The Arboretum at Penn State

Rental Venues

In compliance with University directives to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, rental event clients must ensure that they and their guests abide by the University’s COVID-19 policies. By attending or participating in Arboretum programs, events, or activities, visitors agree to adhere to Penn State’s guidance and policies, acknowledge the risk of being exposed to or infected by COVID-19, and assume any and all such risk.

Additional requirements may apply to rental clients as the organizers of events, and rental events may have to be suspended as pandemic policies continue to evolve. Details will be provided by the Arboretum’s event and marketing coordinator.

COVID Acknowledgment Policy Statement

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 19, 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. Two pedestrian detours will be provided around the construction site so that visitors can access the gardens.

Paid parking will be available in the Lewis Katz Building on the other side of Bigler Road. More details are provided on our Visitor Information page.

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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