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Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens, Garden House, built by the WPA

RNC Operational Updates for Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19

The Milwaukee County Courthouse will remain open during the Republican National Convention (RNC). All court operations (Civil and Family Filings, Restraining Orders, Probate, In Custody Intake Court, Preliminary Hearings) will be operating at Vel Phillips Juvenile Justice Center (10201 W. Watertown Plank Rd. Wauwatosa, WI.) For more information about how other Milwaukee County services and operations will be impacted during the RNC, visit Milwaukee County's RNC updates webpage.  

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Thousands of plants bring the seasons to life at the Botanical Gardens, 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 the view while at an event in the Garden Room. Boerner Botanical Gardens is located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee in the Village of Hales Corners. Visit throughout the year to see the different gardens in bloom.


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Garden Guide

See What's Blooming!


Botanical Gardens Hours

  • Nov. 1 – April 30: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., 7 days a week 
  • May 1 – Sept. 10:  8 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Sept. 11 – Oct. 31: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.,  7 days a week

Education & Visitor Center Hours

  • May 1 – Oct. 31: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Nov. 1 – April 30: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday only

Garden House Hours* 

  • May 1 – Oct. 31: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Nov. 1 – April 30: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., 7 days a week

*Hours may vary due to special events or rentals

Margie's Children's Garden Hours 

  • May 1 – Aug. 31: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., 7 days a week**
  • Sept. 1 – Oct. 31: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Nov. 1 – April 30: CLOSED

**Thursday nights, in preparation for Concerts in The Gardens, the Children's Garden closes for the day at 4 p.m.



Admission Fees, May 1 – Oct. 31

Milwaukee County Resident, with ID

Adult, age 18-59, $8

Senior Adult, age 60+, $6

Junior, age 3-12, $6

Adult Group of 20+ (per person), $7

Junior Group of 20+ (per person), $5

NON-Milwaukee County Resident

Adult, age 18 & up, $9

Junior, age 3-12, $6

Adult Group of 20+ (per person), $8

Junior Group of 20+ (per person), $6


Fee Regardless of Residency, with ID

Student – of any age, $6

Military – Veteran or Active Duty, $6

Person with Disability, $6

Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens Member, Free

American Horticultural Society Member, Free*
*Note: Each AHS card will admit only the individual whose name is listed on the card and one other person. In the case of a family, couple, or household membership card that does not list individual names, the Botanical Gardens will admit a total of two of the members. A photo ID is required.



Explore the Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gadens, aerial view

“The Gardens”

Themed garden spaces offer a succession of blooms from early spring through late fall. See something new each time you visit!

Near the Education & Vsitor Center

  • Fragrance Garden 
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Silver Terrace Garden

Deeper in the Botanical Gardens

  • Rose Garden
  • Annuals Garden
  • Perenial Garden
  • Heirloom Garden
  • Peony Garden
  • Herb Garden
  • Daylily Walk
  • Shrub Mall
  • Rain Garden
  • Bog Garden Walk
  • Rock Garden

Margie's Garden Playhouse, a cute little blue house with a crooked window, at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Margie’s Garden

This 3-acre garden is designed especially for children. The flower-themed garden features an "enchanted village" with a playhouse, fiddlehead path, twig hut and mushroom-chair rings. Additional spaces within Margie's Garden include a sound garden, secret garden, bug garden with friendly bug sculptures, a storybook nook, a pollinator garden, sunflower garden, and prairie and wildflower zones.


Boerner Botanical Gardens Trial Garden, with woman contemplating the latest introductions

The Trial Garden

In keeping with its educational mission, Boerner Botanical Gardens offers a Trial Garden, featuring over 500 new varities of plants. These plants are tested for their suitability for the Great Lakes region.

Boerner Botanical Gardens Education & Visitor Center, exterior

Education & Visitor Center

Stop at the Visitor Center to find unique items in the Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens Gift Shop. Entry to the Visitor Center is free. The Visitor Center also houses a library, classrooms and event spaces available to rent.


