We recently went to Morton Arboretum to check out the new Trolls experience. This is a super fun experience for all families. The girls were so excited when we saw our first troll, the one overlooking the highway.
(We did eventually hike up to this one to see it up close.)
It was a very hot day when we went, and honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. You are given a map to help find the trolls and that’s definitely useful. The map also details which parking areas to use to get closer to each one. The map itself is not as super exact as the trail maps that are located on each trail. However, it is very useful. And, there are signs throughout the trails (and on the roads) letting you know which way to go to hunt trolls.
When you find a troll, you will also find a clue written on a sign. Write down this clue on your map! (There is a section on your map for gathering clues.) It will help you to find the troll hideout.
The first four trolls are found starting at the parking lot and moving in a big circle. This circle is over 3 miles (I’m not sure the exact mileage but I asked a couple Arboretum employees and they each said at least 3 miles – and then congratulated us for hiking those miles!). The trails are absolutely beautiful. And hiking the paths allows you to see some truly beautiful areas.
But be warned, some of the trails are in some deep wooded areas and were very, very, very mosquitoe-y when we went. Very mosquitoe-y.
The trail leading up to this guy was especially buggy.
The sculptures are all amazing. (And made from reclaimed wood or leftover wood from other projects.)
Seriously cool. However, I would not really recommend doing what we did – walking the trails to find the first four trolls. It was hot. It’s a lot of walking for small legs. And the mosquitoes made it a bit of a miserable experience. If you are planning to hike it, please be a bit more prepared than we were. Please, please, please, please bring insect repellent. We were definitely covered in mosquito bites after this hike. Yuck.
Realistically, the hike wasn’t all bad. My girls are accustomed to doing long walks and/or hikes so the distance wasn’t terrible. And we had snacks and water bottles in my backpack. Much of the hike was very beautiful. I am glad that we were able to see things that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The views were gorgeous. And, many of the trails were areas of the Arboretum that we hadn’t explored before.
But, after we made it back to the visitors center after finding the first four trolls, we ate lunch, cooled down at the Children’s Garden (one of our favorite spots in the entire Arboretum), and we stopped at the gift shop to make a very important purchase.
Definitely necessary! (I beg you, do not attempt hiking the paths to find the trolls if you don’t have bug spray! Drive and park!)
Since we had already done plenty of hiking for the day, we drove to find the last two trolls. Honestly, if you are attempting this with younger kids (and you should, you really should. It’s such a fun, magical experience for kids) I recommend using the troll hunting map to find the closest parking spots and then walk just a bit to find the trolls. It’s a much more pleasant experience if it is super hot and/or super buggy.
After you have found the last two trolls, you can put the clues together to find the troll hideout! This was hands-down our favorite part of the experience. It’s such a fun spot to explore. The entire area is a very clever design that really sums up the entire troll hunting experience. So fun!
The troll hunting will be at the Morton Arboretum through summer of 2019. I am looking forward to finding them again in the fall. I think it’s going to be even more beautiful to explore when the leaves are changing colors!
Have you checked out this experience yet? What did you think?
Going to the Morton Arboretum and going on a hike were both items on our summer bucket list!
The list thus far:
Field Museum Museum of Science and Industry Adler Planetarium Shedd Aquarium Chicago Children’s Museum Splash pads Maggie Daley Playground Art Institute Head to the pool Have a pajama day
- Head to the library
Go to the zoo
- Go to the beach
- Eat at Big Bowl
Go to Morton Arboretum
- Eat at Labriola Cafe
- Eat at Rainforest Cafe
Get ice cream
- Bake cookies
- Read books at home
- Make banana pudding
Go on a hike Go on a picnic
- Go to Granny and Pa’s house
- Go to Mimi and Pa’s house
- Make lemonade
- See a movie
See a movie outside
- Family Festival downtown Chicago
- Ride the train at the mall
- Go to American Girl Place
- Go to Disney Store
- Go to Renaissance Faire
- Eat at Flat Top Grill
- Go to Chinatown