Explore the Grounds

Visiting with Dogs

Explore the Arboretum with your canine companion on selected dates

Content Detail

Several times a year, the Arboretum hosts “Dog Admission Days” and “Tails on the Trails” events. These are the only times that non-service dogs are allowed in cars or on the grounds of the Arboretum.

Both events offer a unique opportunity to explore the Arboretum’s 16 miles of trails with your favorite canine companion.

During “Tails on the Trails” events, guests can visit the on-site Pet Expo, which features dog-oriented shopping from vendors representing local businesses and organizations, opportunities to adopt dogs, and options to learn about volunteering at local animal shelters.

“Dog Admission Days” are less structured and simply offer members and guests the opportunity to visit the Arboretum with their dogs, without the vendors and other Pet Expo attractions.

Remaining 2021 dates to visit the Arboretum with your dog(s):

  • Sunday, July 18 (Dog Admission Day)
  • Sunday, September 12 (Tails on the Trails)
  • Sunday, November 7 (Dog Admission Day)

Tails on the Trails

Pets are only admitted to the Arboretum on specific days. During “Tails on the Trails” events, guests can visit the on-site Pet Expo, which features dog-oriented shopping from vendors representing local businesses and organizations, opportunities to adopt dogs, and options to learn about volunteering at local animal shelters.

Hours

7:00 a.m. – Sunset: Dogs allowed on the grounds
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m: Vendor expo located around the Visitor Center Area

Tips for entering The Morton Arboretum:

  • ​All dogs are $5 each. Dog and human admission passes must be reserved in advance through the Arboretum’s online ticketing system and will become available for purchase or reservation close to the date of the event (members get priority access). No cash is accepted at the Gatehouses and guests without passes will be turned away.
  • Thornhill Society members do not need to reserve passes or pay the $5 fee per dog. Admission is free to these members at all times and they may be admitted to the Arboretum anytime during open hours, simply by arriving at the gatehouse.
  • Have your admission pass or guest ticket ready when approaching the Gatehouses.
  • Explore the grounds by driving to farther parking lots and then hike the trails with your dog.

Safety Precautions

Please note the following public health precautions in place for this event:

  • Vendors will be spread out around Meadow Lake and Tram Road to allow for more space between booths.
  • Guests are asked to wear masks when within six feet of any others who did not arrive with them and while interacting with any vendors, Arboretum staff, and Arboretum Volunteers.
  • Masks must be worn at all times inside the Visitor Center, the Arboretum Store, and the Ginkgo Café.
  • Dog-friendly concessions and bathrooms will be available outside.
  • Please be considerate of others by practicing social distancing around the Human+Nature sculptures, vendor booths, and in other areas of the Arboretum, such as parking lots and on trails.

Social distancing is essential for all who visit. Please be considerate of others by practicing social distancing in areas that may be congested, parking lots, and around the Visitor Center. Guests are asked to wear masks when within six feet of any others who did not arrive with them. Masks must be worn at all times inside the Visitor Center, the Arboretum Store, the Ginkgo Café, and Arbor Court.

Please adhere to the following rules while visiting The Morton Arboretum with your dog:

  • Dogs must be attended and on a leash at all times.
  • All dogs must have updated vaccinations and registrations.
  • For the safety of both your pet and the natural environment, do not let dogs go off the marked trails.
  • Please clean up after your pet. Bags are available at the Visitor Center.

Dogs are not allowed in the following locations:

  • Children’s Garden
  • Maze Garden
  • Visitor Center
  • Thornhill Educational Center
  • Administration Building and Research Center

Portable restrooms for humans who need to bring their dogs with them can be found at the following locations:

  • Thornhill Picnic Shelter
  • Prairie Visitor Station
  • Big Rock Visitor Station

Remember, pets are only admitted to The Morton Arboretum on specific event dates.

The next 2021 Dog Admission and Tails on the Trails dates are:

  • Sunday, September 12 (Tails on the Trails)
  • Sunday, November 7 (Dog Admission Day)

Interested in becoming a vendor? Email specialevents@mortonarb.org

Dog Admission Days

Pets are only admitted to the Arboretum on specific days. “Dog Admission Days” are less structured than “Tails on the Trails” days and simply offer members and guests the opportunity to visit the Arboretum with their dogs, without the vendors and other Pet Expo attractions.

