Penn's Morris Arboretum Launches New Series of Children’s Programs

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Media Contact:Susan Crane | | 215-247-5777 x121May 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA -- Morris Arboretum introduces Growing Minds, new programming specifically geared to younger visitors and their families.  Growing Minds will kick off in June with “Seeds to Sprouts,” a Parent & Child series of classes targeted for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.  Also starting in June will be the “Mini-Morris Players,” an interactive theater program for ages 5-10 that will bring to life the history of the Morrises’ Chestnut Hill estate.
“Seeds to Sprouts” will offer monthly themed classes that will include fun indoor activities along with guided explorations through the gardens. Each four-week session will be led by an instructor with a master’s degree in fine arts. She will facilitate an educational experience designed to introduce children and their caregivers to the wonders of the natural world.  Bugs, seeds, insects, and water are some of the topics that budding nature lovers will be able to explore while having fun outdoors.  The first four-week session, Wednesdays from 10:30-11:15am, will begin on June 6 with the theme Explore Nature with Your Senses!  Each week will feature one of the senses: sight, hearing, touch and smell.  Additional sessions are scheduled for July and August.
The “Mini-Morris Players” will create a new play each week based on the fascinating life and travels of the Morrises and their development of one of the most significant Victorian gardens of the time.  Two modern actors will play the roles of John and Lydia Morris and will lead the children in an improvisational performance in a different part of the garden each week. Children will take on speaking and supporting roles such as visiting friends, gardeners, servants, trees and animals.  The class will consist of two, five-week sessions from June 14-July 12 and July 26-Aug. 23. Classes will meet at 6:30pm at the Widener Visitors Center with a performance following at 7:30pm for parents and all Arboretum visitors.
All Growing Minds classes will meet rain or shine with indoor facilities available for inclement weather. For more information about each class or to register online, visit
The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. A new permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  The Morris Arboretum’s new Horticulture Center Complex has received Platinum Level LEED® Certification, the highest sustainability rating of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit