Tips for Visitors

Every visit to Tyler Arboretum begins with a stop in the Visitor Center.

Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you so that you get the most out of your visit.

Stop by and find out what’s in bloom, learn about other seasonal highlights, changes in hiking trail conditions, and fun areas for families or to answer any questions you may have.

Our Visitor Center staff can also help you sign up for a class or workshop, provide information on rentals at the Arboretum, as well as helping you become a member.

If you become a member on the day of your visit, the price of your admission fee will be deducted from the cost of your membership.

Tyler offers three sets of restrooms for visitors.

The most readily available facilities are in the barn, through the white door under the barn ramp. Other restrooms are available on the upper level of the barn. Visitors will find additional restroom facilities in the red tile classroom building at the bottom of the hill next to our Edible Garden.

Our restrooms are checked by staff at least once a day. If you find that essential supplies are running low, please alert a member of our staff.

While many of the paths at Tyler are paved, in places the naturalistic nature of our site means that access to certain plants and garden displays is often via turf, grassy, or mulched surfaces. Visitors will be most comfortable in footwear suitable for uneven surfaces. Some areas involve moderate to steep grades which means there may be limited accessibility for visitors with disabilities. Strollers with larger tires are easier to manage on rough terrain than umbrella-style strollers.

The Scenic Loop opened as a paved path in April 2013 and offers a 1.07-mile path that is perfect for walkers, runners, strollers, and wheelchair users.

The path starts at the Visitor Center and takes visitors down past the Butterfly House and the Edible Garden, over a small bridge next to the pond, and gives paved access to portions of the Wister Rhododendron Garden, the entrance of the Stopford Family Meadow Maze, parts of the Pinetum, the Giant Sequoia, and two of our tree houses.

Given the geography of our site, parts of the Scenic Loop are accessed via graded slopes that a few of our visitors may find challenging.

Visitors will find mostly paved paths in the 13-acre Wister Rhododendron Garden, which connect another 0.75-mile of paths through this garden to the Scenic Loop.

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day at Tyler. Picnic tables are located just around the corner from the Visitor Center, with easy access to the parking lot. You are also welcome to bring a blanket and enjoy a meal or snack in other areas of the Arboretum. Please tote your own trash (including uneaten food items) and either take these items home with you or dispose of them in the designated containers.

The Visitor Center Shop offers a wide range of Tyler Arboretum products, including hats, t-shirts, note cards, mugs, and water bottles. There are unique gift items, such as hand-turned wood bowls made from reclaimed wood from Tyler’s trees, nature-inspired jewelry, and pottery made from regional clay.

We offer an extensive collection of children’s nature-related books as well as field guides and environmental books for adults. Inexpensive toys and souvenirs for children are always popular.

The Visitor Center also sells bottled drinks, energy bars, and snacks to keep visitors hydrated and fueled for a day in the Arboretum. During the warmer months be sure to stop in for an ice cream treat.

As an added layer of security for the duration of our temporary, seasonal outdoor exhibits, we may from time to time find it necessary to lock the pedestrian gates that lead out to our hiking trails.

When gate locking is needed, visitors will find notices clearly posted on each gate. Gates are generally locked 30 minutes before the Arboretum closes. If you are going to use the hiking trails while we’re hosting an outdoor exhibit in the summer months and you are not back inside the deer fence before the gates are locked you will find yourself locked out.

Please ensure you and anyone visiting with you are back inside the fence in good time.

We offer reduced admission rates for active duty members of the all branches of the United States military and for students of accredited educational facilities. To take advantage of these reduced rates, visitors must produce an appropriate, current, valid military or student ID.

Tyler Arboretum partners with multiple public gardens, museums, and cultural attractions throughout North America, which means that members of those organizations may be entitled to reciprocal or reduced rate admission.

To take advantage of any of these kinds of offers, your membership of any organization that Tyler may have an arrangement with must be current.

Our current reciprocal partnerships include:

  • American Horticulture Society Member Partners: free admission with membership card from participating organization. This offer is not applicable for the Great Valley Nature Center or Riverbend Environmental Center
  • Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation Members: free admission with membership card.
  • AAA Members: $1 off admission for Cardholder only with a current membership card.
  • WHYY Members: $1 off admission; limited to four individuals with a current membership card.
  • NARM – North American Reciprocal Museums Members: free admission. Visitors must have a gold NARM sticker on their organizational membership card.
  • ROAM – Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums: holders of these cards must have a Steward or Circle of Friends Level Membership and have the gold NARM sticker or the silver ROAM symbol on a current organizational membership card.
  • Explore & Save Brandywine Valley Program: members of the cultural attractions listed below receive $2 off regular admission for a maximum of two individuals. Visitors must present a current organizational membership card to receive their discount.
    • Brandywine Zoo
    • Chester County Historical Society
    • Delaware Art Museum
    • Delaware Museum of Natural History
    • Hagley Museum
    • Longwood Gardens
  • Philly Parent Circle: $1 off admission, up to 6 people. To claim this discount visitors must present a current PPC card.

While visitors are free to enjoy a brown bag lunch or picnic on our grounds, and although we offer soft drinks and snacks for sale in the Visitor Center, we do not currently offer on-site food services.

However, there are several restaurants, cafes, and diners just a short drive away.