Events Calendar

Pumpkin Carving
Oct 19 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Pumpkin Carving

Test your carving skills and enjoy a hot bowl of chili, a warm piece of cornbread and a cool dessert. The pumpkins will be displayed during the Arboretum’s Halloween events.

Free Program

Ar “Boo” Ween
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Ar "Boo" Ween

Put on your favorite super hero, princess or creative costume and join the parade of activities and treats at the Arboretum. Scarecrows and pumpkins will be decorated for the holiday. Enjoy hayrides, the hay maze and games at this fun family Halloween event.

Free Event

Ar “Boo” Scare
Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Ar "Boo" Scare

As the sun sets over the Iowa Arboretum…the Halloween Ar “Boo” Scare event begins. Darkness, sounds of time past and hidden surprises set the stage for Halloween night.  Walk the “No Return Hidden Trial” and ride the “Hayride to the Valley of Darkness.” Bring a flashlight, wear a costume and enjoy the cool night air. Look for carved pumpkins, scare crows and lots of treats and treasures at this night event.

Free Event

Oct 28 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Postponed to October 28 due to pending inclement weather.


Join the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers for a guided tour of the fall night sky. You’ll have a chance to trace out the constellations as well as see colorful double stars, nebulae, galaxies, and possibly a planet or two. We will have on site several large telescopes and binoculars. The event is open to all ages and snacks will be provided.
Rain Date: Saturday, October 28 – 7:30 pm to 10 pm

Holiday Sale
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday Sale

Delight in holiday treats and sounds as the festive season begins at the Arboretum’s gift shop. Find the perfect gift at the Holiday Sale. All gift shop items purchased will get complimentary gift wrapping.

Wrappin’ at the Arboretum
Nov 11 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Wrappin' at the Arboretum

Come enjoy a breakfast burrito wrap and then go shopping at the Iowa Arboretum Holiday Sale. All gift shop items purchased will get complimentary gift wrapping. 

Fee: $8


Fall Floral Workshop
Nov 12 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Time for our annual fall floral workshop lead by Nan Bonfils and Sandy Gossman.  We guarantee you will take home something you can use right away plus tips from Nan and Sandy for quick switch outs to give your piece a fresh look for winter.  Nan and Sandy will guide you and inspire you to complete a seasonal door decoration for your home.  They will also demonstrate how to assemble a companion standing arrangement for you entrance using similar materials.  You will leave with enough plant material to complete the second project at home if you wish.  Participants, guided by Arboretum staff, will be allowed to gather plant materials from the Arboretum grounds for this workshop (that’s half the fun!).  Please dress so that you can spend some time outdoors and please bring garden clippers and light gloves.  All other materials will be provided.

Children are welcome accompany an adult in making their project.  Children who wish to complete a separate project need to pay a separate workshop fee.

$20 members, $25 nonmembers

Dec 2 – Dec 17 all-day

Come and celebrate the best of Iowa Grown Christmas trees at the Iowa Arboretum. Each tree is decorated by local clubs, schools and organizations. This event is free and open to the public.

Open from 9am to 4pm during the week, 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 12 to 4pm on Sunday.

Dad’s Belgium Waffles
Dec 2 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Dad's Belgium Waffles

Dad’s Belgian Waffles returns to the Arboretum to serve mammoth size waffles that will fill your plate and satisfy your appetite. See wonderfully Iowa Grown and decorated Christmas trees. Santa will be flying in from the North Pole to make a guest appearance. A great event for the entire family. Price: $9

Jan 13 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come and test out some snowshoes!  Boone County Naturalist Katie Healy will be here to teach participants how to snowshoe on January 13th and February 3rd.  Join us for a discussion about snowshoeing before hitting the trails to experience snowshoeing for yourself.  Afterwards, regroup in the Hughes Education Building for a cup of hot cocoa.  If there’s no snow, join us instead for a winter hike along the same route.  Snowshoes will be provided.

Free event