Activities & Resources
National Arboretum050in Washington, DC 20002
about National Arboretum:
The Arboretum grounds have retained most of the natural woods, including beeches, oaks, and tulip poplars, which stood on the grounds when the land was purchased. The exhibition areas are located either along the roadways or on pebbled paths off the roadside. Their design varies from the formal landscaping of the Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection on the north shoulder of Hickey Road to the natural planting of crabapples along Hickey Hill Road. Fern Valley is limited to ferns and other plants native to eastern North America.
Picnicking can be done only in the National Grove of State Trees picnic area. But you're welcome to pack a lunch and eat there if you're planning to spend the morning or afternoon wandering the grounds.
Bicycling is encouraged on the roadways, and bicycle racks are located at each parking area.
If hiking the grounds seems too overwhelming with a child in tow, take heart. The 48-passenger, open-air tram, which operates from mid-April through mid-October on weekends and holidays, may be a perfect alternative.
The tram is easily accessible, requiring only a short step up by boarding passengers and can accommodate 2 wheelchair-bound passengers at a time. It also features a convenient storage bay for strollers and other carry-on items. The tram covers 9.5 miles of paved roads, allowing riders to see the Arboretum's magnificent features, gardens, and collections. During the 35-minute non-stop ride, an informative, taped narrative about the Arboretum, its history, mission, and research, display, and education highlights is played.
Trams run at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. The fee is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages four to 16. Children under four ride free.
The Administration Building is open daily from 8am to 4:30pm, and until 5pm on weekends from March through October. The Arbor House Gift Shop is open weekdays from 10am to 3:30pm and on weekends from 10am to 5pm, March 1 through mid-December. The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum is open daily from 10am to 3:30pm.
Rest rooms and water fountains are located in the Administration Building and Arbor House. Other water fountains are shown on the Arboretum grounds map, which is available upon arrival. Public telephones are located in the Administration Building and Arbor House.