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Groups & Scouts

An important part of our mission is to involve the public in the process of conservation and living in harmony with nature. Education programs at The Arboretum engage thousands of individuals every year. Our high quality tours and on-site programs are ideal for groups, such as garden clubs, senior centers, historical centers, scout groups and schools.

Guided Tours

A variety of staff- or docent-led tours are available to suit your group’s needs. See below for options and request your tour online.

Daweswood House Tours

Once the country home of Arboretum co-founders Beman and Bertie Dawes, the Daweswood House is an amazing museum filled with 19th and early 20th century antiques, collectibles and photographs that reflect the lifestyle and collecting interests of the founding family. This 45-minute guided tour ($2 for adults, $1 for youth, free for members) has a minimum of 15 guests. Click here to learn more about the Daweswood House Museum.

Maple Syrup Days Tour  |  Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1, 2020

Learn about the history of maple sugaring and how maple syrup is made on a walk to the Log Cabin where a delicious sample of homemade syrup awaits all. Groups of 15-20. Tours will begin at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. The Arboretum also offers private, group tours of the Maple Syrup Trail perfect for clubs or school groups. Email education@dawesarb.org for pricing and availability.


Group Tours

Explore The Arboretum’s world renowned plant collections, beautiful gardens and history of the Dawes family with a tour guide.

Group Tour Options include:

  • Step-on guide for your tour bus
  • Open-air wagon tour (bench seats)
  • Daweswood House Museum

Walking Tours: (choose one)

  • Japanese Garden
  • Display Gardens
  • Conifer Glen
  • Azalea Glen
  • Holly and Oak Collections

All tours run 45 to 60 minutes. Cost is $60 for up to 28 people or $120 for up to 56 people. Request your tour.

Arboretum Staff Presentations

Our experts are available to present a wide variety of plant, gardening, history and nature-related talks and demonstrations to your community group, garden club or special-interest society. Schedule your program by calling 740.323.2355.

Group Program Opportunities

The Dawes Arboretum’s experts are available to present programs and demonstrations to your group at The Arboretum or your location.


  • The Dawes Arboretum: past, present, future
  • Waking up the Garden in Spring
  • Keeping Up the Garden in Summer
  • Putting Your Garden to Bed in Fall
  • Anticipating Spring (Winter)
  • Gardening for Pollinators
  • Hardy Perennials
  • Success with Seeds
  • Sustainable Garden Design
  • Landscaping with Native Plants
  • Attracting Birds in Winter
  • Reducing Your Turf and Expanding Your Garden
  • Making Your Landscape Pop
  • Welcoming Wildlife to the Landscape
  • Growing Terrific Trees
  • Dawes Arboretum Favorites and Introductions
  • Some Favorite Ericacea
  • Blue Ribbon Bloomers
  • Pruning in the Home Landscape
  • Memories of the Pure Oil Company
  • Bertie’s Favorite Things
  • Winter Gems at The Arboretum
  • Dining with Dawes: Experience Wild Edibles
  • Introduction to Bonsai Demo

Programs are an hour in duration and must be reserved in advance. Cost is $100 plus mileage if more than 20 miles from the Arboretum.

School Field Trips
kids at pond

The Dawes Arboretum offers a variety of unique educational programs to engage your young learners. Pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle and home school programs are taught by our staff of naturalists and professional educators who specialize in providing hands-on, age appropriate, informative and exciting outdoor education. Inquiry-based programs are designed to meet your specific grade-level science curriculum needs and state academic standards.

Programs are available year-round, but specific activities may be limited to certain seasons. Our highest demand for school visits is in spring and space is limited; we encourage you to inquire early in the year about your trip.

For more details on The Arboretum’s programs for school groups including activity choices, fees and scheduling, see our Educator Resources Guide. Inquiries may be directed to the Education Department at education@dawesarb.org or 740.323.2355, or fill out this form.

Cub Scout Outings and Girl Scout Outings

scoutsGirl Scouts and Cub Scouts can work toward a badge or adventure while participating in popular activities at The Arboretum.  Observe animal specimens, study plant life, witness maple syrup production, hunt for a geocache, or venture on a day or night hike!

View our calendar of events or the Cub Scout Outings or Girl Scout Outings to choose from one of our already scheduled opportunities.  Or arrange a private program for your group of Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts.

Leaders can contact Beth Spieles, Interpretive Educator, at baspieles@dawesarb.org or 740.323.2355 for more information or to schedule a customized program.

Outreach Programs

Dawes is on-the-go! See our Outreach page about bringing activities to your school, senior center, or other site.