Upcoming Events



Storytime in the Understory

Mondays, Dec 5, 19 | 11 AM - 11:30 AM
Free, No Registration Required

Pre-School - Elementary suggested

Bring a blanket and come enjoy 30 minutes of nature-themed reading. We will meet in the At Home in the Woods Family Garden in our new Storytime area!

Fairy House/Gnome Home Building 

Upcoming Dates TBD           

Free, No Registration Required

Pre-School - Elementary suggested

We will meet in Fairy World in the At Home in the Woods Family Garden to explore the magic and wonder of the outdoors with a story together, then have free space to build a habitat out of found natural materials for our fairy and gnome friends!



Nature Study Series: Explore the Flora 

Tuesdays, Nov 29, Dec 13 | Time: 4:00PM - 4:45PM

All Ages Welcome

Has wonder and curiosity about the natural world ever made you stop and look a little closer? What’s that called? How does it grow? Getting to know our flora is a rewarding life-long skill that just takes a little effort to cultivate. Drop in for our free nature study series for families: we’ll meet at the arboretum pavilion, take a short nature walk through the Arboretum, then hone in for a close look at one of our native plants! We will make careful observations, learn some facts and lore, and do a little relaxed sketching. Bring a notebook or paper and some colored pencils, but we’ll have extras on hand. Registration requested but not required.

Register here: Nature Study Series Registration

Evergreen Exploration - Holiday Edition!

For Youth and the Young at Heart

Monday, December 19 | 1PM
Free, Register here: Evergreen Exploration Registration

Begins and Ends at the Frances Plecker Education and Welcome Center

Need something to do with the kids during the holiday break? Are all evergreens pine trees to you? Come explore the evergreens at the Arboretum! On our nature walk, we'll learn to tell the trees apart, get to know their sights and smells, and make a simple conifer ornament to take home. It'll be a great way to celebrate the winter—hot cocoa provided—and feel free to bring a sweet treat (nut-free, please) to share. Please dress for the weather! 


Wondercraft: Create-A-Bird

For Preschool to Elementary School age Explorers

Friday, December 9 | 10 AM
Free, Register here: Create-A-Bird Registration

Join us at the arboretum pavilion as we explore the world of adaptations that birds use to live and thrive in the wild, as well as design our own birds and bird eggs!


For Preschool age Explorers

Monday, Nov 28 | 10 AM
Free, Register here: Feathers Registration

Join us at the pavilion to explore feathers and identify a few birds from their feather color. Participants will also enjoy some feather painting. 

Contact Katie Rankin at for more information about youth programs at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.


The Backpack Program

Pre-School - Elementary

Explore the Arboretum with themed activities! This program is FREE. Backpacks are located in the lobby of the Frances Plecker Education Center, Monday - Friday (8 AM - 5 PM)

How it Works

1. Sign out a backpack of your choice:

- Reptiles & Amphibians
- Flowers
- Exploring Trees
- Forest Mammals
- Butterflies
- Insects
- Macroinvertebrate Study

2. Leave a driver's license with us, to be picked up after the backpack is returned.

3. Enjoy the backpack's activities and adventure onward!

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
780 University Blvd, MSC 3705
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

(540)-568-3194 | 
Grounds | Free to the public | Dawn to dusk | 365 days a year
Frances Plecker Education Center | Monday - Friday | 8 AM - 4 PM

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