Polyphemus Moth, ToddTaulmanPhotography/shutterstock

Moth Night
After Dark at the Arboretum

Saturday, August 8, 8:30-11 p.m. (choose your own arrival time)
$20 member/$35 non-member, includes "special access" after-hours Arboretum admission

All options are SOLD OUT.
Add your name to the waitlist, we will contact you if any time slot opens!
WAITLIST  Arrival times:   8:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
9 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
9:30 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
10 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

Explore a lighted Moth Trail after dark at the Arboretum!

Also includes an online 1-hour moth presentation

In honor of National Moth Week, come to the Arboretum to learn more about these interesting, gorgeous insects! This two-part experience includes an online presentation PLUS an opportunity to explore an after-dark (and after public hours!) lighted Moth Trail in-person at the Arboretum.


  • Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations, Author: "Native Plants of the Midwest," "Midwest Plant Primer: 225 Plants for an Earth-Friendly Garden"
  • Bill Johnson, Charter Member of the North American Nature Photographers' Association

The Experience

Moth Night, online presentaiton 

Online Moth Presentation

Watch the 1-hour presentation on-demand when you choose!

  • Watch a stunning photographic presentation from Alan Branhagen (Arboretum Director of Operations) and Bill Johnson (Photographer) about moths in Minnesota
  • Learn the basics of "mothing," from setting up light stations to the basics of ID
  • See the best ID guides to use- on your phone or hard copy.
  • Learn how the Arboretum moth trail will be set up, what to bring with you, and how to have the best experience.
Registered participants will receive links via email to view the presentation and handout

Visitor Center lit up at night, photo APS

After-Dark Moth Trail at the Arboretum

Visit staffed "mothing stations" along a lighted trail*
Choose a timeslot when you register

  • Get a seated orientation to the trail on the Tea Room terrace, and see moths at the first "light station"- a sheet with a light pointed at it, to attract moths.
  • Travel down the trail to visit four additional stations: woodland, wetland, pond and waterfall.
  • Meet and interact with helpful Arboretum staff (like Director of Operations Alan Branhagen, moth afficianado) and other local experts at each mothing station.
  • Compare the different types of moths you find at each station, and chat with staff at each stop
  • Maximum of 10 people per time slot to allow for safe social distancing.

*This trail includes mulch paths and inclines, and is not accessible to walkers, strollers or wheelchairs.

How it Works - Presentation

  • A RECORDING of the live presentation can be watched by registered participants any time. Follow the links you receive in your emailed registration confirmation to watch and view the handout

How it Works - Moth Trail

Register for any available Moth Trail time slotMoth Night registration timing options
8:30 p.m.-SOLD OUT, 9 p.m.-SOLD OUT, 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m.-SOLD OUT.
  • At the online registration screen, click on "CLICK HERE FOR OTHER TIMES" to select your arrival time. Only available times with tickets will be shown; sold out times will not appear.
  • You will receive a timed ticket to attend the in-person Moth Trail
  • Please arrive within 15 minutes of your scheduled time to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.
  • The trail will be a one way loop marked with glow in the dark arrows.
  • You may stay on the trail as long as you desire, until closing time at 11 p.m.
  • If you would like to pass someone on the Moth Trail, please ask if you may pass and keep a six-foot distance while you do.

Bring from Home
  • A downloaded phone app for moth identification (this will be discussed in the virtual presentation) or guidebook
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • A face mask
  • Insect repellent (don't worry, it doesn't deter moths)
  • Be aware that lighter clothing may attract moths to you. Dress appropriately based on your preferences.
  • Park in the Arboretum Staff parking lot, which is immediately on your LEFT after the gatehouse.
  • Walk up the trail to the Terrace (you'll see the light) to begin your walk.

More Info

Covid safety at the Arboretum, icon banner with permission from NYBG

Covid-19 Safety During this Program

To keep us all safe, we're including new COVID-19 modifications for this program:
  • Our staff and instructors will be staying home if they have a temperature above 100.4, coughing or shortness of breath. We urge you to do the same.
  • Your registration confirmation will come with detailed information and a reminder of these guidelines, please read them carefully. 
  • Your registration will be checked when you arrive, please have it ready to show. Only pre-registered attendees will be allowed.
  • To ensure spacing on the trail, arrival times will be available in half hour increments, with no more than 10 participants per time slot: 8:30, 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m.. You may stay on the trail as long as you desire, until closing time at 11 p.m.
  • Masks are required for all participants.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at stations.
  • Please maintain a distance of six feet away from all those you are not related to (i.e. a spouse or child)
  • The trail will be a one way loop marked with glow in the dark arrows. Follow the one way arrows along the paths.
  • If you would like to pass someone on the Moth Trail, please ask if you may pass and keep a six-foot distance while you do.
  • Please use your restroom at home before you leave home; A restroom will be available on request.
  • If you do not observe the above guidelines, staff may ask you to leave.
This experience is intended for an adult audience, and contains a scientific program and presentation. Kids ages 10+ may attend the moth walk with a supervising adult who will be responsible for their behavior in a grown-up setting. All attending participants MUST be registered, including kids.

Weather Conditions
As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable! Moths are most active on warm nights with an approaching weather front... but even without perfect conditions may be able to see or hear frogs, owls, and other nighttime insects. Be prepared (and dressed!) for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session.

Want more Nature Appreciation Events?

Subscribe here and select "Adult Education > Guided Walks & Nature Appreciation," we will notify you when similar events are added!



Arboretum Education Office
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.*
*We are temporarily working from home during Covid-19, we may return phone messages from a home phone 

Cancellations & Exchanges
Cancellation policy
COVID-19 Class Updates

The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button next to the class and complete the form. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional sessions may be added.

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