Out & About: Spring at the Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Now that spring is here, be sure to take some time to explore the Morris Arboretum, which features the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, story time for children, a plant sale, and the reopening of the Garden Railway.


WHAT: Now that spring is here, be sure to take some time to explore the Morris Arboretum, located at 100 E. Northwestern Ave. in Chestnut Hill. Admission is free with a PennCard, $7 for youth, active military, and students; $14 for seniors; and $16 for adults.

SWEET CHERRIES: The Arboretum features its annual Cherry Blossom Festival on April 14 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, April 14, patrons can see a performance by Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew, Philadelphia’s only Japanese-style drumming group. This performance includes choreographed moves and large drums, making for a physically demanding and visually compelling performance. There will also be a traditional tea demonstration (known as Chabako) and Zen archery demonstrations on both days. On April 21, the Samurai Arts Group will demonstrate the ancient Japanese sword technique of Ken Jutsu.

FAMILY OF TREES: Bring the kids to Arbor Day Family Day on April 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to Marie Ingegneri, marketing project coordinator at the Arboretum, visitors can tour the garden and stop at five different stations through the Arboretum to learn how to design a tree house, identify trees, write a history of a tree’s life, and plan an urban landscape. The Arboretum has also partnered with the Girl Scouts to give visitors an opportunity earn a tree badge that day.

STORY TIME: On the first Tuesday of every month, a librarian from Springfield Township holds a story time in the garden. Librarians choose three books to read and a creative activity for children to do outdoors in the garden, weather permitting. The next story event will be held on May 1, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Come early—Ingegneri says one story time has drawn more than 200 participants.

GREEN YOUR HOME GARDEN: The annual Public Plant Sale returns to the Arboretum on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Uncertain what to purchase and how to grow it? Look for the experts wearing red aprons who will be happy to be plant guides for gardening novices.

ONE TWENTY FIVE: This year, the Arboretum is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the land purchase of what would later become the mansion of John and Lydia Morris. The gardens will be celebrating the 125th throughout the year, including on National Public Gardens Day, May 11. That day, there will be free admission and a complimentary plant for the first 125 garden visitors.

ON THE RAILS: Attend the grand opening of the Garden Railway on May 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. This year’s featured theme is a “Storytime Rail,” so some of the buildings are replicas of storybook characters’ dwellings, including Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the house of the Three Little Pigs, and the shell-encrusted castle found in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” That day, children can come dressed in the costume of their favorite storybook and participate in a make-a-crown craft activity.

MORE INFO: For more information about all Arboretum events, call 215-247-5777 or go to www.morrisarboretum.org.

Originally published on April 12, 2012