Picnic with the Peonies

Picnic with the Peonies presented by Cass Concepts (May 21-22) will encourage visitors to enjoy the peony bloom, a picnic, and donate towards an accessible path in the Peony Garden at the Allerton Park & Retreat Center.


MONTICELLO — Allerton Park and Retreat Center will be hosting a variety of on-site activities in the coming months, including a plant sale, hikes, tours, and a socially distanced fundraiser. All activities will be held at the estate, 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello. More information is available at Allerton.illinois.edu.

After offering a limited number of on-site programs throughout the fall and winter, Allerton staff is cautiously optimistic about the addition of more outdoor activities.

“We hope Allerton will continue to be a source of inspiration for the community we serve,” said Allerton Director Derek Peterson. “We have tried to be inventive and create a customized schedule of activities and programs that will engage, enrich, and influence those who continue to look to Allerton as a safe outlet.”

Increased safety protocols, which follow recommendations provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and University of Illinois, will require masks to be worn inside unless seated, and outside when unable to keep six feet from others. Additional precautions include decreased capacities, closing certain areas to prevent congregating, and increased cleaning.

In addition to Third Saturday Garden Tours, Friday Bird Club hikes, and community yoga, two fundraisers are planned: the 8th Annual Plant Sale (May 1-2), a collaboration with Country Arbors Nursery to support the formal gardens, and Picnic with the Peonies presented by Cass Concepts (May 22-23), which will raise funds to install an accessible path in the visitor-favorite Peony Garden.

“Allerton will continue to support our regional and local communities through programming, partnerships, and providing a beautiful space to enjoy,” said Peterson. “We try to develop our fundraisers as activities that are mutually beneficial for both the participant and the Park. Donations are needed now more than ever.”

Peterson noted that overnight lodging, which has been available since July, has brought in some revenue to help lessen the deficient created by lack of weddings and conferences.

“Even before the pandemic, we have been encouraging the idea that ‘getting away’ doesn’t have to mean a week-long, expensive vacation,” Peterson explained. “Spending a night or weekend at Allerton, without an agenda or schedule, can be really relaxing and refreshing.”

As on-site activities increase, virtual events and programs will continue. Allerton is also available for intimate weddings and other private events, as well as small conferences and team building retreats.

All activities have decreased capacity and advanced registration is required. For more information visit Allerton.illinois.edu, or call 217-333-3287.

About Allerton

Built as a private residence by artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900, Allerton Park and Retreat Center is a historical treasure that was donated to the University of Illinois in 1946. The property contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a Mansion and reflecting pond, a 10-acre meadow, formal sculpture gardens, hiking trails, a café, and several lodging facilities. For more information and to view other events, visit allerton.illinois.edu or call 217-333-3287.

Trending Food Videos