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Arnold Arboretum

Family Activities

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.

honey-locust Tree of the Month
As summer transitions to fall, our native honey locust (Gleditsia triancanthos) catches the eye with its fruits: long, flat legumes (seed pods). Explore the honey locusts, our featured tree of the month for August. Follow the clues to find a hidden letterbox with our activity guide [pdf] for all ages.
Guided Family Walk Guided Family Walk
Discover the Arboretum on guided walks for families. Each walk will highlight different plants and natural phenomena while developing observational skills in children. One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages four through twelve. Meet in the Visitor Center. Check our online calendar for actual dates.
Discovery Packs Discovery Packs
Check out the Arboretum’s free Discovery Packs, supported by a gift from the Arnold Arboretum Committee. Be part of 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 »
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.
Arboretum Interpreters Arboretum Interpreters
On weekend days in May, June, September, October, and November, look for Arboretum Interpreters in the landscape. These friendly and enthusiastic volunteers will 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.
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.
Adventures in the Explorers Garden Adventures in the Explorers Garden
Are you ready for an adventure? Find out why the Arboretum collects plants from around the globe. When you see the mobile tour logo, dial in for an adventure. Print the tour brochure [pdf] or download the podcast and start traveling! The tour begins on Bussey Hill Road at the Explorers Garden. Download a printable map [pdf] of the Arboretum.
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