Walking Plays

Experience a live outdoor play performed among beautiful trees and scenic landscapes during the Walking Plays series at the Arboretum.

Content Detail

Walking Plays are full-length plays, adapted exclusively for The Morton Arboretum and performed by local professional actors. A walk leader guides the audience to each scene, which takes place at several natural backdrop locations, along a one- to two-mile hiking route. Audiences are encouraged to bring water, portable chairs or blankets for seating, and bug spray.

Your ticket purchase helps support the Arboretum’s mission to plant and protect trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.

2023 Season

The Mama and the Papa Goose: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairytale

Let’s go back to a “summer of love” with some geese, love and rock and roll to hear the Mother Goose rhymes as you never have before. This “mockumentary” follows the life and times of the most famous rock band in Fableland music history, The Mama and the Papa Goose. Their biggest fan, the Pied Piper podcaster, will narrate and lead the way through a groovy, sing-a-long escapade that will be great fun for the whole family.

View the program for the performance >


July 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23**, 29*, 30
August 5, 6, 12, 13, 19**, 20, 26*, 27

Performances start at 6:00 p.m. and last approximately ninety minutes.

*Indicates a low impact experience
**Indicates the availability of an American Sign Language interpreter

Anne of Green Gables

Join Anne, (with an “e” if you please!), for a most wondrous adventure, as she finds friends, fun, mischief and finally, her first true home. L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel, including Anne’s famous line, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!” comes to life in the beautiful autumn scenery of the Arboretum, transformed into Avonlea. This heartfelt, often hilarious, story will delight audiences of all ages.



September 23, 24, 30
October 1, 7**, 8, 14*, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29

Performance starts at 4:00 p.m. and lasts approximately ninety minutes.

*Indicates a low impact experience
**Indicates the availability of an American Sign Language interpreter

Low Impact hikes are designed for guests with lower mobility; the hike covers a shorter distance (around half a mile) at a slower pace, and stays near paved paths wherever possible to avoid chipped trails and grassy areas.

The Morton Arboretum acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency


Each month the Arboretum will offer a Low Impact Hike, designed for guests with lower mobility. These hikes cover a shorter distance (approximately half a mile) at a slower pace and stay near paved paths wherever possible to avoid chipped trails and grassy areas.

American Sign Language Interpreter Dates: Saturday, July 22, Saturday, August 19, and Saturday, October 7.

Low Impact Hike Dates: Saturday, July 29; Saturday, August 26; and Saturday, October 14.

View the Accessibility Guide for more detailed information.

Rebooking Information

To rebook your tickets for any 2023 performance, please contact with the following information:

  • Order number
  • New requested booking date for any 2023 Walking Plays
  • Phone number and your name in case we need to contact you

There will be a $5 surcharge per order. We require at least 24 hours’ notice to allow us time to update your order and send new tickets. Rebooking is based on availability. If an event date is sold out, we are not able to move your tickets to that date. Sending your request by email helps us process requests in a timely manner.

If the event is canceled by The Morton Arboretum due to inclement weather, all ticket holders for that date will be emailed with specific instructions on how to rebook their performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Accordion List

  • Fall and summer weekends are popular days for visitation. Please allow up to 30 minutes to park and get to where the hike commences (Thornhill Shelter, Parking Lot 21).

  • Restrooms will be located at the Thornhill Shelter, where event check-in is to take place.

  • No, we do not offer any chair rentals for this event. For a more enjoyable hike, we recommend you bring a portable chair or blanket, a water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

  • The Arboretum will do its best to hold this event rain or shine. However, there may be times when a potentially dangerous weather forecast or unsafe ground conditions prevent us from moving forward with the event. The event will not move indoors.

  • All weather-related event updates will be communicated through the Arboretum Facebook page, website, and email. All of these will be updated approximately three hours prior to the show start time.


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