Programs & Events

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Trees of the Arboretum-Guided Walk with Miguel Hernandez

Sunday, 9/16 to Sunday, 12/16   8:00 a.m.

Sure, you’ve heard about the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe – but did you know this yuletide plant grows on trees right here in AZ?


Digital Photographers Monthly Meet-Up

Saturday, 9/22 to Saturday, 11/17   10:00 a.m.

Learn how to process and enhance digital images, review photos with a group, and discuss the art and science of digital imaging.


Friday Bird Walk with Lisa Murphy

10/05, 10/19, 11/02, 11/16, 12/7, and 12/21   6:30 a.m. in Sept., 8:30 a.m. all other dates

Join guide Lisa Murphy for a Friday bird walk at the Arboretum! This is a great way to get into birding, sharpen your skills and get some exercise. Beginners are always encouraged and welcome.


Butterfly Guided Walks at the Arboretum

10/07, and 10/27   9:00 a.m. (9:30 a.m. on 10/27)

Learn about native Arizona butterfly species from your guide, Adriane Grimaldi. During this slow paced walk, visitors will have a chance to photograph numerous beautifully colored butterfly species in several of the on site gardens.


Landscape Plants Walk

October 12 and 20, 2018   10:00 a.m.

Bring photos of your front yard, back patio or landscape blueprints and you can get expert advice on ideal trees, shrubs, cacti, flowers and herbs that thrive in our corner of Arizona.


Fall Plant Sale

October 13 thru 28, 2018   8:00am - 5:00pm

Boyce Thompson Arboretum's Fall Plant Sale is a wonderful opportunity to take one of our exotic plants home with you! Volunteers from Pinal County's Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program will be present to advise and assist buyers with suggestions for trees and smaller plants ideal for a wide range of landscaping projects.


Guided Bird Walks

10/14/2018   8:30 a.m.

Arboretum guided bird walks are an ideal way to get into birding and to sharpen your locating and identification skills! Beginners are always welcome at this exciting event.


Sunday Guided Tours at the Arboretum

10/14, 10/21 and more   8:30 a.m. in Sep., 10:00 a.m. in Oct.

Arboretum volunteers narrate the history of Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden and point out colorful plants and birds during guided nature walks.


Special After-Hours Macro Photography Class with Paul Landau

October 21, 2018   6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The human eye can only look so close; Scottsdale photographer Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing intricacies and patterns almost invisible to the human eye.


Guided Bird Walk with Lisa Murphy

October 21, 2018   8:30am

Fall-Winter migrating birds visit the gardens in October. Sharpen your birding skills and join a guided bird walk this month to hear their chorus around the gardens.


‘Paint and Wine’ Class with Carla Keaton

October 21, 2018   12:00 p.m.

Let Carla Keaton coach you through your original painting at the Arboretum while sipping a good wine. Take home your original piece to enjoy for years to come!


3rd Annual Halloween Event at the Arboretum – Members Only

October 27, 2018   5:30 p.m.

Join us for a fun family Halloween event! Costumes are encouraged, but not required.


Edible & Medicinal Plants Walk with David Morris

October 28, 2018   1:30 pm

Learn how food and medicine can be made from mesquite pods, prickly pear cactus fruits, and even the cactus pads on a walking tour where you’ll see towering stalks of native Agave chrysantha, a source of agave nectar.


Arboretum Book Club Friday: "Gardens in the Dunes" by Leslie Marmon Silko

November 2, 2018   9:00 a.m.

"Gardens in the Dunes" is the powerful story of one woman's quest to reconcile the cherished traditions of heritage on the brink of extinction and an encroaching white culture.


Arboretum Book Club Friday – ‘Gardens in the Dunes’ by Leslie Marmon Silko

November 2, 2018   9:00 am

When David and Courtney Reeder Jones moved into two rooms reached by ladder in a northern Arizona Indian ruin, they had been married only two weeks. The year was 1938, and the newlyweds had come to Wupatki National Monument as full-time National Park Service caretakers for the ruin. Courtney's letters to her family and friends reflect all the charm of the earlier time as they convey the sense of rapid transition that came after the war.


Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners Present: Gardeners ‘Short Stuff’

November 3, 2018   11:00 a.m.

Join the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners as we explore “small” plants that make a “big” difference by bringing interest and color to dull garden spaces.


Plants of the Bible Lands Lecture: Agriculture in Ancient Israel with David Oberpillar

November 17, 2018   1:30 pm

David Oberpriller has guided popular “Plants of the Bible Lands" walks around the Arboretum for more than a decade, pointing out plants mentioned in the Bible that can grow and thrive here in AZ, while sharing anecdotes from scripture.


Digital Photography Monthly Meet-Up

November 17, 2018   10:00 a.m.

This fun and informative monthly meet-up, is a place where participants can both share and learn the current trends in digital image processing.


Photography for Beginners: Informal Workshop & Sunday Outdoor Shoot

November 18, 2018   9:00 a.m.

These photo walks include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance. In addition, participants will be able to ask their specific questions answered in a supportive small groups, each with a friendly camera coach whose goal is to "put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners."


Fall into Nature at the Fall Foliage Festival

November 24 and 25, 2018   8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The Arboretum’s famous Chinese pistachio trees typically show their vivid shares of harvest gold, pumpkin orange and burgundy during Thanksgiving Weekend.


Geology Walking Tour Guided by Phil St. George

November 24, 2018   1:30 p.m.

Geologist Phil St. George 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.


General Guided Tour of Boyce Thompson Arboretum

November 24, 2018   8:30 a.m.

Arboretum volunteers narrate the history of Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden and point out colorful plants and birds during guided nature walks.