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.

May June July August

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. We are currently projecting that we will open registration for our summer programs by Monday, May 8.
Fall hikes will be posted September 6, 2017.

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.

 

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 Min 5 Max 20 tickets

 

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.

 

Kid’s Climb at the Arboretum
In collaboration with The Davey Tree Expert Company, Casey Trees Foundation, Friends of the National Arboretum, and Penn State University

May 20, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Meet at Arbor House

NOTE: Freestyle tree climbing is not allowed at the Arboretum for your own safety and to prevent damage to trees. This event is subject to strict control and supervision by professional arborists and should not be construed as a change to the prohibition on tree climbing in general. Bring your children ages 4-14 to climb trees just like professional arborists. Each participant will have an opportunity to ascend into the tree by the use of arborist harness (saddle) and rope. A safety helmet and eye protection will be provided. Prior to the climb, the tree will be thoroughly inspected for any defects and structural deficiencies. Once the tree has been determined safe to be climbed, kids will do a guided climb geared to their age and size. Members of the International Society of Arboriculture will be on hand to talk about their profession and the rewards of working in the tree care industry. Parents or guardians must sign a waiver prior their children’s participation in any climbing activity. Free.

 

Azalea Bonsai Exhibit: Putting on the Glitz

May 27 – June 4, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery  

In Japan, it is said that the beauty of an azalea bonsai in bloom is like the beauty of a courtesan dressed in her finest brocade kimono. Breathtaking blossoms cover these late-blooming Satsuki azaleas, miniature in form, but covered with full-sized flowers. This annual spring exhibit showcases the most spectacular examples.Free.

June

Azalea Bonsai Exhibit: Putting on the Glitz
Through June 4, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

In Japan, it is said that the beauty of an azalea bonsai in bloom is like the beauty of a courtesan dressed in her finest brocade kimono. Breathtaking blossoms cover these late-blooming Satsuki azaleas, miniature in form, but covered with full-sized flowers. This annual spring exhibit showcases the most spectacular examples.Free.

 

Washington Youth Garden Volunteer Orientation
June 3, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Washington Youth Garden

This is for new volunteers who want to volunteer on a regular basis in the Washington Youth Garden on Tuesday or Saturday mornings. You must complete this orientation before becoming a regular volunteer. Free. Email Jake Dacks, jdacks@washingtonyouthgarden.org for more information.  

 

Full Moon Hike
June 7, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
June 8, 8:00 – 10:00 pm
June 9, 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
June 7, 7:30 – 9:30 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: $750 Registration required.

 

Talk and Tour:  Daylily Daze: Past, Present, and Future of Daylily Breeding
June 17, 10:30 – 12:30 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center 

Join Chris von Kohn, horticulturist and curator of the Perennial Collection, for a tour of the daylily collection, and a presentation on daylily breeding.  The presentation will focus on topics to consider when starting a breeding program, and will include a preview of plants that may become more readily available in the future. They’re not just your grandmother’s daylilies anymore!  Fee: $10 ($8 FONA) Registration required.

 

Family Garden Day at the Washington Youth Garden

June 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Washington Youth Garden

 

Families are welcome to join us in the Washington Youth Garden to explore nature and food through family friendly activities—all ages welcome. Fee: Individuals $3, Family of Four $10 Registration required.

 

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.

July

Washington Youth Garden Volunteer Orientation

July 1, 9 am – 12:00 pm
Washington Youth Garden

 

This is for new volunteers who want to volunteer on a regular basis in the Washington Youth Garden on Tuesday or Saturday mornings. They must complete this orientation before becoming a regular volunteer. Free. Email Jake Dacks, jdacks@washingtonyouthgarden.org for more information. 

 

 

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: 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.

 

2017 International Tree Climbing Championship with Arbor Fair and Expo
July 28, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
July 29,   8:00 am – 4:00 pm

July 30,   9:00 am – 2:30 pm

The International Society of Arboriculture has chosen the arboretum as the site for its annual competition. Come and see arborists from all over the world compete in professional tree climbing activities. There will be tree and plant identification walks, bonsai workshops, exhibitors and vendors to check out, too. Bring your own chair and enjoy a full day of activities and events.

Arbor Fair and Expo is a free educational and fun event for the general public that focuses on environmental issues and promoting proper tree care. It will feature educational exhibits on trees, forestry, landscaping, soil amendments, and wildlife. You’ll also see tree climbing demonstrations, interactive children’s activities, local artisans, and much more. Free. Click here for more details.    

August

Family Garden Day at the Washington Youth Garden

August 12, 10 am – 12:00 pm
Washington Youth Garden

 

Families are welcome to join us in the Washington Youth Garden to explore nature and food through family friendly activities—all ages welcome. Fee: Individuals $3, Family of Four $10 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.

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   May 11, 2017 2:18 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html