Come to the many special events and exhibitions at the North Carolina Arboretum. Here's a sampling... (pic above is the Wicked Plants exhibit):
January 27-May 6, 2018: Roots of Wisdom
Local ecosystems around the world face serious environmental challenges. Native communities have found innovative solutions by combining traditional knowledge with modern science.
March 24-25, 2018: Asheville Orchid Festival
Hundreds of orchids fill the Education Center in this annual judged show that also features orchid plant and supply vendors. Educational classes offered throughout the weekend, and Orchid Society members are available to answer questions and provide orchid-growing advice. Read more about the Orchid Show.
April 14, 2018: Mountain Science Expo
See how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) are incorporated in everyday lives with exhibits from Western North Carolina schools as well as presentations from students.
May 12, 2018: Dahlia Tuber Sale & World Bonsai Day
A wide variety of dahlia tubers and chrysanthemum rooted cuttings featuring cultivated varieties are available. Learning from Dahlia and Mum Society experts, visitors can uncover the secrets of how to produce plants with show quality blooms. Read more about the Spring Flower Shows.
May 26-27, 2018: Rose Exhibition
The annual Asheville-Blue Ridge Rose Society Exhibition features award-winning roses of every color and size. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide resources about selection, care and history of these beautiful garden plants. Rose plants and fertilizer for sale. Read more about the Spring Flower Shows.
May 26-September 3, 2018: Making Scents
Interactive exhibit inspires and educates about the evocative power of scent with a full sensory journey. Blending flora, fashion and science, Making Scents showcases some of Mother Nature’s most fragrant botanicals and unveils the plants and flowers behind some of the world’s most iconic perfumes. Read more.
June 9, 2018: Box Turtle Day
Celebrate North Carolina’s state reptile, the Eastern Box Turtle with guided box turtle telemetry hunts, reptile demonstrations, and more.
June 23, 2018: WNC Daylily Society
Hundreds of daylilies will be on display and daylily plants will also be for sale at this annual event hosted by the WNC Daylily Society. 10 AM-4 PM
July 27-28 & August 3-4, 2018: Summer Lights Concerts
Enjoy music - Broadway to classical - by the Blue Ridge Orchestra with a synchronized projected light show on the woodland forest backdrop in the NC Aboretum Amphitheatre. Read more!
September 8, 2018: Monarch Butterfly Day (read about Monarchs)
October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019: Reclaimed Creations
Sculpture of Sayaka Kajita Ganz
October 13-14, 2018: Carolina Bonsai Expo (See Fall at NC Arboretum)
This two-day horticultural extravaganza, situated in the midst of the colorful mountains, features a display of bonsai from enthusiasts in a six-state region, live demonstrations, workshops, and a popular bonsai marketplace. It’s also the perfect occasion to explore the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which offers a world-class display that innovatively establishes bonsai in the context of the Southern Appalachians.
November 16-December 31, 2018: Winter Lights
The North Carolina Arboretum hosts its light exhibit, transforming the gardens into a nighttime wonderland. Read more. (We are delighted to be a sponsor!)
January 26-May 12, 2019: In the Dark
Explore the mysteries of the unknown at this traveling exhibit developed by the Cincinnati Museum Center. In the Dark delves into dark environments and the unique animals, plants and humans that adapt to areas with little to no light. From a forest diorama of the Great Smoky Mountains to a recreation of a Kentucky limestone cave, five immersive zones enable visitors to experience the darkness of many unseen worlds. Using mechanical displays, life-size animal models and informational panels, this hands-on exhibit reveals what thrives beneath the soil, under the sea, in the shadows of night and within other dark environments. Visitors will learn how birds find their way flying at night, how bats use echolocation to communicate and ways people have reacted to darkness throughout history. Come immerse yourself in the world of darkness at In the Dark.
See our North Carolina Arboretum Guide.
Admission & Hours
The North Carolina Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance ramp at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow Blue Ridge Parkway signs for two miles to the entrance ramp. Arboretum grounds are open 7 days a week. Property hours are 8 AM-9 PM, April-October and 8 AM-7 PM, November-March. The Visitor Education Center and Bonsai Exhibition Garden are open 9 AM-5 PM every day. Parking Fees: $14 per personal motor vehicle. No charges apply for pedestrians, bicyclists or North Carolina Arboretum Society members. Click here to visit their Web site.
Use both your eyes and nose to discovery fascinating tidbits about the artistry, history and science of fragrance at... read more