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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!


Maple Syrup Days

February 27 and 28, 2021

Learn the history and process of maple sugaring as you meander down the paved trail toward The Arboretum’s Log Cabin. 45 minute guided tours of the Maple Syrup Trail will begin every 15 minutes from 1-4pm on February 27 and 28, advance registration is required.

Due to health and safety measures from the Licking County Health Department, we have limited program size to 9 people. Face masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed. Program will be held exclusively outdoors; please dress for the weather.

Register now!


The Kinetic Art of Lyman Whitaker

June 20, 2020 – May 25, 2021
Included with Arboretum Admission

Visit The Dawes Arboretum to experience the kinetic art of Lyman Whitaker.

Lyman Whitaker has been sculpting professionally since 1978, and is one of the most widely renowned kinetic artists in the world. A native of Utah, his studio is located near Zion National Park. He often takes inspiration for his designs from nature, whether hiking in Zion, Asia or Europe. In fact, designs for works such as Desert Flame and Agave were inspired by those plants. Collectors of his works include the Morris Arboretum, the Dallas Arboretum, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Kansas City Zoo and private collectors worldwide.

Experience these inspirational works of art moving with the wind a beautiful, natural setting. Learn more about the sculptures here: https://www.leopoldwindsculptures.com/exhibits/the-dawes-arboretum/


Bertie’s Tea

Saturday, September 12 | 2 – 3:30pm

This year, Bertie’s Tea will be held online. Enjoy this celebration and a cup of tea from your own home. Featuring a presentation from horticulture expert and garden sage Deb Knapke, Bertie’s Tea honors Arboretum co-founder Bertie Dawes and her love of gardening and nature.

Donations to The Dawes Arboretum will be gladly accepted in lieu of a registration fee during the program. A link to the program will be emailed to you after you register.

Register now


StoryTrail™ Opening

Sunday, September 13 | 11am – 4pm

Visit The Arboretum on Grandparent’s Day, September 13, to walk the 2020 StoryTrail™! This year’s trail features Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins. Each engaging sign on the trail tells a portion of this humorous story featuring a grumpy bear. Visit The Arboretum on September 13 from 11am to 4pm to get your copy of Mother Bruce (while supplies last), available near the Main Shelter House. Plus, get a fun activity sheet with each book! Book giveaway is thanks to a grant from Young Leaders of Licking County!

The Works will be providing 100 free Mini-Kits that promote STEM and literacy at The Dawes Arboretum StoryTrail Book Giveaway! The Kits are geared toward children 3+ and will be given on a first come-first serve basis.

In 2009, The Dawes Arboretum introduced Licking County to the concept of a trail that encourages family fun, literacy and exercise. It was enjoyed by visitors, both young and old, and a tradition was born. Walk the 2020 StoryTrail through the woodlands, reading Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins. Reserve your admission now.

Fall Plant Sale

Monday, September 7 at 5pm – Friday, September 11 at 12pm

While we miss our traditional plant sale, we are excited to offer a variety of plants for your landscape online. Our 2020 fall plant sale opens online to the public on September 7 at 5pm and closes on September 11 at noon.


Ohio Sustainable Landscapes Symposium

This year The Ohio Sustainable Landscape Symposium is a virtual series you can enjoy from home. Each session will include a live presentation from a sustainability expert and time for questions at the end.

Seed Collection and Propagation of Native Plants
Wednesday, September 23 | 12 to 1pm

Learn more and register!

Good Riddance to Invasives in your Landscaping
Thursday, September 24 | 12 to 1pm

Learn more and register!

Cultivating Native Landscapes that Entice Birds
Friday, September 25 | 12 to 1pm

Learn more and register!


Winter Wonders Walk

Thursday, December 10 | 5:30 – 9:30pm
Friday, December 11 | 5:30 – 9:30pm

Join us for Winter Wonders Walk on Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11 from 5:30-9:30pm. Walk along our paved Parkwoods Trail surrounded by illuminated trees. Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Park National Bank and our illumination sponsor The Energy Cooperative! 

Registration is required for this event and tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. This is a per car registration. For the safety of staff and our guests, masks are required for this event. The walk is approximately one mile. Shuttles and refreshments will not be provided for safety reasons. This event is subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19 factors.