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Annual Events

Garden Fair photo

The Foundation of the State Arboretum hosts many regularly scheduled events at Blandy, including large annual events such as Garden Fair (Mother’s Day Weekend) and ArborFest (second weekend in October.)

The Foundation also presents workshops, lectures, and classes designed to educate the public about topics of interest ranging from growing and using herbs to control of invasive plants.

Garden Fair
Mother's Day Weekend

Garden Fair is a huge plant and garden supply sale, with dozens of vendors of high-quality plants including annuals, perennials, small trees, shrubs, boxwood, bonsai, and more. The Foundationa also usually offers for sale a selection of plants divided or propagated from the Arboretum collection. Garden Fair is held every Mother’s Day Weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. rain or shine both days. In addition to the plant sale, free events include Arboretum tours, bird walks, mini-workshops, and children’s nature walks and other activities for kids.

Summer Concert Series

Concerts are held in the outdoor Margaret Byrd Stimpson amphitheater, a beautiful setting that offers plenty of room to bring a picnic basket and spread out a blanket (no seating is offered). In case of rain, concerts move into the library. Please check the calendar of events for dates.

Summer Research Seminar Series

Summer research seminars bring science to the public by offering topics of interest to students, teachers, and scientists as well as the general public. Seminars are held Wednesday evenings beginning at 6 p.m. and are followed by a very casual potluck dinner; bring a dish and stay for dinner. Check the calendar of events or look under the “Research” heading on the main page for dates and topics.

Summer Nature Camp

Blandy Summer Nature Camp offers daily activities for the youngest naturalists, with programs designed to inspire interest in the natural world with age-appropriate activities. Nature Camp requires advance registration; fees apply, but limited tuition assistance is available. Please contact us for more information.

School Field Trips

School programs are an important part of Blandy’s mission to educate the public about the natural world, and more than 6,000 students participate in school programs every year. Programs are designed to meet the Virginia Standards of Learning. Advance registration is required. Look under the “K-12 Programs” heading on the main page.

Second Weekend in October

Held each Columbus Day Weekend, ArborFest is the Arboretum’s fall festival and plant sale. Hours are 10 to 4:30 both Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine. In addition to a selection of plants divided or propagated from the Arboretum grounds, ArborFest includes a variety of plants for sale by carefully selected high-quality vendors. Activities include scarecrow making and nature walks for kids as well as guided Arboretum walks, bird walks, and hay rides.

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