Classes and Events

►Denotes pre-registration required!

Send an email to to pre-register for classes, programs and workshops (unless otherwise noted). Please be sure to include your name, email address and phone number for any registrations. 


  • The Kentucky Children's Garden is closed on days of UK Football home games (both are Saturdays): October 8 and October 15, 2022. 
  • The Kentucky Children's Garden last day of operation for the 2022 season is Saturday October 29, 2022. See you in the spring when we re-open for the 2023 season!

Parade of Scarecrows

Date: October 1-October 31

Time: Daily; Dawn to Dusk

Cost: Free

Location: Home Demonstration Garden

Ages: All ages

Description: Stroll through our Home Demonstration Garden and see all the whimsy and creativity of Scarecrows along the path.

Let's Plant Trees, Come make The Arboretum Greener

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Time: 6 pm - 7:30 pm

Cost: Free

Location: The Arboretum Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center

Ages: All ages

Description: This event for families will include a tree planting, tree related kids craft, and a short tree walk.

31st Annual Arbor Day Celebration 

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Time:  8 am to 5 pm

Cost: Enjoy free admission to the Kentucky Children's Garden from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. thanks to Presenting Sponsor LG&E and KU Foundation.  

Ages: All ages

Description: Celebrate Arbor Day at The Arboretum!


  • 8 am – Guided Bird Walk | Pre-Registration required. For more information or to register, contact with the following information: your name, number of people attending, email address, and phone number.
  • 9 am – Plant and Seed Exchange | Bring a plant, seeds, garden tools or other garden-related items, and take something home! No charge or pre-registration required.
  • 10 am – Proclamation of Arbor Day – Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Healthcare Campus USA presentations
  • 10:30 am - Kentucky Children’s Garden opens (FREE ADMISSION UNTIL 5 P.M. THANKS TO PRESENTING SPONSOR LG&E/KU FOUNDATION) | Have fun with us in the garden! Enjoy crafts, games, giant bubble wands, a STEAM activity, and plant something to take home. UK student clubs including the Entomology club, the Horticulture club, and the Herpetology lab will be visiting throughout the day and bringing hands on activities--including live critters!
  • 11 am – Arbor Day Tree Planting in the Kentucky Children’s Garden
  • 2 pm – Callery Pear Workshop and Native Tree Walk: Learn how to identify Callery Pear trees in the fall, learn why this species causes problems in Kentucky landscapes, and take a walk to see some great native tree alternatives for your home landscape.
  • 5 pm - Kentucky Children’s Garden closes
Registration: Pre-registration is required for the Guided Bird Walk, but other events on Arbor Day do not require registration. For more information contact with the following information: your name, number of people attending, email address, and phone number.

Arbor Day Morning Bird Walk

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Time: 8 am - 9:30 am

Cost: Free

Ages: All Ages

Location: Meet in front of the Arboretum's Visitor Center. Walking distance approximately 1 to 1.5 miles on uneven terrain. Rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the walk may be cancelled or postponed to a later date.

Description: Begin our Arbor Day Celebration by joining experienced birders Dan Patrick and Pearl James as they explore The Arboretum grounds looking for the birds that utilize our urban tree canopy. Expect to see our year-round resident birds with the possibility of a few late migrants such as Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Both beginner and experienced birders are welcome. Walk leaders will provide an introduction to binocular use for those that are new to birding. A few pairs of binoculars will be available to those who do not have their own. 

Registration: Pre-registration is required. For more information contact with the following information: your name, number of people attending, email address, phone number, and how many pair of binoculars you may need to borrow. 

Callery Pear Workshop and Native Tree Walk

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Time: 2 pm - 4 pm

Cost: Free

Ages: Ages

Location: Meet in front of The Arboretum's Visitor Center by 2 pm. Walking tour will include some uneven terrain and gentle slopes, 1 to 1.5 miles. 

Description: Join Native Plants Curator Jess Slade and Forest Health Specialist Alexandra Blevins to learn about Callery pear trees and why they can be problematic in Kentucky landscapes. Jess and Alexandra will share identification tricks for any season and discuss management strategies for removing these trees from your landscape. Then, we will walk through The Arboretum’s native plant collection to look closely at some great native tree alternatives to the Callery pear. Finally, attendees will learn about and be able to register for a new Callery Pear Bounty program that is sponsored by LFUCG and UK Forestry. This is a great opportunity to have Callery pears removed from an easement on your property for free and receive a discounted ball & burlap tree or free container tree replacement in exchange!


Exploring The Arboretum's Nut Trees

Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Time: 4 pm - 6 pm

Cost: Free, Advanced registration required

Location: Outside Walk - Meet in front of The Arboretum Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center

Ages: All ages

Instructor: Rob Paratley (Botanist and Herbarium Curator, UK Herbarium)

Description: Trees have many ways of dispersing their seeds away from the mother tree, often getting animals to do the work. Our nut-producing trees employ rodents and other animals to move the fruit, burying them and often never returning to eat them.  This is obviously a successful strategy, as our oaks, hickories, walnuts, beeches, chestnuts, hazelnuts and others produce seedling offspring far from the site of the source tree. Studying the nuts produced by these trees is a very good way to learn to identify them. Join botanist Rob Paratley for a tour of many examples from The Arboretum collection. Recognizing different types of acorns, for example, is a great way to learn some of our many native oak species. Likewise, the hickories can be very difficult to identify to species in the field. The different hickory nuts are an excellent characteristic to use for identifying them.

Registration: Advanced registration required. Please email us at to register.