large cut trees and stumps for climbing, various nature objects for building and creating, and tools for exploring, this space will also serve as an outdoor classroom for many Growing Minds classes and schools visiting on field trips. Open daily in the Sculpture Garden.
Family memberships pay for themselves in just 3 visits!
For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!
The Arboretum’s paths are clear but due to icy conditions some features may be closed.
The Morris Arboretum is excited to be open! We have instituted new policies as required by the government of Pennsylvania in order to keep the public safe while visiting. Please review the policies below before your visit.
Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.
The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.
The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.
Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.
Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.
Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.