University of Illinois Arboretum is on Lincoln Ave. just s. of Florida Ave. on the University of Illinois campus. The 160-acre arboretum features four gardens, including the Hartley Garden, where more than 100 varieties of flowering plants thrive. The Noel Welcome Garden offers a pergola with benches, and the Idea Garden changes periodically with demonstrations of different garden borders, ornamentation and vegetable gardening techniques. Tranquil tea and dry (raked gravel) gardens typical of Japanese style surround Japan House.
Pathways including Kari Walkway wind throughout the park, and signs describe the different varieties of plantings and give a brief history of the gardens. A linden tree allée offers benches, and grassy fields provide pleasant spots to relax or play sports.
Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.