Activities & Events

2016 Slayton Arboretum Program Schedule

For more details, contact Laurie Rosenberg, Program Coordinator, lrosenberg@hillsdale.edu, 517-607-2241.

Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser

May 7

On sale will be a variety of high quality plants, including the 2016 Perennial Plant Association “Plant of the Year,” the beautiful white fall-blooming Japanese Anemone, “Honorine Jobert,” an old-fashioned French hybrid, sometimes known as “Windflower.” This year’s plant offerings were specially selected for their role in providing habitat for pollinators of all kinds. There will be a myriad of brightly colored and textured annuals for garden beds and flower boxes, a collection of unusual and flavorful tomatoes and eggplants, along with some other vegetable garden favorites, and unique new perennials and native wildflowers. You can also pick up a fine array of herb plants for your garden, then learn what to do with your harvest at our Summer-Fall “Herbal Pantry” programs. Friends of the Arb will receive a 10% discount at the sale, if they like.

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location: The sale takes place at the College’s greenhouse at Hayden Park, located a half mile east of the Arboretum’s main gate. Look for the blue sign along the entrance driveway at 1620 Barber Drive. Ample parking is available on site.

Young Children’s Programs

Stories in the Garden! Stories, songs, nature activities, crafts, snacks, games and fun for the young and young at heart. This program is for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, ages 3-6. Parents should attend with 3-4 year olds and are welcome to attend with 5-6 year olds.

Time and Place: 10:00 - 11:30 AM, Meet at the Barber House.

Cost: $1.00 per child for each program, space is limited, registration required one week prior. Register for one program or the whole series! Call the arboretum at 517-607-2241 to register or send in the registration form.

  • April 5: Mouse and Mole and Fine Feathered Friends
  • May 3: The Tree Farmer
  • June 7: Rain, Rain, Rivers
  • No program in July. Sign up for Kinder Gardeners “Pond Life” day camp!
  • Aug. 4: Extremely Weird Insects
  • Sept. 1: The Tin Forest
  • Oct. 6: A Seed is Sleepy
  • Nov. 2: The Ugly Vegetables
  • Dec. 1: Time To Sleep

Classes for Adults, Teens and Older Children 

April 16: Make a Bird House

We’ll create a standard wooden bird house which can be modified for most cavity-nesting birds such as chickadees, wrens, woodpeckers and nuthatches. We’ll also have a bluebird option, but you must have access to open field habitat to be successful with this style. Space is limited so please register by April 13. Call the arboretum at 517-607-2241 to register or send in the registration form.

Ages: 8 years to adult.

Time and Place: 1:00 - 3:30 PM, Barber House.

Cost: $10.00 per box materials fee

July 23: The Herbal Pantry – Preserving with herbs—herbal jelly and jam

Ages: 10 years to adult.

Time and Place: 10:00 - 12:30 PM, Barber House.

Register by July 20.

Cost: $5.00 materials fee, you will go home with one jam, one jelly and two great recipes!

First of a five part series on using and enjoying the herbs you bought at the May Plant Sale Fundraiser. And don’t forget to join us for Herbal Tea at the Barber House on Sept. 10 at our Garden Party Open House.

August 27: The Herbal Pantry – Preserving with herbs—herbal vinegars and syrups

Ages: 10 years old to adult.

Time and Place: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Barber House.

Register by August 24.

Cost: $5.00 materials fee, you will go home with one vinegar and one syrup.

October 22. The Herbal Pantry – Preserving with Herbs--Herb and fruit infused liqueurs

Ages: Adults only!

Time and Place: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Barber House.

Register by October 19.

Cost: $5.00 materials fee, you will go home with two jars of fruit, herbs and alcohol, ready to age and be used at Christmas time for flavoring drinks, baked goods and desserts.

November 12: The Herbal Pantry—Herbal sachets

Get ready for the holidays by creating sweet smelling sachets to freshen up your home and protect your pantry or sweater drawer.

Ages: 10 years old to adult.

Time and Place: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Barber House.

Register by November 9.

Cost: $5.00 materials fee, you will go home with two sachets scented to your choice. 

Free Family Programs

April 30: Celebrate the “Arbor” in Arboretum!

Trees take center stage on this day! Take a self-guided tree hike, learn how to plant a tree properly, play some tree games, and take home a free seedling to plant. Program will begin at the Arb entrance on Barber Drive.

