Below is a list of The Arboretum’s annual special events – some of the most popular, highly visited and exciting times of the year!
Maple Syrup Madness
Mondays – Saturdays; 10am – 4pm
Sundays; 1 – 4pm
Self-guided tour begins at Main Shelter House
It’s here, that time of year when the sugar maples are tapped and visitors indulge in the sugary goodness of maple syrup! Discover how sap is collected and processed to produce this scrumptious treat on the self-guided trail. End your journey at the Log Cabin where sap is boiled down and all are given a delicious sample of homemade syrup.
Maple Syrup Public Tours
Departs from the Main Shelter House
Travel back in time on this guided tour as the fascinating history of maple syrup production is revealed. A warm fire, lots of sweet smelling steam, and samples of syrup await visitors at the journey’s end. Groups can book tours through the Education Department, call to set up a tour today!
Arbor Day Festival
10am – 4pm
It’s Arbor Day—a celebration of trees and nature! Expect a fun-filled day with lots of hands-on learning opportunities for families including crafts, displays and tree climbing. The festival features The Turtle Lady and her amazing reptile and amphibian friends! Performances are 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm. The Arboretum is showcasing a plant sale offering a variety of nursery plants. The first 250 families have an opportunity to take home their own tree, to plant in honor of Arbor Day. Presented by Park National Bank. Media sponsor is Ohio Magazine.
Plant Sale & Garden Fair
9am – 3pm
Enhance your landscape with unique plants cultivated by our horticulture experts! Our spring Plant Sale & Garden Fair offers the opportunity to find some rare gems you can’t find anywhere else. The Arboretum showcases some of our favorite woody varieties which have been researched on our own grounds. Merchants and professionals offer wares and services in all areas of gardening, landscaping and home décor. Choose from an assortment of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables. Our plant experts are always on hand to help you choose the best plants for your outdoor spaces. Wagons are available to transport your treasures. Proceeds from the sale benefit The Arboretum’s collections and grounds.
11am – 5pm
It’s Father’s Day weekend so bring Dad to The Dawes Arboretum annual Bonsai Show—it’s our 34th! Nearly 100 bonsai specimens are in the Visitors Center, with the Show being in the Firelight Room along with a silent auction. Vendors sell trees, bonsai supplies and art pieces on the Deck. The duo Gai Koto Jin returns, Saturday only, to give a different kind of koto performance, playing traditional and modern music. Watch and learn from the Ohio Paper Folders as they demonstrate amazing origami (you can participate!). A Saturday workshop, from 1 – 4pm, focuses on Beginning Bonsai, perfect for those just starting out ($35/$30 members; registration required).
Ohio Sustainable Landscapes Symposium
Conservation of native landscapes can begin right in your own backyard. In this symposium, local experts help you discover tips to green your gardens by benefitting native wildlife and using sustainable building and maintenance techniques. This day includes an opportunity to tour some of the newest conservation-minded gardens at The Arboretum and purchase native plants to take home to your own. Cost is $65/$55 for early bird registration and members.
Luminary Tour and Poinsettia Sale
The Dawes Arboretum’s Holiday Luminary Tour benefits the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. This evening of illumination is filled with 1,500 candle luminaries lining the South End Auto Tour. Join us inside the Visitors Center after the drive for a cup of hot cocoa, a holiday treat and some activities for the whole family. Purchase a poinsettia from our beautiful variety and help support The Arboretum. Please bring a non-perishable food or monetary donation for the Food Pantry Network of Licking County.