Arboretum programs nurture the public’s interest in land care and living in harmony with nature. We offer many free walks, tours, and activities for the general public as well as paid classes, which explore restoration, native plants, and other topics in-depth. We also offer private guided tours for school groups, scout troops, and adult groups.
Free Drop-in Walks
Public walks offer a basic introduction to the Arboretum. Expect some identification of plants and animals as well as brief scientific explanations of ecological concepts. Free walks take place every Sunday at 1 p.m., as well as one evening walk each month. See our events calendar for details. Our tour guides often write up field notes, so even if you miss a walk you can read the Naturalists’ Notes.
Free Garden Tours
Expert-led tours of Longenecker Horticultural Gardens and the Native Plant Garden take place from April through August on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. until dark, and in the fall on Saturday afternoons from 1–3 p.m. For more information, see our garden tours page.
Free Family Tours and Activities
Twice a month we offer family-friendly programs that explore animals, plants, and natural phenomena through hikes, stories, crafts, and activities. These programs are free thanks to support from the Friends of the Arboretum. Meet at the Visitor Center.
On the second Sunday of every month we offer a one-hour Family Walk, from 1:30–2:30 p.m., with topics that appeal to youngsters.
In addition, the Arboretum Family Nature Programs are held once during most months on a Sunday from 1:30–3:30. They combine a naturalist-led tour outdoors at 1:30, followed by drop-in activities starting at 2:30 in the Visitor Center. See our events calendar for upcoming tours.
The Family Nature Program also provides birding backpacks that can be checked out any time, at no charge, from the Visitor Center.
School and Group Tours
Trained naturalist-educators will guide your group through restored prairies, woodlands, and wetlands, pointing out seasonal highlights and describing the ecosystems, restoration, and stewardship.
We offer guided private tours for school and youth groups, scout groups, adult groups such as garden clubs, service organizations, and others. Tours can be tailored to curricula and special interests.
Please note, we cannot guarantee your tour request until guides are assigned. We will work hard to meet your needs and confirm as soon as possible. We need at least two weeks before the requested tour date to schedule the guides. The cost is $42 per guide per 1.5-hours. Shorter tours may be requested.
There are several ways to request a tour:
- Download and mail a tour request form (PDF)
- Contact the Tour Coordinator at (608) 265-5872 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for considering a tour at the Arboretum. We hope to hear from you soon.