Boerner Botanical Gardens
Thousands of plants bring the seasons to life at Boerner, with colorful and fragrant displays laid out in 12 formal gardens. Explore a rose garden, peony garden, and daylily garden, stroll under blossoming crabapples and enjoy brunch with a view in the cafe. The Boerner Botanical Gardens are located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee in the village of Hales Corners. Visit throughout the year to see the different gardens in bloom.
|Adults: (ages 18 & up)
|Seniors: (Mke County Resident, ages 60+)
|Junior: (ages 6-17)
|Friends of Boerner*:
Free First Tuesdays at The Gardens
On the first Tuesday of the month from May to September, Milwaukee County Residents receive free entry (with proof of residency). See all Milwaukee County free days.
Free Days: May 2, June 6, August 7, and September 4.
The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens (FBBG) offers docent-guided group tours for $9.50 per person.
Botanical Gardens Hours
April 29 – Sept. 29
Open Daily, 8:00am – 6:00pm
Oct. 1 - 30
Open Daily, 8:00am - 5:00pm
May-Oct., 8 a.m.-6 p.m., daily
other times of year, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday only
Explore the Gardens
With a dozen themed gardens, all blooming at different times of the year, there's always something new to see each time you visit. Gardens include the Rose Garden, Shrub Mall, Annual Garden, Herb Garden, Daylilly Walk, Rock Garden and Peony Garden.
Stop by the Visitor Center to find a unique products in the Gardens Gift Store, or enjoy lunch with a view in Nells Cafe. Entry to the Visitor Center is free. The Visitor Center also houses a library, classrooms and event spaces available to rent.
Here you'll find over 500 new varities of plants, being tested for their suitability for the Great Lakes region. Specially trained judges evaluate the trial plantings and the results are used to determine which plants are named All America Selections.
Major Annual Events
China Lights, Sept-Oct
Brighten up your autumn evenings with a visit to China Lights on the grounds of the Boerner Botanical Gardens. Enjoy illuminated scenes, live performances, cultural displays, a marketplace, and activities for children. Food and beverages are available for purchase at this family friendly event.
Concerts in the Gardens, June-Aug
Enjoy a free summer concert series, sponsored by Wimmer Communities, held on Thursday evenings in the gardens. Performances are from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and visitors can explore the gardens for free after 6pm. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the concerts; however, guests can also bring food.
Arbor Day - April 27
Each spring we celebrate Arbor Day at Boerner by inviting local school children to plant a new tree in the gardens. The day also marks the offical start of botanical gardens season, with paid admission starting on April 28
The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens (FBBG) offers groups of 15 or more an opportunity to view Milwaukee County’s “Living” Museum with a one-hour, educational, docent-guided tour at a special group rate of $10.50 per person. Available May - mid October.
Garden House Art Exhibits
Temporary displays of nature-inspired artwork are on view in the Exhibit Room of the Garden House.
Boerner Botanical Gardens hosts educational programing, houses a plant library, trial garden and more.
- Adult Programs
- Children's Programs
- Horticultural Therapy
Individuals and groups can experience the restorative nature of gardens and gardening through programs offered by the Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens.
Get Your Plants Questions Answered
Master Gardeners from the Univeristy of Wisconsin Extension Horticultural team can answer your plant and gardening questions. The Master Gardeners are available from May to September, 10:00 – 2:00pm. Bring in samples or photos to get plants or bug identification, or get answers to your questions about trees, lawsn, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables. (414) 525-5638
Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens
The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens (FBBG) are an independent non-profit that supports Boerner Botanical Gardens through fundrasising, educational programing and special events.
- Free Unlimited Admission to the Gardens
- 10% Discount in the FBBG Gift Shop
- 10% Discount in Nell’s Garden Cafe
- Discounts on FBBG classes and events
- In Season Newsletter
- Membership Appreciation Event
- Reciprocal admissions to over 300 American Horticultural Society Gardens (www.ahsgardening.org)
Become a Member
Boerner Botanical Gardens offers variety in size, function and decoration. With expansive wide-windowed halls, as well as more intimate gathering spaces, the Gardens has options for every event, wedding or corporate. Located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee, the convenience of this location also impresses, especially with 300 free parking spaces.
