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.

On Sunday, January 6, take a Winter Birding walk with docent, Bob Mayer, as he discovers birds that stay in the Arboretum through the cold months. And later in January, the first of Monthly Bird Walks with Arboretum gardener, Brendan Keegan, is on Sunday, January 27.

Conifers are another focus on January 27 for docent, Robbie Apfel’s Conifers in Winter theme tour. This tour starts at the Bussey Street Gate.

Our season continues with Winter Wellness Walks. Enjoy a 45 minute walk though the beautiful, pared down landscape of winter. Tours are offered one Sunday each month until April, when our regular season of free tours resumes. January’s Walk is Sunday, January 13 and will include a focus on conifers as well as other seasonal interest and history. After your tour, warm up in our Visitor Center with a hot drink and conversation with your guide and Arboretum staff. These tours do require registration and are great for you and a friend or two. They last 45 minutes. Do request a private tour if you have a group.

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.