Grab Your Mobile Device and Awaken Your Senses with New Online Tours at Morris Arboretum

What brings you to the garden? A love of plants? Learning about the historic landscape? Spending time with family and friends? Morris Arboretum now offers opportunities to enhance your visit through a series of new web-based tools.

Then and Now Tour for History Buffs

History buffs may enjoy looking back in time through Morris Arboretum’s Then and Now online experience. This tool invites visitors to see select garden locations as captured in history, contrasted with contemporary images of the same spot. Each featured location has an accompanying audio recording which places the location in historical context. See Lydia Morris (circa 1920) at the spot called Lydia’s seat today.  Watch the blue pool fill with azure water as you pull the contemporary image over the black and white past, all while learning about the importance of the siting of this special spot in the garden.

Architecture, Sculpture, Garden Tours, and More

Familiarize yourself with the Arboretum’s architecture or sculptures through a tour that guides you around the garden pointing out these historic features. You can also explore the Gardens.  Or learn more about Morris Arboretum’s Great Trees or Native Trees. If you’re in the mood for creativity, take the Creative Expressions Tour, which takes you to different areas of the garden where you can experience original music, art, and dance performances that were inspired by the garden.

These experiences will all be accessible from the Arboretum’s mobile site on your smartphone or tablet. Guests are invited to take advantage of the newly installed Wi-Fi hotspots to access these opportunities. You can also make use of these tools when planning your visit by checking them out on the Arboretum’s website beforehand from a desktop computer, or just visit and explore while you’re here.

Awakening the Senses is supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Morris Arboretum is a place that prompts visitors to look anew, breathe deeply, listen closely, and feel a sense of peace while exploring the grounds. Through this project Morris Arboretum aims to explore the potential for personal mobile devices to serve as an interpretive tool in the garden by calling attention to and enhancing our sensory experiences.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. A permanent nationally award-winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure Exhibit adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm.  Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8:00pm.  For more information, visit


Photo Credit: Courtesy, Morris Arboretum

Pictured here:  Then and Now Tour example