Reasons to Visit the Arboretum in October

In the past, the gardens have been extremely quiet during the month of October.  We understand; the kids are back in school, the Cedar Valley has an abundance of cool fall activities, and the holiday season is just starting to begin – you’re busy!  However, we would love for you to take advantage of our 35 acre oasis this fall and come enjoy walking the gardens.  We promise you won’t be disappointed!  Still need convincing?  Keep reading for the four top reasons for you to visit the gardens this month!

  1. Unique Fall Color

While the best time to see fall color can be somewhat unpredictable and dependent on weather, the Iowa DNR suggests that the best fall foliage in the Cedar Valley can be seen during the first through third weeks in October.  Not only does the Arboretum have over 700 trees, but we also have a huge variety of trees.  This means that we’ll also have a large variety of different fall colors to offer, making the Arboretum a unique October destination.


  1. Pumpkins, Gourds, Mums, & More!

Back for the second year, A Family Market Place’s Pumpkin Patch will be located on the Arboretum’s grounds, right next to our parking lot.  You do not have to pay Arboretum admission to visit the Pumpkin Patch.  This year, they offer a large assortment of pumpkins, gourds, mums, and other unique finds.  The Pumpkin Patch’s hours during the month of October will be as follows:

Wednesday – Friday:  1pm – 6pm

Saturday – Sunday:  10am – 4pm

You can like A Family Market Place on Facebook to see updates and news about their Pumpkin Patch here

You can also learn more about them on their website here


A sampling of what you will find at the Pumpkin Patch this year! 


  1. We’re Providing the Perfect Opportunity to Visit

Because of all the awesome fall events/venues in the Cedar Valley and Iowa at large, it’s easy to see how someone could have difficulty fitting everything in.  If you’re not sure the best day/time to visit the gardens this month or just want an in-depth look at our tree collections (during their beautiful fall displays), then our Fall Tree Hike may be perfect for you!

Join our volunteer arborist and historian, Paul Kammerdiner, on a journey through the Arboretum on Sunday, October 16th at 2pm for a fun autumn afternoon. Experience the beautiful fall colors of the Arboretum, and walk through six forested areas of the Arboretum, with over 115 varieties of trees.

Non-members: Free with admission | Members: Free

Learn more about the tree hike here


A portion of the Arboretum loop trail that you’ll be walking on.

  1. Beautiful Weather

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous, crisp, 60 degree fall day?  Well, maybe someone in a more tropical region might not enjoy that scenario, but, every September – October (read: August – November), Iowans are unabashedly in a love affair with everything fall – pumpkin spice, boots, fall jackets, crunchy leaves – you get the idea.  Many would attribute this fall fascination to the (usually) absolutely perfect weather.


The month of October is your last chance in 2016 to enjoy the gardens with nice (not freezing cold!) weather and pretty growth (flowers, trees, shrubs) to look at before the winter season.  So, come spend a lovely fall afternoon with us here at the Arboretum!  You’ll be glad you did!

Visitors Please Note:  For Safety reasons, because our gardens do not have lights, we will be closing at sunset during the month of October.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

We will remain open 7 days a week through the month of October with our regular admission of $3/adult & $1/child, children under 5 and members are free.  On November 1st, we will begin our winter schedule of being open Monday – Friday with no admission cost.



Written by Libby Carter


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