The Arnold Arboretum is a free, safe environment to experience the wonder of nature with children. Explore the Arboretum with a variety of self-guided family activities. Sign up to receive family event notices.
Join a family walk or a family drop-in to experience the sights and sounds of the Arnold Arboretum on tours and activities geared toward children ages three to eight and above. Walks are free and led by Arboretum staff or volunteers. Meet at the Visitor Center or on the Hunnewell Building lawn. Adults may bring a maximum of three children. Free, registration requested for the hikes.
|Tree of the Month
In March, our Tree of the Month March 2020 is the large, spreading shrub, the black pussy willow (Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys). This shrub is one of the plants (of many) at the Arboretum that always gets an “ah-ha” or a “What is that plant?” This non-native, early bloomer sports beautiful, soft catkins that appear black, but its anthers are actually dark red. Like all the plants in the Salix genus, pussy willows are dioecious, which means there are separate male and female flowers, and they appear on separate plants. Pick up the Tree of the Month handout for information, and use your phone to search on ArbExplorer to locate the many different pussy willows at the Arnold Arboretum.
Check out the Arboretum’s free Discovery Packs, supported by a gift from the Arnold Arboretum Committee. Join the Explorer’s Club and go on an adventure in the Arboretum. Living Museum or Science Lab backpacks can be borrowed from the Visitor Center and are suitable for families with kids over the age of three. more »
|Be an Engineer
Check out the newest addition to the Visitor Center! This backpack is for the budding engineer. Let your imagination and creative mind guide your way as you build a creation with bamboo sticks and stick-lets. This backpack can be borrowed from the Visitor Center and is suitable for families with kids over the age of three.
Arboretum Interpreters will return to the landscape in the spring. These friendly and enthusiastic volunteers help you find your way to Arboretum destinations, tell stories about fascinating plants, and highlight the Arboretum’s work as a research institution and living museum.
A new twist on the scavenger hunt. Grab your digital camera or cell phone camera and start the photo hunt! Caregivers can download the instruction guide plus maps for your kids.
The Arboretum is a great place to observe wildlife. Check out the wildlife image galleries, then print Wildlife Bingo [pdf] cards and search for critters in the landscape. As you find each item on your bingo card, cross off the square. The first person to cross off four in a row, wins! Remember, please do not disturb plants or wildlife when you visit.