Ages: Adults and children of all ages.

Time: 1:0 0 – 4:00 PM

Cost: Free, donations welcome.

June 4: Family planting day – Fun for the whole family!!

Join us as we plant the themed gardens of the Barber House Children’s Garden. Help us make pretty labels for all the interesting plants in the garden. Learn how to plant seeds and potted starter plants. Bring your garden gloves and wear clothes that don’t mind dirt! Make some seed bombs to start your own wildflower garden at home!

Ages: Adults and children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cost: Free.

September 10: Garden Tea Party/Open House

Join us for a celebration of the Barber House Children’s Garden which will be a riot of color, motion, sound and scents. This will be a great time to visit if you have always wanted to know more about the garden and programs at Hillsdale College and would like to meet and socialize with the folks who make it happen. We’ll sample some herbal teas and garden treats, and don’t forget to wear your best outdoor party hat! Meet at the Barber House on Hillsdale Street.

Ages: Adults and children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

September 24: Tour of the Witch Hazel Restoration at Slayton Arboretum 

As part of the Arboretum’s Master Plan, we have been working for a year and a half to restore the hillside witch hazel collection. Join us for a tour highlighting the efforts of community Arboretum supporters and Hillsdale College students to create a beautiful and ecologically healthy display of shrubs and trees, which should be just starting to show their fall colors. Learn how we are keeping deer and invasive species at bay, monitoring and conserving the soil health, and using nature as our template for replicating the elements of a healthy natural community. 

Ages: This is of primary interest to adults. 

Time: 1:3 0 – 2:30 PM 

Cost: Free.

October 8: Autumn in the Arb

Visit the arboretum while it is decked out in its colorful foliage finery! Hike the trails, explore the science lab, plant bulbs, make a fall craft to take home, and learn how animals and plants get ready for winter. Meet at the Arb entrance on Barber Drive.

Ages: Adults and children of all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Time: 1:0 0 – 4:00 PM

Cost: Free, donations welcome. 

December 10: Winter Lights Fest

The Barber House Children’s Garden will be illuminated by thousands of lights, creating a winter wonderland through which visitors can stroll. There will be hot chocolate for warming up inside, and you can make an ornament to take home. Poinsettias will be on sale for $10, with profits benefitting the Arboretum.

Ages: Adults and children of all ages.

Time: 6:0 0 – 8:00 PM

Cost: Free, donations welcome. 

Summer Children’s Day Camps

June 27 – July 1: Nature Explorers Camp for 8-11 year olds. Theme – “The Green Team.”

Green Team campers love nature and want to have fun while learning how to take care of the planet. Become a Weed Warrior, Animal Protector, Plant Saver and Trail Maker! All while learning songs, stories, jokes, games and hikes to inspire you along the way!

Time: M-F, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Cost: $50.00 per child. 
Register by June 17.

July 11-15: Kinder Gardeners Camp for 5-7 year olds. Theme – Pond Life

This will be one wet and wild week. Each day we’ll explore some part of the ponds at the Arboretum, from the critters dwelling at every layer to the food chain links of plants, tiny creatures and big fish and turtles. We’ll also follow trails around the pond to see what other animals and plants thrive near the water. We’ll do pond art and play pond games and maybe even tell a few scummy pond jokes!

Time: M-F, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Cost: $35.00 per child. 
Register by July 1.

July 25-29: Nature Explorers Camp for 8-11 year olds. Theme – Nature Tales (Stories, songs, plays about nature)

This week the Arboretum will inspire us with plant and animal based tales, songs and poetry. We’ll write and perform a skit, create a puppet show, and explore various forms of storytelling. At the end of the week, we’ll perform for our families at an evening campfire program at the Arboretum, on Friday night from 7-8:00 PM. 
Time: M-F, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Cost: $50.00 per child. 
Register by July 15.

Aug. 8-12: Kinder Gardeners Camp for 5-7 year olds – Theme—Nature Through the Five Senses

Each day we’ll focus on one of the five senses to experience fun and interesting things about the natural communities at the Slayton Arboretum. For example, we’ll discover how plants use scents and colors to attract insects, how birds use songs to communicate, how prickly plants and animals protect themselves, and how nature provides us a wonderful selection of tastes. Art, games, songs and stories will all be part of this week of sensory exploration.

Time: M-F, 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Cost: $35.00 per child. 
Register by July 29.