National Parks / Natural World

University of Kentucky Arboretum Lexington

Where is it at?

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University of Kentucky Arboretum
500 Alumni Drive
Lexington
KY
40503
Tel: 859-257-6955

Where are we going today?

You don't need to leave a city to immerse yourself in a nature filled family day out! Just head to the University of Kentucky.

The University of Kentucky Arboretum has been giving family's beautiful nature to enjoy since 1991. It spans over 100 acres of beautiful year round plants and colors - all ready to be marveled at by yourselves!

They have created a space where you can feel like you are escaping into a paradise. The gardens are popular with the kids because they have a place where they can enjoy a large and diverse collection of plants and flowers from all around the world.

The Rose Garden is a beautiful and peaceful showcase for many types of roses (you will be surprised how many there are!) and the Fragrance Garden is small, but an amazing area for kids to explore with their wooden columns covered in climbing roses, and winding trails.

Just stand there and take a deep breath...you might be in for a treat!

Most popular of all for the kids, of course, is the Kentucky Children's Garden! This 1.85 acre site at the Arboretum is an outdoor learning environment designed JUST for those little green thumbs aged 2 to 10 years to learn all about plants and the environment.

There are a number of "child-scaled" theme gardens, as well as garden-like elements for their essential play. There are even gardens planted and maintained by children themselves!

Nature is amazing, and at the University of Kentucky Arboretum you can get right up close to it!

Email attraction

How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree, but children's garden $2
  • ChildrenSame as adult
  • Free Under: 2 years for children's garden
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

Dusk until dawn. Children's garden: 10am - 5pm Wed to Sat / 1pm - 5pm Sun

All year round

Teachers corner

Why not arrange a docent led your for the students - From May to September you can schedule docent-left tours. Self-gudied tours are available all year round. Docent led tours are $2 adults and $1 per child under 12 (under 2 free).

Any Top Tips?

Dogs are allowed on the paved pathways, but must remain on a leash at all times.

Doing our bit

They want to showcase the Kentucky landscapes and serve as a resource for protecting and educating about the environment .

Need a little extra help?

Give them a call to see the accessibility of the grounds!.

More information

Note the hours of the children's garden are different to that of the arboretum. During inclement weather the children's garden might close too .

What people are saying?

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    Love to walk and be with other walkers.

    I have health problems with legs and need this particular exercise.
    I like the secure path which stabilizes my feet.

    My concern is that a Golf Cart has free reign on the walkway where
    we walk and even bikes are not allowed.

    When I speak to the management, they say the employees
    are allowed to run the Golf Cart even if it is 05 to 10 miles an hour.
    Pedestrians are expected to step off or push children and dogs
    off of the walkway to give way to the Golf Cart.

    If someone can assist management to find another...Read More

  • by

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    The arboretum is a in a very beautiful and peaceful location, inside the University campus. The space itself is very well kept, creatively planted, with interesting sculptures and gazebos that create unique "corners" within it. Every now and then there are seats and picnic tables, where you can rest and take in the beauty around you. It features free gardening classes, volunteer opportunities and many different thematic gardens-the herb garden, the edible garden, the bee garden etc. There is also an area especially designed for children, with small...Read More

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    nice Place to sit down and talk with your family and friends

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    Good place to walk and enjoy time with nature in middle of town. This is near the University of Kentucky. There is a visitor center with restrooms with daytime hours.

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    Likes: Very nice park.
    Dislikes:Dog poop EVERYWHERE!

Submit a review

by Suzanne Pond

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Love to walk and be with other walkers.

I have health problems with legs and need this particular exercise.
I like the secure path which stabilizes my feet.

My concern is that a Golf Cart has free reign on the walkway where
we walk and even bikes are not allowed.

When I speak to the management, they say the employees
are allowed to run the Golf Cart even if it is 05 to 10 miles an hour.
Pedestrians are expected to step off or push children and dogs
off of the walkway to give way to the Golf Cart.

If someone can assist management to find another way to address
this issue, I would appreciate the added security.
A safer way.

Sincerely worried walker.

by Kitty Konialis

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The arboretum is a in a very beautiful and peaceful location, inside the University campus. The space itself is very well kept, creatively planted, with interesting sculptures and gazebos that create unique "corners" within it. Every now and then there are seats and picnic tables, where you can rest and take in the beauty around you. It features free gardening classes, volunteer opportunities and many different thematic gardens-the herb garden, the edible garden, the bee garden etc. There is also an area especially designed for children, with small animals and events that keep them happy. With so many flowers in bloom and the beautiful landscaping, I felt as if I were in Paradise! Also, the staff who worked on the gardens, mainly young men and women, were very polite and extra nice and helpful. They seemed enthusiastic and passionate about what they were doing and the resulting beautiful arboretum is proof of that!

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