Programs & Events

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

A Midsummer Night's Dream - After Dark Photography Shoot

July 22, 2017   9:00pm - 12:00am

Lisa Langell hosts special after-hours access during a ‘dark skies’ night that could be optimal for astro-photography. This session does not have an indoor classroom portion.

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Butterfly Walk with Ron Rutowski

Saturday, July 22   8:30 a.m.

Be here Saturday, July 22, to learn the various stages of the colorful insect's life cycle (eggs > larvae > adult) and the fascinating adaptation that makes their "larval host plant" an important one in Arizona gardens.

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‘Paint & Wine’ Class

July 22, 2017   12:00pm - 2:00pm

Try your hand at art with an optional glass of wine to help nudge your creativity in Carla Keaton's "Paint and Wine" event.

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Geology Walking Tour Guided by Phil St. George

July 22, 2017   8am

Geologist Rich Leveille takes visitors on the Main Trail to learn about the geology of the area. Compress two billion years of geologic history into one educational hour.

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Butterfly Walk

July 22, 2017   8:30am

Join us for a guided butterfly walk once-a-month throughout the Summer -- a slow-paced tour where you can see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more.

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Agave Nectar, Nopalitos and a Taste of Desert Edibles with Jim Shepherd

July 23, 2017   8am

Learn about plants along our Curandero Trail on a leisurely guided walk with desert plant enthusiast Jim Shepherd. Plus, you'll have a chance to taste a few ‘desert edible’ samples ranging from prickly pear jelly to nopalitos, mesquite flour, and agave nectar.

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Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Class

July 30, 2017   11:00am

Learn how to pick a peck o’ prickly pears, remove the spines and turn the bright red fruits into tasty jelly, ice cream – or margaritas. Opuntia expert Robert Lewis leads his audience for a short walk, and demonstrates proven techniques for picking and de-spining cactus fruit.

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Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk

Sunday 7/30   8 a.m.

The final weekend this month brings two special days with back-to-back Lizard Walks guided by Casa Grande outdoor educator Wild Man Phil and his son, Arch – plus special guest guides as backup each day in case of crowds and overflow attendance.

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Painting Class with Chuck Davison: Prickly Pear Cactus

Sunday 7/30   11 a.m.

This month artist Chuck Davison invites you to learn basic painting – and take home your own unique piece – following a beginners’ painting class where he’ll give step-by-step instruction and coaching to help beginners paint a colorful Prickly Pear design.

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Guided Bird Walk Friday with Lisa & Peggy

Friday 8/4   6:30 a.m.

A dozen Yellow-breasted Chats were counted during the annual spring migrant bird census; visit this week to hear their vocal chorus around the gardens. Sharpen your birding skills on a bird walk. What colorful birds are likely during summer months?

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Photographing Botanicals Indoors: Creative Lighting & Creative Shots

August 5, 2017   10:00am - 2:00pm

In Arizona's Valley of the Sun, many photographers agree it's just TOO HOT to shoot outside during early August – so Lisa Langell is bringing the botany indoors for a fun, imaginative and creative shoot using tools you can find right around your house.

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Dragonfly Walks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

August 5 and September 2, 2017   8:30am

Photographer and dragonfly fan Roger Racut guides ‘an odonate excursion’ and interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators.

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Sunday History Walk with Sylvia Lee

August 6, 2017   8:00am

Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee narrates this two-hour walking tour focused on the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum.

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Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk

Saturday 8/12   8 a.m.

Lizard Walks guided by Casa Grande outdoor educator Wild Man Phil and his son, Arch, are among the Arboretum’s most popular Summertime guided nature walks, popular with  kids –they’re an equal lure for all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles.

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Guided Bird Walk Sunday

Sunday 8/13   6:30 a.m.

A dozen Yellow-breasted Chats were counted during our annual spring migrant bird census; visit this week to hear their vocal chorus around the gardens.

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Saturday ‘Paint & Wine’ Art Class with Carla Keaton

Sunday 8/13   12 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Carla Keaton, owner of the Keaton Fine Art Gallery, hosts her next  ‘Paint and Wine’ art class  Aug. 13.

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Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk

Saturday 8/19   8 a.m.

The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert. Many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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Superior Prickly Pear Culinary Festival

Saturday 8/19   8 a.m.

Admission is free at the 6th annual Prickly Pear Festival in Superior! This annual ‘prickly pear-palooza’ is a unique local event that celebrates all things Opuntia, plus mesquite and other desert edibles, too.

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Digital Photographers Roundtable: Lightroom, Photoshop, and More

August 19, 2017   9am - 11am

Photographers of all skill levels who enjoy digital image post-processing are invited to meet in the Smith Building Lecture room, beginners are definitely welcome to attend this popular recurring meetup.

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Tree Tour with Certified Arborist Jeff Payne

Sunday 8/20   8 a.m.

What guided tour could be more fitting here than a once-a-month guided walk devoted to trees of the Arboretum?

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Geology Walking Tour Guided by Scott McFadden

Saturday 8/26   8 a.m.

Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with professional geologist Scott McFadden as your guide for a lively tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour!

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Butterfly Walk

August 26, 2017   8:30am

Join us for a guided butterfly walk once-a-month throughout the Summer – a slow-paced tour where you can see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more.

LEARN MORE


Agave Nectar, Nopalitos and a Taste of Desert Edibles with Jim Shepherd

Sunday 8/27   8 a.m.

Learn about plants along our Curandero Trail on a leisurely guided walk with desert plant enthusiast Jim Shepherd. You'll see prickly pear cacti, mesquite trees and more! Plus, you'll have a chance to taste a few ‘desert edible’ samples ranging from prickly pear jelly to nopalitos, mesquite flour, and agave nectar.

LEARN MORE


Dragonfly Walk with ASU Professor Pierre Deviche

Saturday 9/2   8:30 a.m.

Photographer and dragonfly expert Pierre Deviche guides ‘an odonate excursion’ and interpreted walking tour to Ayer Lake and garden water features – a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators.

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Saturday ‘Paint & Wine’ Class with Carla Keaton

Saturday 9/2   12 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Carla Keaton, owner of the Keaton Fine Art Gallery, hosts seasonal ‘Paint and Wine’ classes and her next is Saturday Sept. 2.

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Arboretum Pictures From Our Past > Slideshow & History Talk Indoors

Sunday 9/3   8 a.m.

Want to get better acquainted with Col. Thompson and his namesake Arboretum? Phoenix author and historian Sylvia Lee will narrate nuggets of Arboretum history in the air-conditioned lecture room,  and put her stories in perspective with a Saturday slideshow of vintage photos projected enlarged on a big screen.

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Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk – Season Finale

Saturday 9/9   8 a.m.

Lizard Walks guided by Casa Grande outdoor educator Wild Man Phil and his son, Arch, are among the Arboretum’s most popular Summertime guided nature walks.

LEARN MORE


Digital Photographers Roundtable: Lightroom, Photoshop, and More

September 16, 2017   9am - 11am

Photographers of all skill levels who enjoy digital image post-processing are invited to meet in the Smith Building Lecture room, beginners are definitely welcome to attend this popular recurring meetup.

LEARN MORE