Morris Arboretum’s Nature Play, an Outdoor Space Opens May 1


“Play is the highest form of research,” Albert Einstein famously commented, and Morris Arboretum’s Nature Play,a new outdoor space opening May 1, is the ultimate place for fun investigation!  This rustic play area, open all day, every day through October 31, encourages kids to use what’s available in the outdoors for fun; learning to love nature and loving to learn naturally.

Nature Play debuted last year as a monthly event series and was so popular that the Arboretum created a dedicated, fenced area in the Sculpture Garden for unstructured, outdoor fun.  The concept of Nature Play is to give children space to discover the wonders of the natural world in an intuitive and informal way. Children are invited to create their own play patterns with a variety of natural elements, including fallen tree trunks and stumps; twigs and hollow logs; tree bark pieces; water and dirt.  Seating for adults is provided, so kids may explore at their own pace for an extended time.

Nature Play has been proven to help children learn self-reliance, make independent observations and decisions, and solve problems. Such experiences encourage a lifetime of environmental stewardship and connections with the natural world.

Pictured here at the 2018 May event are Raya, age 11, practicing her handstands and Alex, age 7, building a tower with tree slices and bark. Free with regular garden admission.  For more information, visit

Morris Arboretum is one of more than 30 Philadelphia gardens in America’s Garden Capital. This 92-acre horticultural display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape.  The Morris Arboretum offers educational programs for many audiences ranging from youth to professional, and is a leader in botanical and horticultural research.  The official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Morris Arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and accredited by the American Association of Museums.  For more information, visit:

Photo Credit:  Julia Lehman

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19118
Phone: 215.247.5777 |
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