Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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STEAMpunk Expo

2017 STEAMpunk Expo

Sunday, June 11 | 10:00am - 5:00pm
Various events throughout the garden.

Explore mind-blowing science at Morris Arboretum. STEAMpunk 2017: Mind over Matter challenges visitors to adopt the spirit of an adventurous Victorian. Open mindedness to new ideas, new fields of science, and new ways of looking at nature were hallmarks of the time. Grab your goggles, toss on your top hat and come out to enjoy a full day of fun and learning in the beautiful gardens the steampunk way.

Free with admission to the garden.


Dining Options at the STEAMpunk Expo:


Activities include:

Vendor Village

10:00am - 5:00pm, Widener Lawn

Check out the unique steampunk items for sale. Whether you’re looking to build your steampunk outfit, or find that something special for your home, these vendors will have a great variety of quality handmade items.

Listen for the music of Keith Engel playing his Romanian viora cu guorna, a variation of the Stroh violin that has been called “the most steampunk musical instrument ever seen.” Keith will be giving pop-up performances throughout the day and welcomes your questions.

Keith Engel

Instagram Fashion Contest

10:00am - 3:00pm, Japanese Bell

Show off your steampunk finery! Stop by the Japanese Bell just beyond the Visitor Center to have your photo taken. The photos will be judged and the winner will be posted on Instagram on Monday following the event.


Globetrotting with John & Lydia Morris by Barry Jeffries

10:30am, Upper Gallery

Explore how the worldwide travels of John and Lydia Morris forever changed their future and the Arboretum as we know it today. In their travels to many countries in Eastern and Western cultures, they collected souvenirs in the form of plants, decorative objects, art, and most importantly, garden design ideas. This presentation in the Upper Gallery by local landscape architect Barry Jeffries, will be followed by a walk to visit several garden features inspired by John and Lydia’s world travels.

Globetrotting with John & Lydia Morris

Deadly Doses: The Secret Lives of Plants by Mütter Museum

11:00am - 3:00pm, Lower Gallery and Classroom

The Mütter Museum presents plants that have been used as medicine, but could also have toxic effects. Learn about plants that have been used in the past to treat a variety of ailments. Also, explore the meaning of the Paracelsus quote, “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.”

Deadly Doses

Museum of Interesting Things

11:00am - 3:00pm, Classroom

The Museum of Interesting Things, a New York based traveling interactive demonstration/exhibition of antique technology will be on hand to inspire your innovation and creativity.


The Secret Circus

12:00pm, 2:00pm & 4:00pm, Azalea Meadow

Come to the Azalea Meadow and be amazed by The Secret Circus, a roving aerial and circus performance art company who manifest and spread the catharsis of creativity. With their 18.5 foot portable aerial rig fit for silks, trapeze, and lyra, they bring the gift of cirque anywhere!! Spontaneous performances throughout the day.

The Secret Circus

Science Stations

11:00am - 3:00pm, Various locations in garden

Test your responses at the optical and cognitive illusion Science Stations. Make an illusion or two of your own to take home. Safely gaze at the sun with the help of the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society.


Abraxas Show

11:00am & 2:00pm, Sculpture Garden

Mind reading, influence, and mind over matter. Abraxas is a look into our own minds, an exploration of the unexplained and the unexplainable. Christopher Strange will demonstrate the potential of the human mind, and unlock that potential in you.

Abraxas Show

Anne Séance

12:00pm & 3:00pm, Log Cabin

Join Christopher Strange for this unique event, as he guides the participants to reach through the veil and try to contact Anne Dulane, the girl who walked into the dust storms. Drawn from traditional Victorian seances Christopher and the lucky attendees will employee classic techniques to establish contact with the other side! Ticketed event. Advance purchasing recommended. Only 12 spaces are available for each session. Tickets are available through Ticketleap.

Anne Séance

Hypnotist Frank Perri

1:00pm, Upper Gallery

What is hypnosis, and what can it tell us about how our minds work? Join Philadelphia based hypnotist, Frank Perri, on a trip into the depths of your imagination. Learn the history of hypnosis, and experience this mysterious phenomena first hand.

Hypnotist Frank Perri

The Illusions of Nature: How Plants and Animals Fool Predators and Pollinators

3:00pm, Upper Gallery

Come on a journey of discovery with horticulturist Michelle Conners to learn how plants and animals are able to successfully compete in the not-so-gentle world of nature using mimicry, camouflage and other amazing adaptations.


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Know Before You Go

For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!


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Alerts & Updates

Please be advised that the Rose Garden is closed on Thursday mornings for maintenance.



Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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