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Special Events

Here is a list of The Arboretum’s annual special events – some of the most popular, highly visited and exciting times of the year!


Arbor Day Festival

Saturday, April 29, 2017
10am – 3pm
Free Admission

The Dawes Arboretum Arbor Day Festival, presented by Park National Bank, is a celebration of trees and nature.  Visitors can expect a fun day filled with family-focused learning opportunities including tree climbing, crafts and displays.

Children can get an amazing, new perspective on trees by participating in supervised tree climbing from 10am to 3pm.  Festival goers won’t want to miss presentations featuring animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium at noon and 1pm.

Arboretum staff and many of its community and conservation partners will host interactive displays offering crafts and activities throughout the day.  Food trucks (Moe’s Original BBQ and Schmidt’s Sausage Truck) will be selling delicious offerings for festival attendees.  The Arboretum is also holding a plant sale during the festival.  Shoppers will be able to purchase a variety of healthy nursery plants, mostly grown by The Arboretum.  The first 300 families in attendance will receive a free tree to take home and plant in honor of Arbor Day.

This event is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Park National Bank, media sponsor Ohio Magazine and The Arboretum’s many volunteers and partner organizations.

Schedule of Events

9am: East Side Hike

10am – 3pm: Tree Climbing  (Children must be at least 8 years old to participate in tree climbing.)

10am – Noon: Photography Exhibit

11:30am: Park Woods Trail Tour

Noon – 3pm: History Center Open

Noon: Columbus Zoo Show

Noon: Daweswood House Tour

12:30pm: Woodland Garden Walk

1pm: Columbus Zoo Show

1:30pm: Park Woods Trail Tour

2pm: Daweswood House Tour

2pm: Woodland Garden Walk

2 – 3pm: Photography Exhibit

Spring Plant Sale and Garden Fair

Saturday, May 20, 2017
9am – 2pm
Free Admission

The Dawes Arboretum is holding its spring Plant Sale and Garden Fair on Sat., May 20, from 9am to 2pm.  The sale features many woody plants grown by the Arboretum.  Shoppers will also be able to choose from a variety of perennials as well as herbs and vegetables.  Every year the Plant Sale features a few plants that people are unlikely to find anywhere but our sale.  Arboretum experts will be available to answer questions about plant care and help you select plants that fit your landscape.  Vendors will also offer a selection of garden products.

Ohio Sustainable Landscapes Symposium

Saturday, August 26, 2017
8am – 4:30pm
Registration Info

Learn about incorporating native trees and shrubs into your home landscape to create more resilient and sustainable ecosystems.  Presentations will address the critical roles these plants play and the benefits of designing landscapes with the needs of trees in mind.  We’ll then focus on how to select the native species that will thrive in your own backyard.  One-of-a-kind live demonstrations will be offered on proper planting techniques, mulching, pruning, soil improvements and much more.  Arboretum tours will highlight a variety of sustainable landscape features, including a newly expanded learning garden and a native tree propagation house.  The day will conclude with a native tree giveaway and a chance to hear more about The Dawes Arboretum’s Plant Clinic resource.

Fall Festival and Plant Sale

Saturday, October 21, 2017
11am – 3pm
Free Admission

Where better to honor the start of autumn than The Dawes Arboretum? Celebrate the harvest season with an enjoyable family event that explores homesteading techniques and seasonally appropriate gardening tips.

Maple Syrup Days

Late February – Early March
10am – 4pmMaple Syrup Taps
Free Admission

Watch as sap is boiled down to sweet-tasting syrup right before your eyes!  It takes 40 gallons of sap, and a lot of time, to create one gallon of syrup. Witness this process and enjoy a tasty sample. During Maple Syrup Days, the Log Cabin is open DAILY from 10am to 4pm. FREE GUIDED TOURS are offered on Saturdays at 2 pm.  Call 740.323.2355 to set up a group tour!