Dog and human admission passes must be reserved in advance through the Arboretum’s online ticketing system and will become available for purchase or reservation close to the date of the event (members get priority access). Admission for dogs is $5 per dog and will be added to the ticketing fees at the time of purchase.

Tips for entering The Morton Arboretum:

  • ​All dogs are $5 each. Dog and human admission passes must be reserved in advance through the Arboretum’s online ticketing system. No cash is accepted at the Gatehouses and guests without passes will be turned away.
  • Thornhill Society members do not need to reserve passes or pay the $5 fee per dog. Admission is free to these members at all times and they may be admitted to the Arboretum anytime during open hours, simply by arriving at the gatehouse.
  • Have your admission pass or guest ticket ready when approaching the Gatehouses.
  • Explore the grounds by driving to farther parking lots and then hike the trails with your dog.

Social distancing is essential for all who visit. Please be considerate of others by practicing social distancing in areas that may be congested, parking lots, and around the Visitor Center. Guests are asked to wear masks when within six feet of any others who did not arrive with them. Masks must be worn at all times inside the Visitor Center, the Arboretum Store, the Ginkgo Café, and Arbor Court.

Dogs are only allowed at the Arboretum on certain dates. Please adhere to the following rules while visiting The Morton Arboretum with your dog:

  • Dogs must be attended and on a leash at all times.
  • All dogs must have updated vaccinations and registrations.
  • For the safety of both your pet and the natural environment, do not let dogs go off the marked trails.
  • Please clean up after your pet. Bags are available at the Visitor Center.

Dogs are not allowed in the following locations:

  • Children’s Garden
  • Maze Garden
  • Visitor Center
  • Thornhill Educational Center
  • Administration Building and Research Center

Portable restrooms for humans who need to bring their dogs with them can be found at the following locations:

  • Thornhill Picnic Shelter
  • Prairie Visitor Station
  • Big Rock Visitor Station

Remember, pets are only admitted to The Morton Arboretum on specific event dates.

The next 2021 Dog Admission and Tails on the Trails dates are:

  • Sunday, July 18 (Dog Admission Day)
  • Sunday, September 12 (Tails on the Trails)
  • Sunday, November 7 (Dog Admission Day)

Tips for Visiting with dogs

  • Arrive early, as special dog admission days can be very busy for the Arboretum’s gatehouse. 
  • Dog admission is $5 for each dog. All payments must be made in advance through the Arboretum’s online ticketing site. No cash is accepted at the gatehouse; members and guests without passes will not be able to enter.
  • Have your Member ID and member pass or guest ticket ready when approaching the gatehouses.
  • If you are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, facial coverings are optional. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, please follow State of Illinois guidance and wear a mask indoors and outdoors when within six feet of those not in your party.

Please adhere to the following rules while visiting The Morton Arboretum with your dog:

  • Dogs must be attended and on a leash at all times.
  • All dogs must have updated vaccinations and registrations.
  • For the safety of both your pet and the natural environment, do not let dogs go off the marked trails.
  • Please clean up after your pet. Bags are available at the Visitor Center.

Dogs are not allowed in the following locations:

  •  Children’s Garden
  • Maze Garden
  • Visitor Center
  • Thornhill Educational Center
  • Administration Building and Research Center

Restrooms for humans who need to bring their dogs with them can be found at the following locations:

  • Thornhill Picnic Shelter
  • Prairie Visitor Station
  • Big Rock Visitor Station

Remember, pets are only permitted at The Morton Arboretum on specific dates. Timed-entry passes are required for guests and members (except for Thornhill Society members) and will only be honored within one hour of the time on the reservation. 

Fees and Admission

Dog admission is $5 per dog.

As always, members are admitted free of charge; guests pay the regular admission fee. Both members and guests are required to have reserved, timed-entry passes (except for Thornhill Society members).

Your visit helps support the Arboretum’s mission of planting and conserving trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.

Visiting the Arboretum with Service Animals

The Morton Arboretum welcomes members and guests of all abilities and strives to create a safe, enjoyable, and engaging experience for all. To support that goal, the Arboretum welcomes all service animals, including those still in training.

Because the Arboretum does not allow pets on the grounds (and some visitors disregard this rule), staff or visitors may inquire about your service animal if it is not wearing a vest or label. To help alleviate these questions, please let the Gatehouse Attendants know you have a service animal with you when you enter the Arboretum so they can make other staff aware.

To learn more about accessibility at the Arboretum, see the Accessibility Guide.

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