Illinois, Family, Spring

Morton Arboretum | Spring Motherhood Photos

Hi, I'm Kristen!
I'm an award-winning senior portrait and family photographer based out of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. I love sunshine, cacti, chocolate chips, and a great cup of tea - but most of all I love photographing joyful clients. :)
TOp categories
Classy and comfortable senior portraits!
Relaxed and easy family portraits. and stunning artwork
Redheaded woman smelling a magnolia at a spring motherhood photo shoot

I’m excited to share some beautiful motherhood spring Morton Arboretum photography! The arboretum is about 30 minutes to the west of Oak Park, ~45-60 minutes away from downtown Chicago and is an absolutely stunning location for portraits!

Mother smiling and laughing with her toddler daughter at the Morton Arboretum

I’m in love with these star magnolias! There are some that are pink-tinged and others that are a pure white.

Morton Arboretum Photography – Spring Motherhood Photos

Photo of pink star magnolias with a mother and toddler daughter in the background
Morton Arboretum photography of a redheaded woman in front of some star magnolias

For magnolias, parking lot 5 on the East Loop is where you should head. The Arboretum has a wonderful bloom report, discussing what you can expect to see blossoming each week and where to go.

Redheaded woman kissing her toddler daughter a a motherhood mini photoshoot

These two are the sweetest! Abbie is an amazing photographer herself; you can see her work here! I am so excited to photograph a wedding with her this summer.

Mother and baby daughter at a spring motherhood photoshoot at the Morton Arboretum

Is the Morton Arboretum free?

Only for babies and members! Adults are $17/each, children 2-17 are $12/each, while babies to age 2 are free. The membership price is a minimum of $75/individual for one year (although there are discounts for more individuals). There is an additional fee for photo permits, although members get a discounted rate!

Restaurants near the Morton Arboretum

One question clients often have is “where do I head for brunch/dinner after my photoshoot at the Morton Arboretum?” Here are some of my favorite places to eat near the Arboretum!

  • Gingko Restaurant and Cafe: this is in the visitor’s center AT the arboretum in case you’re quite hungry! The restaurant is open 11-2, and the cafe is open 9-6.
  • To the southwest of the Arboretum is Naperville, and the Mediterranean restaurant Meson Sabika is a fantastic dinner spot! For brunch, try Egg Harbor Cafe.
  • Directly south of the Arboretum is the town of Lisle, and Euro Crepes and Pizzeria is a great option!
  • To the Northeast of the Arboretum is Butterfield, and if you’re looking for breakfast, Honey-Jam cafe is a great choice. If you’re looking for dinner, try Chauma Gaucha steakhouse.
Portrait of a woman smiling in front of star magnolias at the Morton Arboretum

I love this sea of flowers! On magnolia hill there are so many beautiful varieties. First, there are pinkish Jane magnolias that actually bloom twice per year! There are also white and pink star magnolias, and even some stunning and relatively rare yellow magnolias. People brought lawn chairs to just sit and relax outside in the sunshine next to the beautiful flowers. Nice!

I was at the Arboretum in late March and it was pretty chilly! This warm spring day was absolutely perfect!

Portrait of a Redheaded woman smiling in front of white star magnolias

Does the Morton Arboretum allow dogs?

Yes! The Arboretum does allow dogs, which is fantastic if you want to include your furry family members in your photoshoot! However, dogs are only allowed on select days, which will necessarily dictate your photoshoot date.

Morton Arboretum photography of a 
 redheaded woman holding her baby and smelling a pink star magnolia.

I’m finishing this post off with my favorite photo of the bunch!

Morton Arboretum Photo Permit

One thing you do need to know about the Morton Arboretum is that it requires a permit for a photoshoot. There is a discounted rate for Arboretum members.

The Arboretum website states:

If you are holding a special event and renting facilities at The Morton Arboretum, the permit fee is waived.  Purchasing a photo permit serves as timed entry for your entire party and no additional timed tickets are required.

So if you’re looking for a truly magical location for a photoshoot with loads of flowers – and near Oak Park and Chicago – this is a good one!

Kristen Hazelton is an Oak Park, IL (Chicago, IL metro area) and Livermore, CA (San Francisco East Bay Area) senior, and family photographer. She occasionally photographs in San Diego, CA, Tucson, AZ, and Seattle, WA. You can inquire about your own photoshoot here!

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