Family Activities

Family Activities

As part of our coronavirus (COVID-19) response, the Hunnewell Building and Visitor Center at 125 Arborway are closed to the public until further notice. Consequently, some of our family activity offerings are unavailable.The Arboretum landscape remains open to the public.

The Arnold Arboretum is a free, safe environment to experience the wonder of nature with children. Remember to maintain social distancing of six-to-ten feet and wear a mask. Explore the Arboretum with a variety of self-guided family activities. Sign up to receive family event notices.

Adult and child exploring leaf litter Wonder Spots: Simple Activities for Outdoor Fun and Learning
Wonder Spots give Arnold Arboretum families an opportunity to explore the landscape through weekly investigations about the natural world. Learn about plants and animals in locations throughout the Arboretum, getting to know our grounds while discovering and observing living things in new ways. Wonder Spots debuts on June 25th and will continue through August 27. Share this page and share your discoveries on social media using the hashtags #GetOutside, #EverydayNatureTasks, and #OutdoorLearning.
child holding paper with haiku: some may see a stick, but I see a walking stick, it helps me climb high Arboretum Haiku and You 
Take a Haiku Hike then write your own haiku. Find out about haiku, and what you can do to submit your own haiku to be included on the Arboretum’s Haiku page. You may just be a poet and don’t know it! Try your hand at a Haiku that is about a pollinator.
large fluffy flowers Tree of the Month
July’s Tree of the Month, is the Asian smoketree (Cotinus coggygria). Smoketrees are very attractive for months, due to the delicate filaments that surround their tiny black seeds. The filaments appear like large puffs that look amazingly like smoke. The Arboretum has both the Asian species (C. coggygria) and our native species (C. obovatus) along with a number of beautiful cultivars. If you are visiting, use your phone and search on ArbExplorer and see how many of the 25 smoketrees you can find in the Arnold Arboretum’s landscape.
Photo Hunt Photo Hunt
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.
Wildlife Bingo Wildlife Bingo
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.
Discovery Packs Discovery Packs
Discovery Packs are not currently available but will be available again once the Visitor Center re-opens. 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 »
Building Lab kit Be an Engineer
Engineer backpacks are not currently available but will be available again once the Visitor Center re-opens. 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.