The Arboretum is open* from dawn until dusk for exploring.
The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission is free.
Dorotha Smith Oatts
- Special Events
*The Arboretum Parking lot is NOT accessible before and during Home Football Games. Visit UK ATHLETICS to view the Home Football Schedule.
Visit the children's garden page for hours and calendar!
Kentucky Children's Garden Admission Fees
$3.00/person (under 2 free)
$10/day (up to 5 people)
$60 Yearly Household
Membership (good for five people on one pass)
$250 Childtime Membership (good from birth-12 years old plus one adult)
Directions to The Arboretum
500 Alumni Drive
Lexington, KY 40503
Driving directions from Interstate 75 and Interstate 64
1. Exit Interstate 75/64 at Exit 115
2. Merge onto Newtown Pike KY 922 toward Lexington (3.3 miles)
3. Turn left onto W. Main Street (.6 miles)
4. Turn right onto South Upper Street (.6 miles)
5. Stay straight to go onto S. Limestone US 27 (1.1 miles)
6. Turn left onto Alumni Drive (.7 miles)
7. The Arboretum will be on your right (.5 miles)
See the University of Kentucky Campus
How long is the path at The Arboretum?
What are the plants with red berries at the entrance?
Do you allow Walks/Races at The Arboretum?
Organized walks/races are NOT ALLOWED at The Arboretum.
Do you all Professional Photography?
Professional Photography is allowed by permit only. Please contact the office for more information or click
Do you allow weddings at The Arboretum?
The Arboretum offers small outdoor garden weddings.
To schedule a wedding in The Arboretum
- Contact us at 257-6955
- You must complete the appropriate forms to schedule a wedding
- A non-refundable fee of $300 is assessed for use of The Arboretum, without a tent
- If a tent is to be used, there is an additional $100 charge
- (Only tents meeting University Tent Policy guidelines may be used; a copy of the Tent Policy is available upon scheduling
- Parties under 100
- Loud music
- Food service
- Any type of beverages, including alcoholic beverages
(It is against state law to possess or serve alcoholic beverages on University property.)
- Alterations to Arboretum plants or grounds
Parking & Transportation
The Arboretum has 115 parking places available.
There is no charge for parking.
Parking overnight is not allowed.
Limited bus parking is available.
City Bus System
859-231-8294 or 859-381-1010
Bluegrass Airport 859-425-3114
FYI- Due to federal safety guidelines, The Arboretum no longer allows bicycles along the Walk Across Kentucky Path.* We appreciate your assistance in this matter.
*You are still allowed to ride your bike using the connector path from the Bellefonte Neighborhood to our parking lot, down the entrance drive to connect to campus.
Self-guided and Docent-led tours may be scheduled anytime of the year. For a docent led tour, we need a three week min. notice. Cost is $2/adult, $1/children under 12, under 2 is free. Call The Arboretum at 859/257-6955 to schedule your visit.
Teacher/Youth Group Field Trips
The Arboretum is the perfect place to reinforce lessons learned in the classroom, or to explore new ones. Teachers can utilize this “living laboratory” in a variety of ways:
- To study the interrelationships between plants and animals
- To explore Kentucky’s native plants and seven physiographic regions on the Walk Across KY
- To learn about plant culture and life cycles
- To demonstrate practical math applications by measuring tree dimensions and landscape features
- As inspiration for art and writing classes
For a more in-depth experience, schedule a Guided Garden Discovery for your next field trip. Guided Garden Discoveries:
- Usually last 60 – 90 minutes
- Incorporate active, hands-on investigations and simulations of ecological principles
- Correlate to KY Core Content
- Are led by trained Docents
- Are tailored to meet your group’s needs
- Cost $2 per person for touring The Arboretum
- Cost is $3 per person for field trips in the Kentucky Children's Garden.
While spring and fall are our busiest times of the year, every season offers its own special discoveries. To schedule your field trip,
call 859.257.9339; we require a minium of three weeks notice.