The Arboretum at Penn State

Rental Venues

In compliance with University directives to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, most activities, events, and private rentals, are currently suspended.

Construction of New Palmer Museum of Art in Arboretum to Impact Venue Rentals

The Arboretum at Penn State is going to be the site of the new Palmer Museum of Art. Unfortunately, the location of the project site will negatively impact the logistics and aesthetics of garden events from July 2021 until the new museum opens in fall 2023.

The construction site will encompass our parking lot and the field between Bigler Road (the access road to the gardens) and the gardens themselves. Visitors and guests will have to pay to park at the Lewis Katz lot and walk on one of two temporary gravel pathways around the construction site (on the north or south) to enter the gardens.

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With the addition of the museum in 2023, there will be both indoor and garden venues designated for private events. The garden venues will be available for gatherings such as wedding ceremonies, graduation celebrations, retirement dinners, family reunions, departmental or office functions, and academic or business conference receptions. Garden space may not be rented for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, or events that are open to the public. All Arboretum rental clients are required to abide by University policies, garden rules and event protocols as outlined in the rental agreement. A logistics discussion is held within 30 days of the event with the event and marketing coordinator.

Until the museum with its indoor venues becomes available, our primary rental season begins May 16 and ends September 30. Because the Arboretum cannot provide furnishings, tents, or catering and bar-tending services, rental clients must hire professional rental companies and approved caterers. They may apply through the Arboretum for permission from the University to hire a bar-tending service. To reserve a garden venue, a client must sign a rental agreement and submit a non-refundable deposit equivalent to one-half of the rental fee. The balance of the fee is due thirty days before the date of the rental event.

Important: The Joan Milius Smith Esplanade may not be available for rental events in the future because it will serve as the main entryway to the new garden. The Bigler Road Lawn will no longer be available because it is part of the museum site.

The available rental venues, permitted uses, and fees that will apply in the museum building have not yet been determined.


Kate Reeder
Event and Marketing Coordinator
336 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604