Thursday, May 22, 2014

Combine Theater and Nature During Theatre-Hikes at the Morton Arboretum


**Disclosure: We will be attending a complimentary Theatre-Hike this summer to provide an accurate review. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Last year, we found ourselves with a free weekend and decided to attend a theatre-hike at The Morton Arboretum. We visited on what had to be the hottest day of the year to see The Three Musketeers. We were totally blown away by the entire performance and barely noticed we were dripping in sweat! I will forever be in awe of the fact that the actors were able to sword fight in the 90+ degree weather! We thoroughly enjoyed the splendor of a summer's day at The Morton Arboretum while being engaged in a quality production. Theatre-Hikes are great ways to enjoy nature while immersing yourself in a bit of the theatrical arts.

Important things to know about theatre-hikes:
  • Theater-Hikes enrich our lives by combining theater, exercise and appreciation for the environment.
  • Hikes are low impact.
  • Walks are less than 2 miles and incorporate about 6-9 stops with about 1/4 mile of walking between stops.
  • The hikes are open to those with strollers and/or wheelchairs.
  • You will need a blanket and/or chair, water, sunscreen and insect repellent. We also found that having a mister may be fun.
  • The free format and wonderful space allows for distracted children to move away for a bit and then rejoin the performance later on. Some parents take their kids off to the side for a bit for a little game of catch or even to blow bubbles. Then, they rejoin the hike a little bit later!
  • Shows are family-friendly and avoid strong language and adult situations--parents can breathe easy!
  • Theater-Hikes is a non-for-profit organization and relies upon donors. Theatre-Hikes honors the talent of their actors and makes sure that they are properly compensated for their work.
Performance information:

Theatre-hikes will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, July through October. Performances in July, August and September are at 1PM. In October, performances are at 3PM. In addition to the weekends, there will be a performance on Columbus Day {October 13}. Each month features a different performance. This year's season opens with Alice in Wonderland in July. Alice's adventure is just so perfect for an adventure around part of the Arboretum! August will feature You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown will be a little different than the other theatre-hikes this year in that it will be in one location. Since you will still be out in nature, you will be able to take the kids to the side if they need to stretch out and return to the show a little later. September will bring Enchanted April, a story about four very different women in England in the 1920's who take a trip to Italy. This event sounds like it would be a great Mom's Afternoon Out yet the production is still appropriate for kids if you want to bring them along! To round out the season, Theatre-Hikes will bring several spooky Chicago tales to life in Resurrected in October. I love that Theatre-Hikes brings something a little spookier to the Arboretum during October and it is totally related to Chicagoland!

If you are looking for something new to do this summer, I highly recommend a theatre-hike. A theatre-hike is an excellent way to enjoy a glorious summer day while appreciating a wonderful performance! Tickets for Arboretum members are $5 per child, $10 per adult. For nonmembers, tickets include Arboretum admission and are $10 per child, $20 per adult. You can find out more about Theatre-Hikes and register for tickets on The Morton Arboretum website.

Theatre-Hikes does have some other performances in Chicagoland. You can check out other venues on the Theatre-Hikes website.

Later this summer, I will bring some more details about Theatre-Hikes. Thank you to Artistic Director Bradley Baker for some inside scoop about Theatre-Hikes!

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