Family events offer tree climbing, activities and education.

When Beman Dawes purchased property in Licking County, he sought to provide a place for his family to enjoy nature. Today, that land is Dawes Arboretum, which offers families throughout Central Ohio an opportunity to experience the outdoors. The arboretum’s annual Arbor Day Festival is a great time to visit the attraction because the event showcases the more than 50,000 specimens of trees the family had planted.

The Arbor Day Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Road SE, Newark. The kid-friendly event features face painting, tree climbing and other activities. Musical guest The Muppet Mayhem Band will perform at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will visit at noon and 1 p.m. The first 500 families receive a free tree to take home and plant in honor of Arbor Day. Admission is $5 per car. For more information, go to or call 740-323-2355.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will hold its fourth annual Arbor Day event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27 at the conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus. The two-day event offers tree climbing, a tree cookie necklace craft, “touch a truck” activities by Ahlum & Arbor, and multiple educational demonstrations and presentations. Free saplings will be available while supplies last. The activities are included with standard admission. For more information, go to