It's 'bubbling' fun at Morris Arboretum


For families looking for something to do with their little ones, Morris Arboretum is a good place to start. 

This summer, it’s literally bubbling up with fun. Bloomin’ Bubbles, a weekly event now in its second year, has been drawing youngsters like clockwork - every Tuesday at 11 a.m. 

“You can definitely tell it's a Bloomin’ Bubble day,” said Bryan Thompson-Nowak, director of education at Morris Arboretum. “The parking lot starts filling up with strollers right before 11.”

The bubble machine that so many families have now built into their routines sits atop a four-foot platform covered in tree bark, which is set up in the Whimsical Woods, very close to the Fairy Garden. It wafts its contents out over the children’s heads for a little more than an hour. 

This whimsical happening, brainchild of executive director Bill Cullina, was a hit on day one. In fact, even before day one. 

“When we put it out just to test it, before we knew it there were kids running over,” said Thompson-Nowak. “It’s amazing what happens when you turn on a bubble machine. Kids just come out of the woodwork.”

Bloomin' Bubbles started out in the azalea meadow, which is located close by the garden railway. This year it moved to the Whimsical Woods – where it is a bit more enclosed and the bubbles are easier to catch. 

“In the meadow, sometimes the bubbles could spread so far that some kids would get frustrated,” Thompson-Nowak said.

After the bubbles run out, the timing is perfect to pull out a picnic, and recharge with an outdoor lunch. 

And after that? No need to go home. There’s always the garden railway, the cargo net at the treetop experience, or a visit to the swan pond. And on a really hot day, it’s always fun to head over the log cabin and try your hand at the standing water pump. 

After all, what better way to round off a day of bubble-chasing, train-watching and tree-climbing than dunking a hot head under a cool stream of hand-pumped well water?