Arbor Day at Boerner Botanical Gardens, group planting a tree

Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)

Each spring we celebrate Arbor Day at Boerner by inviting local school children to plant a new tree in the gardens with the Milwaukee County Parks Forestry team. The day also marks the offical start of the botanical gardens season, with free admission to view the work that goes into preparing the gardens for the season. Admission fees begin May 1st through October 31st.

Concerts in the Gardens, The Britins on stage at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Concerts in the Gardens

Enjoy a free summer concert series, sponsored by Wimmer Communities, held on Thursday evenings in the gardens. Performances are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and visitors can explore the gardens for free after 6 p.m. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the concerts; however, guests may also bring food.

Learn More


China Lights, sculptural lantern of a 150-foot dragon

China Lights

Thanks for a great 2023 festival!

Brighten your autumn evenings with a visit to China Lights, on the grounds of Boerner Botanical Gardens. Enjoy illuminated scenes, live performances, cultural displays, and a bustling marketplace. Food and beverages are available for purchase at this family-friendly event. 

Learn More

Winter Wonders at Boerner Botanical Gardens-car driving past the holiday light show's peacock display

Winter Wonders

Thanks for a great Winter '23 event!

Gather the family to experience Winter Wonders, the 1.4-mile touchless, drive-through holiday light show featuring more than one million LED lights! The show is set in the area surrounding the Boerner Botanical Arboretum and Whitnall Park.

Learn More!


Garden House Art Exhibits 

Availability in 2024 TBD

Temporary displays of nature-inspired artwork are on view in the Exhibit Room of the Garden House.

If you or your group would like to be considered for an exhibit at the Garden House or the Botanical Gardens grounds, please complete the Art Exhibit Placement Request

Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens lead a tour near the Rock Garden

Garden Tours (May – September)

Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens offers one-hour, educational, docent-guided tours to groups of 12 or more.

Get Details!

Plant Programs

Boerner Botanical Gardens hosts educational programs, houses a plant library, displays a 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 Plant Questions Answered

On-Site Diagnosis: April - October; Plant Health Advising Help Desk: accessible 24/7

Your questions about trees, lawns, shrubs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, pests, and plant diseases can all be answered by the University of Wisconsin Extension horticultural team and Master Gardeners. If you are unable to visit Boerner Botanical Gardens, submit your questions, along with relevant photographs, through the form on the Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension site. You may also contact the Horticulture Helpline by calling or texting (608)-298-6945.


What's in Bloom

  April May   June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Frost
 Spring Bulbs                  
 Wild Flowers                    
 Bog Garden                  
 Flowering Plums                
 Flowering Cherries                
 Flowering Almonds                
 Crab Apples                    
 Tree Peonies                    
 Herbaceous Peonies                  
 Hardy Asters                  
 Trial Garden                    
 Herb Garden                    
  April May   June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Frost


Plant Collection Data: Bloom Reports

A special project of the "Bloom Team," the cooperative partnership of BBG, UW-Extension, and FBBG

As Milwaukee County's "Living Museum," Boerner Botanical Gardens keeps records of the plant collections and shares them with all who have an interest in the vital role of  plants in our community.

Bloom Reports (Excel)

Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens logoFriends of Boerner Botanical Gardens

The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens (FBBG) is an independent, non-profit group that supports Boerner Botanical Gardens through fundraising, educational programing and special events.

Members Receive

  • Free Unlimited Admission to the Gardens
  • 10% Discount on FBBG-labeled items in the Gift Shop
  • Discounts on FBBG classes and events
  • E-blasts and mailers with updates of FBBG classes/events
  • Membership Appreciation Event
  • Reciprocal admissions to over 300 American Horticultural Society gardens (


Become a Member

Venue Rentals

The Knot - Best of WeddingsBoerner Botanical Gardens offers variety in venue 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 party. Located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee, this location not only offers convenience, but also impresses — and offers 300 free parking spaces!


Boerner Grand Hall

The Boerner Botanical Gardens Grand Hall features a 21-by-21 dance floor, two 6-by-8 risers, 60-inch round tables for eight guests each, and upholstered-style chairs. Large windows let guests enjoy the view of the Fragrance Garden.

