We invite you to experience the natural beauty of the Arnold Arboretum on an outdoor, self-guided journey that centers resilience, healing, wellness, and joy. This collaboration between the A.R.T. and the Arboretum features audio plays written and performed by artists from Greater Boston and beyond, movement experiences, and pop-up music and dance performances, all set against the 281-acre backdrop of one of the jewels of Boston’s Emerald Necklace.
For over 7,000 years, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum now sits was inhabited and used by diverse societies/
These plays all take place in the Arnold Arboretum. You can listen to them anywhere!
Headphones or earbuds will give the best experience for personal listening. If you’re going to listen in a group, plan on sharing earbuds or using a small portable speaker (while respecting other Arboretum guests’ experience). If you’re listening while moving through the space, watch out for cyclists, cars, and other guests!
Ramona the Fearless Goes for a Ride
Disappointed by the grownups in her life, ten-year-old Ramona escapes to the Arboretum and goes on a search for the legendary lilacs.
Written for kids and their grownups.
Your Fingers Will Reach So Your Voice Can Sing
High school senior Ellis is ready to leave the family picture behind when some voices on the wind guide them home.
After and Still
A Ghost Story
A wild night deep in the Arboretum allows friends Grayson, J, and Sara a much needed moment to deal with the year they’ve had.
Contains references to drinking and substance use.
Follow the life of Major, a yellowwood tree, from his early days in the Arboretum to one hundred seasons later.
Contains a sexual reference.
You are invited to use your body, breath, and imagination to engage in a series of narrated interactive movement experiences.
These movement meditations were created in conversation with the Arnold Arboretum and center restorative practice, resilience, reclamation, gathering and joy. They can be experienced in the Arboretum or anywhere, as many times as you like. Some are in dialogue with a specific location in the Arboretum—for these, you may want to travel to that place.
Meditations by Peter Chu
Living, Breathing, Being
An experience that nurtures a tranquil awareness, invites you to take intentional and conscious breaths, and guides you to quiet down. Divided into three parts (Breathing Meditation, Qi Gong Shaking, and Hug a Tree) that can be experienced together or separately.
Qi Gong Shaking
Hug a Tree
Meditations by Jerron Herman
The Conference of Trees
Here’s a conference call you would enjoy! The Conference of Trees is about experiencing three distinctive plants – in, around, and in between them. Fan. Bloom. Press in with this audio experience. Divided into three parts (Cockspur Hawthorn, Bald Cypress, and Ginkgo) that can be experienced together or separately.
Location: The east side of Peters Hill on Peters Hill Road. Enter from Peters Hill Gate, Poplar Gate or Mendum Street Gate.
Meditations by Jill Johnson
Family of Trees
A meditation dedicated to healthcare workers and caregivers of all kinds. For anyone who wants to commune with the family of trees in the Arboretum’s Conifer Collection and join a metaphorical circle of support.
Location: Conifer Path, beginning from the Walter Street Gate.
Draw Joy to Sorrow
A sitting meditation for healing care.
Location: Anywhere. Suggestion: Meadow Road benches.
Joy Dance Party
An invitation to crank up the volume and dance like no one is watching! Experience solo, as a family, or with colleagues or friends.
Location: Anywhere. Suggestions: Meadow Road benches, Bussey Hill Road, Bradley Rosaceous Collection.
Joy Dance Party 1
Joy Dance Party 2
Joy Dance Party 3
Meditations by Nailah Randall-Bellinger
Meditating on the Katsura Tree
A moving meditation for adults.
Location: Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden, in conversation with the Katsura Tree.
For play and community.
Location: Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden, in conversation with the European Purple Beech trees.
The Creek by the Dawn Redwood Trees
A moving body of water set for joy and play.
Location: Dawn Redwoods at the Arborway Gate, in conversation with the Dawn Redwoods and the creek.
Meditations by Lonnie Anela O’kalani Neff Stanton
Amongst the Pines
Crafted for individuals to slow down and connect to their breath and body, tucked away on Hemlock Hill. Recommended to be experienced alone. This meditation has two chapters which can be experienced together, or one at a time.
Location: Hemlock Hill.
A moving meditation offering reflection.
Location: To be experienced alone or with others as you travel through the smaller paths of the Arboretum.
Pups & Pollinators
A short playful poem for young ones or the young at heart to move and dance with, inspired by animals of the Arboretum.
Location: Any open space in the Arboretum. Suggestions: The Bradley Rosaceous Collection or Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden.