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Special Events

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

Luminary Tour and Poinsettia Sale

Friday, December 5, 2014
5:30pm – 8pm
General Admission: Freeluminary.ser 057

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.


Maple Syrup Madness

February 21 – March 8, 2015Inside Maple Syrup Cabin
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

Saturdays, February 21, February 28, March 7maple syrup tour
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

April 25, 2015arbor day (low res)
10am – 4pm

It’s Arbor Day—a celebration of trees and nature presented by Park National Bank!  Expect a fun-filled day with lots of hands-on learning opportunities for families including crafts, displays and tree climbing.  A very special animal encounter by our friends at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will happen at noon and 1pm.  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

Saturday, May 16, 2015plant sale
9am – 3pm
Visitors Center

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.


Ohio Regional Bonsai Show

Saturday, May 30, 2015
10am – 8pm
Visitors Center

Everyone is invited to experience the beautiful art of bonsai at The Dawes Arboretum during the Ohio Regional Bonsai Show—in its 35th year!  There will be trees displayed in the Bonsai Courtyard and Firelight Room, a silent auction, vendors selling plants, bonsai supplies and art pieces on the Visitors Center Deck.  Also view everyday items of Japanese culture, loaned to The Arboretum by the Institute of Japanese Studies at The Ohio State University, as well as enjoy martial arts demonstrations.