LEGO Exhibit at Morton Arboretum Helps Kids Connect With Nature

What would life be like without LEGOs (or LEGO® bricks as The LEGO Group likes to call them)? Well, the floors of my house would be cleaner and I’d have fewer cuts on my feet from stepping on them in the middle of the night. But, other than that, the world would be a lot less enjoyable. Because, let’s face it, LEGOs are fun to play and build with regardless of your age, and they’re a welcome alternative to our world of screens and other technology.

If you’re looking for a way to combine nature and some LEGO® fun, you should check out the award-winning exhibition, Nature Connects: Art with LEGO® Bricks by artist Sean Kenney, which returned to the Morton Arboretum earlier this year. The exhibit runs through September 15, 2019, and features 15 displays created entirely from LEGO® bricks. Several new creations have been added to the 2019 exhibit including a bee midflight, a pileated woodpecker with a bright crimson crest, and an oak tree sprouting from an acorn. The LEGO® creations are located on the arboretum’s east side.

I checked out Nature Connects with my 9-year-old son earlier this week, and we had a great time searching for the colorful and creative plants and animals, which are located along Meadow Lake and near the visitor center. I like the exhibit because:

  • It allowed us to get some exercise and learn about nature as we searched for the next LEGO® creation.
  • It was a great way to introduce kids to nature. Each LEGO® creation features an interpretive placard that provides information about the plant or animal depicted and encourages the reader to participate in a nature-related activity at the arboretum.
  • It allowed us to enjoy some quality father-son time that did not involve playing a video game or watching a movie.  
  • It allowed me to marvel at the ingenuity and creativity of the artist Sean Kenney. These works of art took a lot of time to design and build. For example, the Monarch Butterfly exhibit (pictured above) took 425 hours to build and 39,708 LEGO® bricks to complete.
  • It inspires kids to use LEGOs or other materials to build their own plants and animals, and develop their creativity and critical-thinking skills. 

I recommend a visit to Morton Arboretum to see the exhibit. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check out Troll Hunt (a search for six colossal trolls crafted by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, as well as a Troll Hideout), which is on view through June 2020.

Other attractions/activities at the arboretum include:

Copyright (text/photos) Andrew Morkes

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