If you haven’t visited the UW Arboretum recently, fall is the perfect time to visit! We love visiting throughout the year to see how the different trees and plants change with the seasons. It’s a great place for kids to learn while they explore – and with the Arboretum spanning 1200 acres, there’s a lot to explore!
The Arboretum trails are free and open to the public year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Maps and brochures may be picked up outside near the entry to the Visitor Center and at various pedestrian accesses to the Arboretum. Guided tours are also available – perfect for classes and groups! “Arboretum tours are designed to introduce school children to the Arboretum as an outdoor teaching and research laboratory. Children learn about native Wisconsin ecosystems and ways to restore them.” There are a lot of different tours available, so be sure to check the website for more detailed information.
The Arboretum offers classes which “offer more in-depth coverage of topics than tours provide and explore ways humans interact with the environment, natural history, restoration and the arts. In addition, they provide opportunities for families to learn together.” View all upcoming classes at the Arboretum.
The Arboretum also has numerous free programs for families. “Bringing families together to learn about nature is an important part of our educational mission. On the second Saturday of every month, we offer a two-hour, kid-friendly program that uses nature hikes, stories, crafts and activities to explore animals, plants and natural phenomena. Each program is free, thanks to support from the Friends of the Arboretum. On the second Sunday of every month, we offer a one-hour Family Walk with topics that are especially appealing to the younger set.” View all upcoming Earth Partnership for Families events.
There are also a lot of public events happening at the Arboretum every week. Tomorrow there’s a night walk: Equinox: Wednesday, September 22, 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Watch the sun set on the autumnal equinox on this naturalist-led tour and learn more about this annual occurrence. And this weekend there’s a fun event for families happening after the Henry Vilas Zoo Run Run: Nature Play: Sunday, September 26, 12:30 pm – 4 pm. September family day at the Arboretum is all about playing in the woods. Children and adults will work together in our free-play nature area to build, discover and explore. Let your imagination be the guide.
The Visitor Center parking lot is open year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Other Arboretum parking lots are open from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open weekdays from 9:30 am – 4 pm and weekends from 12:30 to 4 pm (excluding holidays).