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. 

KY Children's Garden (KCG) Volunteer Training via Zoom

Dates and Times: 

This is our last scheduled KY Children's Garden Training for the 2023 season!

Tuesday, June 132023 at 6:30 PM

  • 6:30 pm - KCG Volunteer Training Update (required for both returning and new volunteers) 

  • 7:30 pm - KCG Volunteer Best Practices Training (required for new volunteers) 

Cost: Free but donations are welcomed to help cover the cost of background checks

Location: Zoom

Ages: Adults (any children that wish to volunteer must be accompanied by an adult at all times.)

Description: Returning KCG volunteers must attend a 1-hour KCG Virtual Training Update on Zoom.  New KCG volunteers must attend the KCG Training Update and a 1-hour Introduction to Best Practices for Interacting with Children which will also be on Zoom. Sign up now so you can join us in the KCG! 

Registration: Registration required send an email to with your name, phone number and whether you are a returning or new KCG volunteer or call (859) 257- 6955



  • The Visitor Center will be CLOSED May 15 and 16 for repairs. Visitor Center Restrooms will NOT be open.

Addie's Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2023

TimeThe KCG will be open from 10 am – 5 pm with free admission 

Special crafts and activities will be from 10 am – 1 pm 

DescriptionThis will be a FREE day in the KCG! We will have crafts, giant bubble wands, a STEAM activity, games and each child visitor can plant something to take home! These activities will take place from 10 am – 1 pm but the garden will remain open with free admission until 5 pm.  

Cost: Free

Ages: All Ages

RegistrationNot required  

Location: In the Kentucky Children's Garden


► Out of the Tropics- Kentucky Plants with Rainforest Kin- A Botany Workshop with Rob Paratley

Date: Thursday, June 1, 2023

Time: 4:30 PM - 7 PM

Cost: Free

Ages: All ages

Registration: Pre-registration required. Please email to register. 


It has long been known that most of the world’s plant diversity hotspots are in the tropical regions.  As such, the great majority of plant species in most flowering plant families occur in tropical rain forests.   Some plant families, having evolved in the tropics, nevertheless contain one or a few genera that have diversified and adapted to the temperate zone. 

The Arboretum contains a number of examples of temperate woody plants whose ancestors and closest living kin are tropical.  Join botanist Rob Paratley in a tour of the Walk Across Kentucky that features these evolutionary descendants of the rain forests.  We will look at native examples from these mostly tropical families:  coffee, custard-apple, laurel, magnolia, citrus, legume, maple & buckeye, mallow, cashew, and willow.  We will talk about the geography and the importance of each family, and discuss some of the features of our pawpaws, sassafras, buttonbush, locusts, and basswood that link them to their tropical cousins.

KCG Grandparents Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, June 17, 2023

Time:  9 AM - 4 PM

Grandparents receive free admission to the KCG for one adult and one childAll others pay regular admission of $4/person, ages 2 and up. No rainchecks.

Pollinator Week Events at The Arboretum

Woody Plants for Pollinators Walk

Date: June 21, 2023

Time: 6PM - 8PM 

Cost: free

Ages: all ages

No registration required.


When it comes to attracting pollinators, we often think of showy, summer blooming meadow and prairie plants. However, our trees and shrubs also play an important role for many pollinators. Woody plants are some of the earliest to bloom each year, providing early-season nectar for spring pollinators. Many woody plants are also host plants for the larvae of our native pollinators, without which they cannot complete their life cycle. Join Arboretum Native Plants Curator Jess Slade for an evening walk through the Arboretum’s native plant collection to learn about some of the woody plants that benefit our pollinators and how you can incorporate them into your garden or other landscapes.

Pollinator Safari at The Arboretum

Date: June 23, 2023

Time: 1PM - 3PM

Cost: free

Ages: all ages

No registration required. 


Come join the UK Entomology Department in an active discovery session where you will meet some of our local pollinating insects in The Arboretum! Entomologists will be on hand to guide you as you seek out bees, flies, butterflies and more and learn about the important role they play in the ecosystem. This will be a kid- and adult-friendly event! All ages welcome.


KCG First Responder/ Healthcare Worker Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, July 15, 2023

Time:  9 AM - 4 PM

Bring your First Responder/Healthcare badge to the Visitor Center to receive free admission to the KCG for one adult and one child.  It's our way of saying THANK YOU for your service!    MUST present ID to receive discount.

Count Down to Kindergarden at The Kentucky Children's Garden 

Date: Saturday, July 22, 2023

Time:  9 AM - 3:30 PM

Children entering Kindergarten and one family member will gain free entrance to the Kentucky Children's Garden. Enjoy misters, model trains, playing in the stream, catching a tadpole, and more! Report at the Visitor Center wearing your C2K t-shirt, then head to the Kentucky Children's Garden for some fun and exploration. Don't miss this exciting event!

All others pay regular admission of $4/person, ages 2 and up. No rainchecks.


KCG Teacher/ School Employee Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023

Time:  9 AM - 4 PM

Bring your School ID to the Visitor Center to receive free admission to the KCG for one adult and one child.  It's our way of saying THANK YOU for your service!    MUST present ID to receive discount.

All others pay regular admission of $4/person, ages 2 and up. No rainchecks.


KCG CLOSED-September 2 (Home Football Game)

KCG CLOSED-September 9 (Home Football Game)

KCG CLOSED-September 16 (Home Football Game)

KCG CLOSED-September 30 (Home Football Game)


Fall Plant Exchange – Saturday October 7th

      Bring plants and garden items to overflow lot at 8:30 AM – exchange starts at 9 AM

Arbor Day- Saturday, October 7th–Time TBA

  • KCG opens after Arbor Day proclamation and be open until 5 PM
  • More details coming soon 

UFI Tree Week

  • More details coming soon

KCG CLOSED - October 14 (Home Football Game)

KCG LAST DAY for Season- FRIDAY, October 27