Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908. The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America and is singled out each year for a daylong celebration on May 12.
Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, May 12. Pack a picnic! Picnicking is permitted on this day only, but food must be brought in to the Arboretum. There will only be lemonade, slush, and ice cream available on site during event hours. The landscape is open from dawn until dusk...
Join a Western Ave. Arts Walk during ARTS FIRST to learn about Allston’s public art! Pieces include both permanent and temporary works of art on view at the Harvard Ed Portal and Harvard Business School, as well as works affiliated with Zone 3.
Student-guided walking tours are ongoing (departs every hour) and take one hour. Advance registration is preferred. Comfortable shoes recommended.
Take a guided tour of the state-of-the-art Weld Hill Research and Administration Building! You will learn about some of the cutting edge plant research taking place there, and explore the “green” building design.
Join in for a wake-up spring walk through the Arnold Arboretum's fabulous collections! With your guide, you will explore the less-traveled paths of the Arboretum on a brisk walk. You will get a chance to catch your breath and pause to hear about interesting plants along the way.
Enjoy a free guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum landscape with a knowledgeable docent. Tours are appropriate for adults and last approximately 90 minutes. The tour will include landscape highlights, seasonal interest, history, and more.
If you have a group of four or fewer persons, you are welcome to join. For a group of more than four, please request a private tour.
Join Arnold Arboretum's Brendan Keegan for an easy walk looking for winter birds. In January, Brendan will discuss how species alter their behaviors, diets, and/or bodies to survive the colder temperatures. For his February walk, that meets at the Bussey Street Gate, you will listen for, and discuss bird calls, and talk about owl mating season. The March walk on St. Patrick's Day will be a talk about how birds migrate and the impressive migrations of common Arboretum species, with a look for early migrants around the grounds.
All skill levels, especially beginners, are encouraged...
Gate to the Dana Greenhouses, Centre Street, Boston
The Arnold Arboretum curates and maintains one of the most historic and well-documented collections of woody temperate species. We are in the midst of a 10 year Campaign for the Living Collections, and that means we will add even more diversity to those living collections. In order to maintain the diversity that already exists, great care is taken by our landscape horticulturists to report plants that are potentially threatened by weather, pests, and diseases. The Plant Propagation department is tasked with the propagation of those vulnerable and important historic lineages...
Take a healthy walk through the cool landscape of the Arboretum with an Arboretum docent. You will enjoy the pared down beauty of our woody plant collection and hear about the Arboretum's history and highlights. After the walk, warm up in the Visitor Center with hot chocolate or tea, and talk more with your docent guide and Arboretum staff members.
In the Arnold Arboretum there is a tree or shrub in bloom every month of the year--including February! This winter phenomenon is only possible because of the witch-hazel family. From witch-hazel to fothergilla to parrotia, the family includes some of the most botanically fascinating and horticulturally valuable plants for the temperate garden. Join Andrew Gapinski, Head of Horticulture at the Arnold Arboretum, for a very special mid-winter walk to explore the beauty of the Arboretum's witch-hazel family collection, and its captivating history of development, evaluation, and scientific...
Bussey Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Docent Robbie Apfel leads this winter walk in an exploration of the Arboretum's conifer collection. Beginning from the Bussey Street Gate, you will be introduced to the Arboretum's grand gymnosperms, learn the botany of conifers, and hear about Hemlock Hill's evolving ecosystem. This tour will also introduce you to native and non-native conifers in the winter landscape.
Arborway Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Join Arnold Arboretum's Brendan Keegan for an easy walk looking for winter birds. In January, Brendan will discuss how species alter their behaviors, diets, and/or bodies to survive the colder temperatures. For his February walk that meets at the Bussey Street Gate, you will listen for, and discuss bird calls, and talk about owl mating season. The March walk on St. Patrick's Day will be a talk about breeding behaviors, the competitive reality of bird song, and include a check on Chickadee nesting tubes for signs of activity.
Centre Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
The Arnold Arboretum did not come into existence full-formed, but had a long adolescence before it (literally) blossomed at 50. Our first director, Charles Sargent, prepared a 50-year report in 1922, before the end of his own 54-year tenure. But, what about the first 25 years? We don't have a 25-year report, however, we do have photos and the engaging stories from that time.
Join our docent to hear those stories, as she takes you on a timeline...
Peters Hill Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Join our docent for a tour of the other end of the Arnold Arboretum, the southern end. Peters Hill became part of the Arboretum in 1894 and continues to charm with its special character, collections, and history. In autumn, the amazing view from the summit takes on a new tapestry of color, spreading out in the landscape below you. Learn the history of the land, along with information on the woody plants located here, like the collection of crabapples fruiting in many colors on the northern slope.
Peer into an active archaeological excavation and learn about the oldest section of North America’s first college, founded in 1636. Harvard archaeology students will answer your questions, demonstrate archaeological methods, and display recent finds from the seventeenth century that reflect how Harvard College students—centuries ago—ate, dressed, and amused themselves, among other experiences. Drop by any time during this 90-minute event. The site is in Harvard Yard, steps away...
Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Many plants that we consider to be weeds have rich ethnobotanical histories of their own that tie us closer to our environment. Your guides will explain how these "weedy" plants came to colonize this area while touching on cultural contexts and botanical identification of these wild species—as well as the cultivated medicinal species in the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden. Guides: John de la Parra, Associate, Harvard University Herbaria; Ernest Anemone, Co-Guide;...
Arborway Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
This autumn, experience the birds of the Arboretum with expert birder and Arboretum volunteer Bob Mayer. Catch a glimpse of migrating birds as they fly south and get acquainted with our resident birds as well.
Hunnewell Building and Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Discover the Fog with kids in four family drop in activities. At the Arnold Arboretum's own Fog x Hill, you can join us as we celebrate the Emerald Necklace Conservancy's Fog x FLO by artist Fujiko Nakaya. On September 15th, drop in for our Hydrophobic Lab to find out how fog interacts with other elements (ages 8 and up).