Guided Tours

Guided Tours

From flowers and fragrance to fruits and textures to the bare bones of winter’s deciduous plants, the Arnold Arboretum is a dynamic landscape throughout the year! Come for a tour led by our knowledgeable docents and dedicated staff to experience the Arboretum in a new light.

Tours are geared toward the general adult visitor. Meet in front of the Hunnewell Building unless listed otherwise. Registration is requested for theme tours. All free tours are for individuals. Groups should request a private tour, see below. If you are interested in becoming an Arboretum docent please find out more on our volunteer information page.

Our regular season of free guided tours includes week-end tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Monday and Thursday weekday tours are at 10:30am. No tour on Monday, October 8. These tours do not require registration and are great for you and a friend or two. They last 60-90 minutes, and do not require registration. Do request a private tour if you have a group.

Open House at our Bonsai and Penjing collection occurs on select Thursdays and Sundays from 11am-1pm. See our web calendar for dates and come experience the dwarfed plant collection up close. Theme tours in October vary from showcasing trees from Japan to the journey of a seed. Sign up for one or more in the wide selection offered this month: The Arboreum-Japan Connection, Fall Bird Walk, Here Come the Seeds, Fall into Health, Peters Hill, and The Arboretum’s First 25 Years. Come for an insider’s look at a specific Arboretum discipline or another great way to see a special part of our landscape. These tours are free, registration is requested. They meet at the Hunnewell unless listed as otherwise.

For cancellations due to inclement weather, please call 617.384.5209. Find directions to the Arnold Arboretum.


Private Tours

Adult Groups

Our Visitor Engagement staff will work with you to provide a memorable experience, whether you are a group of avid gardeners seeking to gain horticultural knowledge or simply want a guided stroll through an historic landscape of remarkable beauty.

Walking and bus tours are available—groups must supply their own bus, and bus size restrictions apply. For more information and to request a tour, please fill out a tour request form at least three weeks in advance. If needed, please call 617.384.5209 or email.

Youth Groups

Pre-school through Grade 6: Contact Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children’s Education, at 617.384.5239. For formal school visits see School Programs.

Middle and High School: If your middle or high school class is studying a topic related to the Arnold Arboretum’s area of focus (horticulture, environmental studies, ecology, botany, etc.) email us. We do not currently offer standard programs for youth in this age group for non-related classes or after-school groups, summer youth groups, or student clubs, but we can always help educators prepare for a self-guided visit.

Higher Education Groups

As part of its education mission, the Arboretum provides academic tours to college and university groups studying relevant subjects. These tours are free of charge and led by Arboretum staff members whenever possible. To schedule an academic tour, course instructors or academic advisers should fill out a tour request form at least three weeks in advance. On the request form describe the scope of the course or other specifics that would allow us to place you with the most appropriate staff member(s). For additional information, please call 617.384.5209 or email.