Outdoors Recreation

ArborEvenings Series Presents Concerts All Summer

Liz and Elizabeth. Cami Calnan Photography

Enjoy the North Carolina Arboretum at sunset during the fourth annual ArborEvenings, a summer music series that kicks off Thursday, June 23, and runs through September 30 in the 434-acre public gardens. The series includes music from a variety of genres including folk, country, classical and bluegrass.

“It’s a lovely way to appreciate the gardens in a relaxed and multisensory way,” says the Arboretum’s guest experience manager Mary Rose Ridderbusch-Shearer.

The event is held every Thursday and most Fridays from 5:30–8 p.m. on the Baker Lawn. Performances from more than 20 local songwriters and musicians will be held.

Guests can enjoy beer, wine and soft drinks sold onsite at the Green Gardener’s Shed. Outside alcohol is prohibited, but guests are welcome to bring their own water, non-alcoholic beverages or food for a picnic. Items can also be purchased in advance online from the Bent Creek Bistro. Fresh salads, hearty sandwiches and shareable snacks including fruits and cheeses, hummus and deviled eggs are available. Assorted house-baked cookies and locally made ice cream sandwiches are popular sweet treats on offer.

Attendees should place online orders, including alcoholic beverages, before 11 a.m. on the date of attendance, and pick them up upon arrival.

“It’s a very popular date night for couples of all ages,” says Ridderbusch-Shearer. “Often families will pre-order a picnic from Bent Creek Bistro for an easy one-stop family outing with food, music and the natural beauty of the Arboretum.”

In addition to live music and food and drink, visitors can enjoy more than ten miles of hiking and biking trails, and permanent garden exhibits including a Bonsai Exhibition Garden with more than 100 specimens and a pollinator garden featuring plants to attract and support butterflies.

ArborEvenings may be canceled due to rain. In the event of cancellation, food pre-orders will be automatically refunded. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs to set up in front of the musicians.

Admission to ArborEvenings is included with the standard parking fee of $16. Arboretum members and guests get in at no cost. Learn more about ArborEvenings, including the musician schedule and links for online orders, at NCArboretum.org.

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