Shelter Rental and Group Picnics

Arboretum picnic area

Looking for a family-oriented place to have a family reunion, graduation party or company picnic? The Margot Picnic Shelter Area has three* picnic shelters that are available for rent throughout the summer. The shelters are located close to the display gardens, walking paths and main buildings. A restroom is located in one of the shelters, equipped with water and electricity.

*Ordway Shelter, located near the bog walk, is not available to reserve.

All shelters are enclosable, have electrical outlets, serving areas and nine picnic tables for seating. Recommended shelter capacity is 80 people. Additional picnic seating is available outside. Parties can bring their own food (outside catering and alcohol is not allowed) or Sizzlin' Summer BBQ food packages are available through Arboretum Catering (see sidebar). The picnic shelters are not equipped with grills, but parties may bring portable grills.

Shelters rent for $250.00 per day and includes your guests' gate admission to the Arboretum. The grounds are open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Shelters must be reserved and pre-paid one week in advance.

Lawn sports and games are prohibited (e.g., softball, volleyball, Frisbee, etc.) due to potential damage to the gardens and grounds. Reserving groups will be liable for any damage to the shelter and surrounding area.

Please contact Reservations for details on shelter rentals or group picnics at 612-301-7600, or email

hot dog

Summer BBQ Bash
$25/person (plus tax) for ages 11 and older, $14.99 (plus tax) for ages 10 and under
*20 guest minimum
**Price includes gate fee and picnic shelter rental, but does not include tax.

Arboretum Catering is committed to protecting and improving the environment. This includes the use of compostable tableware products at our outdoor events. Download a PDF of the menu.