Garden House Exhibit Room Rental Permit Application
Alcohol Permit Application
Boerner Grand Hall
The Boerner Botanical Gardens Great Hall features a 21′ x 21′ dance floor, a riser, 60″ round tables and seating of 8 guests per table along with an upholstered style chair. Guests will enjoy the view of the Fragrance Garden.
Rentals and catering of Boerner Hall is provided by Zillis. Contact Zilli’s for current rates at (414) 525-5635. Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens also available.
Banquet Style: 300
Theatre Style: 350
Boerner Garden House
The Garden House was constructed in 1935 using native fieldstone. The Exhibit Room features wooden animals sculptures, wooden furniture, and a beautifully inscribed fireplace mantel. Renters may bring in beverages, home-prepared food and light snacks. Any formal catering is available from Zilli Hospitality Group. Admission fees to Boerner Botanical Gardens required during Apr-Oct.
During the garden season, admission fees to the Botanical Gardens are also required with rentals. Ask about group rates for admission.
Rooms at Boerner Botanical Gardens include two main level classrooms with sinks (seats 36), two lower-level lab-style classrooms (seats 45) and a multi-media room (seats 180). These rooms are ideal for presentations, meetings or art and garden workshops.
Coffee service, audio/video equipment available for extra fee.
Educational partners, plant societies and garden clubs qualify for special rates. Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens also available.
Room 114 - Garden Tree Club Room: 36
Room 115 - Connie Grove Memorial Room: 36
Room B05 - Grandparents Room: 45
Room B24 - Rosarian Room: 45
Room B06A - Multi-Media Room: 96 classroom setup or 180 theatre style
The Garden Room
The Garden Room at Boerner Botanical Gardens is located off the Atrium and overlooks the Silver Gardens and allows guests a nice retreat from a business meeting. This space is ideal for meetings, cocktail receptions, intimate sit down dinners and more with group sizes of 96 or less. It can also be combined with Boerner Hall and lends itself well for a perfect site to cocktail and end the evening with dancing.
Rentals and catering of the Boerner Garden Room is provided by Zillis. Contact Zilli’s for current rates at (414) 525-5635. Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens also available.
Cocktail Setup: 96
U-shape Setup: 50
Other set-ups available on request.
Weddings at Boerner Botanical Gardens
Boerner gardens is ideal for everything from an intimate wedding for 30 guests in the annual garden gazebo to a large ceremony for 200 guests in the shrub mall. The historic Garden House can also be rented for use as a bridal room, or an alternative ceremony site in case of inclement weather. Outdoor areas are available spring-fall and remain open to the public.
Boerner also offers several indoor spaces for receptions through our catering partner Zillis.
Ceremony Site Map (pdf)
Annual Garden & Gazebo
The Annual Garden includes a central water garden with water lily and lotus, grassy malls with flowered borders, ornamental flowering trees and dazzling beds of colorful annual flowers. A low decorative wall made from native glacial-stone outlines the garden and a traditional gazebo offers quiet repose.
Capacity: up to 30
Rock Garden Vista
In early spring the Rock Garden is carpeted with Wisconsin wildflowers and the delicate blooms of Asian and European bulbs. As spring flows into summer, Japanese Primroses and Siberian Irises lead off a parade of flowering perennials. Summer gives rise to a host of ferns, fragrant-flowered Japanese Hostas, and bright South American and African tropical flowers.
Capacity: Up to 200 guests
The Rose Garden that today’s visitor sees at Boerner is very much the same garden seen by guests in the 1930s. Many of the roses originally planted in this Garden were provided by Eugene Boerner.
Capacity: Up to 80 guests
The Shrub Mall has the regal look and feel of an English country estate garden. Its impressive central lawn or “mall” stretches from end to end.
Capacity: Up to 200 guests
Boerner Botanical Gardens provide the perfect backdrop for engagement, wedding, prom and family photos. For formal photo shoots you'll need a photography permit.
Wedding Photography Permit
Package Rate: $142.56 for up to 1 hour with admission for up to 20 adults included
Additional Half-Hour: $68.64 per additional 30 minutes beyond package
Formal Photography Permit
Package Rate: $26.48 per hour (does not include admission)
For more information or to reserve a time, call the Boerner Gardens at (414) 525-5600 or email Boerner Botanical Gardens
Download the Boerner Photo Permit