US National Arboretum

 
 

Current Events and Programs

Some arboretum programs require advance registration. Please refer to each program description for details. Click here for current registration procedures for all programs.

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We are now using Active Network to manage our program registrations and fee payments. The registration links embedded in the programs listed below will take you directly to the site where you can register for programs and pay fees using your credit card or debit card.

Be advised that after you have completed your registration and made your payment, you will see a pop-up window that will tell you about Active Advantage, which is a membership service that you may subscribe to that gives you discounts on some programs in Active Network and other benefits. This is only activated if you verify your email by entering it in the box and click on the Accept button. Your card will be charged for the Active Advantage membership if you enter your email address and click the Accept button. You do NOT have to be a member to register for arboretum programs, and if you don't want to become a member of Active Network, simply ignore this pop-up window.

April May

Program FULL? If a program is marked FULL, registration is closed, and we do not keep waiting lists. If there is a cancellation, we will remove the FULL marking and re-open registration. However, if the program is scheduled to occur within 10 calendar days, the cancellation period is over and we will not re-open registration. We do not keep waiting lists for any programs. For questions, please call 202-245-5898.

Full Moon Hike

The hikes sell out quickly and the best chance for reserving a spot is to register soon after we post them here on our Current Events and Programs page.
We post them quarterly, by season. Below are the dates that they will be posted and open for registration in 2017.

Sring hikes will be posted February 14, 2017.
Summer hikes will be posted May 2, 2017.
Fall hikes will be posted September 6, 2017.

April

Self-Guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries
March 4 – April 16, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

When most people hear the words “cherry blossom,” they think of the familiar Yoshino cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. The arboretum is home to a much wider array of flowering cherries, with a variety of shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times than cherries you see at the Tidal Basin. You’ll see just about every shade of pink you can imagine as you drive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all.  Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center or download one at the Arboretum website after March 15. Free.

 

Exhibit: The Bonsai Saga: How 53 Japanese Bonsai Came to America
Through October 1, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

In 1976, to celebrate our nation’s 200th birthday, we received 53 masterpiece bonsai from Japan. This exhibit features images and film from our archival collection to tell the story of this incredible gift—which led to the establishment of the first museum in the world dedicated to miniature trees. Free.

 

Viewing Stone Exhibit: Legacy of Japanese Suiseki in North America
March 5 – May 7, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

Viewing stones, known as suiseki, have been revered in Japan for centuries. They are natural stones that remind us of mountains or waterfalls, but are small enough to sit on a table. This exhibit will feature Japanese and North American stones from the Potomac Viewing Stone Group, a regional organization dedicated to stone appreciation. Free.

 

Washington Youth Garden SPROUT and Garden Volunteer Training
April 1, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Would you like to help introduce kids to the joys of gardening?  If you have some time on weekdays, volunteer to help maintain school gardens or help with school field trips in the SPROUT program. This training is required for all volunteers.  Registration required. Free.

 

Conserving Native Orchids
April 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

What do we need to do to save our native orchids?  Dennis Whigham will discuss their ecology and present a model for their conservation that has been developed by the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC). Find out how you can help with this effort to conserve an important part of our native flora. Lecture co-sponsored by the Potomac Valley Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.   Registration required. Fee: $10 ($8 FONA).

 

Full Moon Hike
April 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
April 9, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
April 10, 8:00 – 10:00 pm

Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Full Moon hikes fill quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Full Moon Hike details. Fee: $30 ($25 FONA) Registration required.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
April 8, 8:30 – 10:30 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of DC’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16. No pets, please. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Full Moon Hike details. Fee: $550 Registration required.

 

Azalea Collections Tours
April 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 26, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Meet in the Visitor Center

Bring friends and family for this annual spring tradition. Stroll along wooded hillside trails amid a brilliant spring display of blooming azaleas while learning about the origins and culture of these popular shrubs. Barbara Bullock, long-time curator of the renowned Arboretum Azalea Collections, tells the story of how Arboretum research has contributed hundreds of new varieties for gardeners, gives expert advice on all aspects of growing azaleas, and answers your questions. See first-hand the progress of the Glenn Dale Hillside Renewal Project, a major renovation to improve conditions to increase the vigor and bloom production of thousands of azaleas by controlling invasives, pruning, and thinning select saplings. Fee: $15 ($12 FONA) Registration required.

 

Great-Looking Lawns using Bay-Friendly Practices
April 22, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Visitor Center Auditorium

Informal indoor, outdoor, and hands-on learning activities provide you with practical, science-based, and up-to-date information you can use to improve your lawn this season. Topics covered include selecting the best turfgrass for your site; proper maintenance practices to have a healthy lawn and reduce pests; and choosing and applying fertilizer properly for the best results. This proactive, bay-friendly approach emphasizes preventative techniques to reduce weeds, pest, and diseases before they become a nuisance. Take home lawn care information to help you through the process. A guided tour of the interactive Grass Roots Exhibit will follow the classroom part of the workshop and refreshments and door prizes will be provided! Free. Space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 or e-mail Geoffrey Rinehart at geoffrey.rinehart@ars.usda.gov to register.

