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Lilac Sunday at Arnold Arboretum 2022

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Venue:Arnold Arboretum
Dates:Sunday, May 8, 2022 - Sunday, May 8, 2022
Hours:10:00m - 3:00pm
Category:Seasonal Fun
lilac sunday at arnold arboretum 2022 photoThis beloved Boston tradition celebrates the lilacs as well as many other special collections at their peak at this lovely time of year. Come celebrate spring at the Arnold Arboretum in 2022.

We invite you to visit during these weeks of peak lilac bloom, but request that you practice social distancing from one another and respect our plants. If the landscape appears to be too crowded for safe visitation, please return another time.

Current Guidelines for Visiting

In keeping with CDC and Harvard COVID-19 guidelines for large gatherings, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University will not hold Lilac Sunday 2021.

Formal events and public programming related to the Arboretum’s celebration of lilacs have been postponed until spring 2022, when the Arnold Arboretum will celebrate its sesquicentennial and 112th observance of Lilac Sunday. Picnics will not be permitted on this or any day.

=========Past Event Info - Pre-COVID-19========

Of the thousands of flowering plants in the Arboretum, only one, the lilac, is singled out each year for a daylong celebration.

Mainly located on the edge of Bussey Hill Road in the heart of the landscape, the lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America. Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908.

Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, May 13.

Picnicking is permitted on this day only, but food must be brought in to the Arboretum—no food vendors on site. The landscape is open from dawn until dusk. Print a landscape map here.

Street parking along the Arboretum perimeter is limited. Visitors are advised to take public transportation. No unauthorized vehicles are allowed within the gates on weekends.

Traffic can move through this area, though there are route changes and possibly restrictions.

Street parking along the Arboretum perimeter is limited. Visitors are advised to take public transportation. No unauthorized vehicles are allowed within the gates on weekends.

Accessibility Parking:
Some parking spaces outside the gates are designated for special-needs visitors.

A limited number of wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at information tents in three locations: in front of the Hunnewell Visitor Center, inside the Forest Hills Gate, and inside the Centre Street Gate. They may not be reserved in advance.

Lilac Collection:
With 397 lilac plants representing 179 taxa (kinds), the Arboretum holds one of the premier lilac collections in North America.

A String Quintet from the Boston Symphony Orchestra will perform in at the hickories by Centre Street Gate at 11:00am and 12:00pm.

This performance is part of Boston Symphony Orchestra’s innovative community engagement program–“BSO In Residence”–in Jamaica Plain.

Become an Arboretum Member:
Join the Friends of the Arnold Arboretum as a new member at the Contributing level ($50) on Lilac Sunday and receive a special lilac plant while supplies last. Look for the membership tent near the lilacs.

T-shirt Design Contest

2019 Winning Design by Sara Castellucci

The winner of the 2019 Lilac Sunday T-shirt Design Contest is Sara Castellucci. Sara is a graphic designer on the exhibit development team at the Museum of Science. In her role there, she uses her design skills to share knowledge of the natural world.

With 12 years of professional graphic experience, she has worked on a wide variety of projects, including print, packaging, and digital design. Sara has a enduring love of nature and gardening. She creatively squeezes every square foot of a small Boston backyard into a vegetable and flower garden, where she passionately spends many hours each summer growing food for her family.

Her favorite flowers in the garden are the irises. Sara combines her artistic skill and her love of gardening by contributing photos for local gardening Instagram,

At Lilac Sunday, t-shirts featuring the winning design for 2019 will be for sale in the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center and in the landscape near the lilac collection.



125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA map
Phone: (617) 384-5209


5-starGreat day at the Arboretum
The morris dancing was great. Seemed like everyone had fun. Was warm when sun came out. Great time for family.


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