Rentals and catering of Boerner Hall are provided by Zilli Hospitality Group. Contact Zilli’s for current rates at (414) 525-5635. Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens are also available.


Banquet Style: 300
Theatre Style: 350

Learn More

Boerner Garden House

The Garden House was constructed in 1935 using native fieldstone. The Exhibit Room features hand-carved animals above the entrance, hand-hewn oak beams, wooden furniture, and a fireplace mantel inscribed with an excerpt from a poem by Alexander Pope. Renters may bring in beverages, home-prepared foods, and light snacks only. Formal catering is available from Zilli Hospitality Group.

During the garden season, April through October, admission fees to the Botanical Gardens are required with rentals. Ask about group rates for admission.

Capacity: 45

Learn More & Request a Permit


Boerner Classrooms

Rooms at Boerner Botanical Gardens include two main-level classrooms with sinks (each with a capacity of 36), two lower-level lab-style classrooms (each witha capacity of 45), and a multi-media room (with a capacity of 180). These rooms are ideal for presentations, meetings, or art and garden workshops.

Coffee service and audio/video equipment are available for an extra fee. Educational partners, plant societies, and garden clubs qualify for special rates. Rentals and catering are provided by Zilli Hospitality Group. Contact Zilli’s for current rates at (414) 525-5635.

Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens are 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 style or 180 theater style

The Garden Room

The Garden Room at Boerner Botanical Gardens Visitor Center is located off the Atrium and overlooks the Silver-Blue Garden, allowing guests a nice retreat from a business meeting. This space is ideal for meetings, cocktail receptions, intimate sit-down dinners, and more. Ideal for groups of up to 96 people. The Garden Room can also be combined with Boerner Hall as a perfect site to enjoy cocktails and dancing.

Rentals and catering are provided by Zilli Hospitality Group. Contact Zilli’s for current rates at (414) 525-5635. Group admission rates to Boerner Botanical Gardens are also available.


Cocktail Setup: 96
U-shape Setup: 50
Other set-ups available on request

Learn More

Weddings at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical 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 through fall and remain open to the public. 

Boerner also offers several indoor spaces for receptions through our catering partner, Zilli Hospitality Group.

Ceremony Site Map

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: 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 Primrose and Siberian Iris lead 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: 200


Boerner Botanical Gardens: Rose Garden Fountain

Rose Garden

The Rose Garden that today’s visitor sees 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. The wedding site also offers a vista beyond the Rose Garden.

Capacity: 200, larger events may expand into the Perennial Mall

Boerner Botanical Gardens: Shrub Mall with Vista

Shrub Mall

The Shrub Mall has the regal look and feel of an English country estate garden. Its impressive central lawn or “mall” offers an impressive vista to the south. 

Capacity: 300


Photography Permits

Boerner Botanical Gardens provides the perfect backdrop for engagement, wedding, prom, and family photos. Formal photography requires a photography permit.

Wedding Photography Permit
Rate Subject to Sales Tax

Package Rate (includes admission for up to 20 adults): $160 for up to 1 hour 
Additional Half-Hour: $80 per additional 30 minutes beyond package

For more information or to reserve a time, call the Botanical Gardens at (414) 525-5600

Complete the Boerner Photo Permit Request

Whitnall Rotary Circle at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Buy Personalized Bricks!

Whitnall Rotary Circle at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Purchase a personalized paver as a memorial, to honor an individual, family or organization, or to share a favorite nature quote, poem or haiku!

The pavers are part of the Rotary Circle, an accessible pathway and terrace that not only provide connections to previously wheelchair-inaccessible garden collections, but also showcase best practices in storm water management.

Whitnall Rotary Circle - Buy A Brick

The permeable pavers are available in four sizes, with pricing starting at $100.

Get Details & Request Your Bricks!

How to Find Us

9400 Boerner Dr, Hales Corners, WI 53130
(414) 525-5600



  Parking Available

  Wheelchair Accessible

  Gift Shop

  NO DOGS - except service dogs performing tasks for a person with a disability


  Download Garden Map

2023 Best of the Burbs logo




Margie's Smile Inc



9480 W. Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 257-PARK (7275)
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