 

Early Morning Tour of the Asian Collections
April 23, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Depart from front of Arbor House

Get a chance to see the Asian Collections in the calm of early morning, before the crowds arrive. Early morning is the best time to see a garden, and late April is always a wonderful time of year. Horticulturist Chris Upton will lead you through the spectacularly beautiful diversity of plants growing on the picturesque slopes of Hickey Hill. Whether spring is early or late, we’ll see camellias, azaleas, viburnums, and loropetalums in bloom, and there will be terrestrial orchids, primroses, tree peonies, and early iris to see, along with our renowned collection of Epimedium and the curious Asian jack-in-the-pulpits. Fee: $15 ($10 FONA) Registration required

 

Garden Fair & Plant Sale
April 28, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Friends of the National Arboretum members only
April 28, 1:00 – 4:00 pm; Open to the public
April 29, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm; Open to the public

 The annual Garden Fair & Plant Sale features new, rare, and hard-to-find plants, garden supply vendors, books, children's activities, refreshments, entertainment, and more. Bring your garden questions to National Arboretum staff members for expert advice. Sponsored by the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA). Call FONA at 202-544-8733 for more information. Free admission.

May

Exhibit: The Bonsai Saga: How 53 Japanese Bonsai Came to America
Through October 1, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

In 1976, to celebrate our nation’s 200th birthday, we received 53 masterpiece bonsai from Japan. This exhibit features images and film from our archival collection to tell the story of this incredible gift—which led to the establishment of the first museum in the world dedicated to miniature trees. Free.

 

Viewing Stone Exhibit: Legacy of Japanese Suiseki in North America
March 5 – May 7, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

Viewing stones, known as suiseki, have been revered in Japan for centuries. They are natural stones that remind us of mountains or waterfalls, but are small enough to sit on a table. This exhibit will feature Japanese and North American stones from the Potomac Viewing Stone Group, a regional organization dedicated to stone appreciation. Free.

 

Azalea Collections Tours
May 2, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
May 14 (Mother’s Day), 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Meet in the Visitor Center

Bring friends and family for this annual spring tradition. Stroll along wooded hillside trails amid a brilliant spring display of blooming azaleas while learning about the origins and culture of these popular shrubs. Barbara Bullock, long-time curator of the renowned Arboretum Azalea Collections, tells the story of how Arboretum research has contributed hundreds of new varieties for gardeners, gives expert advice on all aspects of growing azaleas, and answers your questions. See first-hand the progress of the Glenn Dale Hillside Renewal Project, a major renovation to improve conditions to increase the vigor and bloom production of thousands of azaleas by controlling invasive plants, pruning, and thinning select saplings. Fee: $15 ($12 FONA) Registration required.

 

Full Moon Hike
May 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
May 9, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
May 10, 8:00 – 10:00 pm

Meet in the Visitor Center

Take a brisk hike through moonlit gardens, meadows, and woods. Your guide will share specially chosen points of interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is a brisk hike, not a garden tour so prepare accordingly. No children under 16 or pets, please. Full Moon hikes fill quickly; register soon to reserve your spot. Click here for complete Full Moon Hike details. Fee: $30 ($25 FONA) Registration required.

 

Private Full Moon Hike for Group
May 8, 8:30 – 10:30 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Gather a group of friends, family, co-workers, and others to enjoy a unique experience considered by many to be “one of DC’s best outings”. Not recommended for children under 16. No pets, please. Maximum 25 per group. Click here for complete Group Full Moon Hike details. Fee: $550 Registration required.

 

World Bonsai Day Festival
May 12, 13 & 14, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum


Join us for our annual bonsai festival which features something for everyone.  Activities include workshops, demonstrations, special exhibits, and vendors. The festival celebrates World Bonsai Day, an annual event founded on Saburo Kato’s belief that bonsai has the power to unite people by acting as a bridge to international friendship and peace.  This event features a curator-led museum tour, a demonstration, and an exhibit about Mr. Kato, founder of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. World Bonsai Day Festival is co-sponsored by the National Arboretum, the National Bonsai Foundation, and the Potomac bonsai Association.  For a complete schedule of activities, see the Bonsai Festival Schedule. Free, except for workshops, which are $55. Registration required for workshops.

 

Great-Looking Lawns using Bay-Friendly Practices
May 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Visitor Center Auditorium

Informal indoor, outdoor, and hands-on learning activities provide you with practical, science-based, and up-to-date information you can use to improve your lawn this season. Topics covered include selecting the best turfgrass for your site; proper maintenance practices to have a healthy lawn and reduce pests; and choosing and applying fertilizer properly for the best results. This proactive, bay-friendly approach emphasizes preventative techniques to reduce weeds, pest, and diseases before they become a nuisance. Take home lawn care information to help you through the process. A guided tour of the interactive Grass Roots Exhibit will follow the classroom part of the workshop and refreshments and door prizes will be provided! Free. Space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 or e-mail Geoffrey Rinehart at geoffrey.rinehart@ars.usda.gov to register.

 

Exhibit: Art Blooms: Satsuki Azalea Bonsai
May 27 – June 4, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

Don’t miss these stunning bonsai, miniature in form, but covered with multicolored, full-sized flowers. Late-blooming Satsuki azaleas have been hybridized in Japan for hundreds of years; many of the museum’s azalea bonsai were started from cuttings collected in Japan in the last century. This annual exhibit showcases our most spectacular examples in a formal display. Based on individual bloom times, trees may be on display in the outdoor pavilions before and after the week-long indoor exhibit. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Free.

FONA/NBF

 

FONA/NBF refers to members of the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) or the National Bonsai Foundation (NBF), who receive a discount on many programs. For membership information for FONA, call 202-544-8733 or see their website at www.fona.org. For information on NBF, call 202-396-3510 or see www.bonsai-nbf.org.

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Last Updated   April 7, 2017 2:09 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html