When I heard that Klehm Arboretum had a new exhibit featuring LEGOs, I knew that my LEGO-obsessed kids would love to see this. Plus, any chance to enjoy the outdoors at the same time is always a win-win in my book. The temporary exhibit, Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects, was a fun time with the family. And a wonderful great excuse to visit Klehm Arboretum (our first time!). Located in Rockford on 155 acres, Klehm Arboretum offers wooded trails, paved paths, botanical gardens, and the kid-favorite Nancy Olson Children’s Garden. We had a fabulous visit and I’m sure you will too!

GETTING STARTED AT Klehm Arboretum

Getting to the Klehm was pretty easy and parking plentiful. Since we wanted to see the LEGOs, we parked close to the Visitor Center.

Hint: If you’re looking to just splash away at the Creek, park further away from the Visitor Center. You’ll have a shorter walk to the Children’s Garden.

Look for all the LEGOS

After grabbing a map at the Visitor Center (and using the bathrooms), we were ready for our LEGO adventure. The first of the fifteen sculptures is located inside the Visitor Center. The rest is located outside on a mile long path. At each stop, there is information on each sculpture including how many pieces and how many hours it took to build. The sculptures are a definite marvel! Here are some of our favorites:

Not only did we see the LEGO sculptures, but we were able to admire the beautiful flowers.

 

Explore the Children’s Garden

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Klehm Arboretum had a children’s garden and that a couple of LEGOs were located here. As you cross the bridge, try to spot some of the fish swimming. There are a few whimsical sculptures located around the loop as well. Don’t forget to walk to the top of the tower stairs for a wonderful view.

Cool off at the Creek

The creek is perfect for cooling off on a hot day or dipping your toes in the water. The sprinklers are a nice added touch. The kids had such a fun time here and didn’t want to leave. If we could do it again, we would probably visit after looking at all the LEGOs.

Read all about the creek from Erin of Stateline Kids, the expert mom of all things Rockford.

I Spy Dinosaurs

Along the way we were pleasantly surprised to find a couple dinosaurs hanging out in the garden.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS OF Klehm Arboretum

What a fun exhibit – especially for LEGO lovers. A great way to combine the love LEGOs and nature!

TIPS TO ENJOY Klehm Arboretum

  • Bring a change of clothes. Even though you think the kids aren’t going to go in the water, they probably will
  • Better yet, have the kids wear their swimsuits.
  • If you plan on staying awhile, bring a picnic blanket and a picnic. It’s beautiful here!
  • If you are a member of the American Horticultural Society, they offer free reciprocal admission.
  • Feel like exploring more trails? They offer more than 3 miles of wooded trails. Here’s a trail map.

OTHER THINGS TO DO NEAR Klehm Arboretum

  • Visit the awesome children’s museum/science center Discovery Center.
  • Enjoy the serene Anderson Japanese Gardens.
  • Grab a brew at Prairie Street Brewing.

 

NITTY GRITTY:

Website: https://klehm.org/
Location: 715 S. Main Street, Rockford, IL
Cost: $8/adult; $5 kids; Free kids 3 and under
Parking: Large parking lot
Stroller-friendly? Yes, perfect for strollers.
Food: No food available for purchase. Bring food and have a little picnic!
Crowded: We visited on a Friday mid-morning and it wasn’t busy at all (except at the creek on the exceptionally hot day!)

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