Bridget Frerichs: Since 1999
I don’t remember my very first visit to Allerton, but I started working at Science & Nature Day Camp my junior year of high school. Among other things, I remember building solar ovens out of pizza boxes (or attempting to), playing speed Uno in the Meadow, sketching in the Fu Dog Garden, and learning right along with the campers (I still think about Camp every time I hear a barred owl hoot “Who Cooks for You?”). I always said it was the best job, and I couldn’t believe it when twelve years later I got the opportunity to work at Allerton again as the Associate Director of Advancement. I don’t know what I love more – the incredible staff I work with, the fellow Allerton lovers I get to meet, or the awe-inspiring place I call ‘work’.
I am continually grateful for Robert Allerton’s generosity. He could’ve done a number of things with his private estate, but he chose to give it to the public. Working with our generous community to continue his vision and steward his gift is a true honor. I find a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration every time I watch my kids experience the wonder and magic of Allerton. Everyone needs more Allerton in their life!Jay & Nancy: Since 1978
My wife Nancy and I first visited Allerton in September 1978 on one of our first dates, when we were both students at the University of Illinois. Nancy was a horticulture student and one of her classes took a tree identification field trip to Allerton. Nancy wanted to share Allerton’s beauty with me, hence one of our early day trips.
Forty-two years later (September 2020), we took photos of each other at the same locations within the park.
We live in Gurnee, Illinois, three hours north of Allerton, so we have not visited in many years. We were invited to friends’ son’s wedding in Nashville. Due to the pandemic, we decided to drive, and Allerton was a great stopover on our journey. We had talked often about fond memories of one of our early dates to Allerton in 1978 when we were students at the University of Illinois
We love the vast walking trails, the garden art and sculptures, and the buildings. The Reflecting Pond near the mansion is a scenic favorite.
We also had the fortune to visit the beautiful Allerton Garden in Kauai Hawaii three years ago, and that visit encouraged us to revisit Allerton in Monticello!Tent
Worry less about the weather while adding ambiance and comfort to your alfresco event. The most popular locations for a tent are on the Bowling Lawn adjacent to the Mansion and the Meadow.The Visitor Center
This repurposed greenhouse offers a rustic character and functional event space, perfect for groups who want to utilize Allerton’s gardens.The Music Barn
Set amid the beauty of an idyllic nine-acre farmstead, this converted two-story Dutch hay barn, with its exposed timbers and 30-foot ceiling, offers a rustic and charming atmosphere unlike others found in Central Illinois.The Dome
The Dome is located on the Wetland Boardwalk in the Formal Garden area of the Park, overlooking the Reflecting Pond and historic Allerton Mansion. Outfitted with four comfy chairs, the Dome offers protection from the elements (plastic cover & a space heater in winter, or a mosquito net in summer) so you can enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather! Learn more here.