What could be better than a magical night of dining and dancing under the stars, surrounded by the lush beauty of roses in bloom? As a longstanding Arboretum tradition, the Moonlight & Roses Gala, which always takes place in early June, is unsurpassed.
In 2011 we celebrated our 30th anniversary of Moonlight & Roses and 650 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at in the glorious Morris Arboretum Rose Garden and 360 guests stayed for dinner under the moonlit tent.
The lively garden party we now know as Moonlight & Roses has had a colorful evolution. In the early 1970’s, it was dubbed the Spring Fling, and was held on the lawn behind Gates Hall. The late Jane O’Neill was instrumental in the success of the gala in those early days.
In the 1980’s, patrons and contributors donned their garden party attire for the event that was rechristened Moonlight & Roses. The evening traditionally begins with cocktails served in the Rose Garden, while dinner, served by a very professional catering staff, is held in a festive tent atop the hill near the Widener Visitor Center, music and dancing round out the evening of friendly conversation and gourmet dining.
Moonlight & Roses has always provided and intimate setting unique to Philadelphia charity events, and is enjoyed by a capacity crowd each year. While we always order perfect weather for this wonderful evening, not even a passing summer shower can dampen the warm enthusiasm of those in attendance, who simply bring umbrellas so they can still view our fabulous rose garden in full bloom. The Morris Arboretum's annual fundraising gala, Moonlight & Roses, has become a tradition among friends, families, and colleagues in the Delaware Valley.