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.

To view and print the PDF files you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you do not already have Acrobat Reader installed as a web plugin, or if you don't know whether or not you have it installed -- please visit our PDF Help Page for information, instructions and links to your free Acrobat Reader.

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.

September October November

Full Moon Hike

Note: Full Moon Hikes are now managed by the Friends of the National Arboretum. To check availability of tickets and register, click here..


Workshop: Fall Lawn Care and Lawn Renovation
September 9, 2017 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Visitor Center Auditorium

For a beautiful spring lawn, start now by learning and implementing the five fall “best practices” for a healthy, environmentally-friendly lawn. Learn about selecting the best turfgrass varieties, proper maintenance practices that promote lawn health and reduce pests, and learn how to properly calibrate a fertilizer spreader to apply just the right amount of the right fertilizer. If your lawn has endured years of neglect, weeds, wear and tear (or worse!) it might be time for a renovation. Learn how to determine the needs and best techniques for your situation from turf specialist Geoff Rinehart. Take home lawn care information to help you through the process. A guided tour of the Grass Roots Exhibit will follow the classroom part of the workshop and refreshments and door prizes will be provided!  Registration is free, but space is limited and registration is encouraged. Call 202-245-5965 or e-mail Geoffrey Rinehart at to register.


Under the Arbor: Lemon Herbs
September 16, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

Lemon-scented herbs are among the most popular, useful, and intensely fragrant in the garden. Herb Society members will demonstrate techniques on using these herbs in teas, recipes, arrangements, potpourri, and more. The Under the Arbor series of drop-in demonstrations on herb-related topics is conducted in the National Herb Garden. Presented by the South Jersey Unit of the Herb Society of America. Free.  


Workshop: Natural Bundle Dyeing
September 30, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
National Herb Garden (Greenhouse Classroom in the event of inclement weather)

In this workshop, participants will learn about various plants and flowers that can be used for natural dyeing and explore the ways in which color can be extracted. Using a method called eco-printing, in which plant matter is placed on top of textiles, bound, and then steamed, color and form are transferred to the cloth. Students will learn about the different ways to treat textiles to keep the color in the fabric, as well as the different types of materials that can be used in natural dyeing. All supplies and materials are provided. Fee: $65 ($52 FONA) Registration required.


Science Program Reaching OUT (SPROUT) Field Trips

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10 - 11:30 am OR 1 - 2:30 pm

Washington Youth Garden

Do you have a group of kids that needs to get outdoors for some great garden learning experience? A SPROUT Field Trip will do just that. Depending on the season, we might pick a strawberry, harvest asparagus, or taste some juicy cherry tomatoes in our fruit and vegetable production area. We also maintain a large herb garden, compost area, and several educational theme gardens, like the sunflower house, that change annually—so there's plenty to explore! There are a lot of slots open during the summer. Fee: 50-100% of Participants Eligible for Free or Reduced Price School Meals $100; 0-50% of Participants Eligible for Free or Reduced Price School Meals $200. Registration Required.


Exhibit: Ikebana International Sixtieth Anniversary
October 6 – 9, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Administration Building and National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Enjoy fall flowers with a Japanese twist! The Washington D.C. Chapter of Ikebana International will exhibit flower arrangements representing a variety of ikebana schools and styles. There will be more than 80 arrangements in 2 locations. Master teachers will give ikebana demonstrations on October 8 and 9. Free.


Demonstration: Ikebana
October 8, 11:00 am - Saga Goryu School
October 8, 1:00 pm - Ohara School
October 9, 11:00 am - Sogetsu School
October 9, 1:00 pm - Ichiyo School
Lecture and Demonstration Center, National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

How do they know how to place flowers so artistically? What thought goes into the selection of a vase? Ikebana is based on careful thought about all the things that add up to the beauty of a Japanese flower arrangement. Take in a narrated demonstration that may just inspire you to take up ikebana. Free.


Under the Arbor: Chile Celebration
October 14, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
National Herb Garden

Taste-test peppers, sample chile-based foods, watch live demonstrations, and take home information at this annual event celebrating the cultivation and use of chile peppers. Explore over 60 varieties in the garden, including some of the world’s hottest. Presented by members of the Herb Society of America. Free.


Exhibit: Autumn Bonsai: Falling into Winter
November 4 – 12 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Enjoy bonsai in their autumn colors before the leaves fall away to reveal their bare winter silhouettes. See red maples, yellow ginkgos, and fruited trees in the Museum’s permanent collection pavilions. The Exhibits Gallery features formal displays with select trees during their peak fall colors. Free.


Aki Matsuri Autumn Festival: Bonsai and Beyond
November 4, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
All Lectures, Tours, and Activities Free Except for the Evening Otsukimi Moon Viewing

Special Bonsai Lecture and Demonstration
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Bonsai Master Andy Smith will first tell us about his work in collecting bonsai in the wild and then style a limber pine that he recently collected on stage in the Auditorium.

Ikebana Demonstration
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Watch an ikebana artist create a Japanese flower arrangement that highlights the autumn season.

Kusamono Lecture and Demonstration
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Join Kusamono Master Young Choe for an enchanting look at kusamono—small herbaceous plants in pots that are often displayed with bonsai—and learn how to make one yourself.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Walking tour of the Japanese Woodland section of the Asian Collections
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Walking tour of Japanese maples with Arboretum Director Dr. Richard T. Olsen
11:30 am to 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Behind-the-scenes tour of temporary home for Japanese Koi

Cultural Activities
12:30 pm to 1:00 pm             Taiko drumming
1:30 pm to 2:00 pm               Narrated kimono fashion show
2:30 pm to 3:00 pm               Taiko drumming
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm               Keisho Center singing
10:00 am to 4:00 pm             Drop-in children’s activities
Ikebana and Seven Grasses of Autumn on display throughout the day

Book Signings
Three authors present newly released books based on the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum’s collection.

Food and Vendors
Buy Japanese food and drink from vendors and enjoy a taste of Japan on the terrace; purchase a plant you can style into a bonsai or kusamono.

Special Evening Event—Otsukimi Moon Viewing hosted by the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Celebrate this traditional event in the meadow with Japanese food, drink, music, and haiku writing.  Check back here for registration information.



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 For information on NBF, call 202-396-3510 or see

 Back to the Arboretum Home Page
Arboretum Information || Events & Education || Gardens & Horticulture || Research Activities
Support the Arboretum || New Plant Introductions || USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map || Comments
Search Our Site

Last Updated   September 1, 2017 5:04 PM