Explore the mysteries of the dark at the Arboretum’s new exhibit, In the Dark, on display January 26 – May 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside the Baker Exhibit Center. This traveling exhibit developed by the Cincinnati Museum Center delves into dark environments and the unique ways animals, plants and humans adapt to areas with little to no light.
From a forest diorama of the Great Smoky Mountains to a re-creation of a Kentucky limestone cave, In the Dark features five immersive zones that enable visitors to experience the darkness of many unseen worlds. Through mechanical displays, life-size animal models and informational panels, families will learn and uncover what thrives beneath the soil, under the sea, in the shadows of the night and within other dark settings. Visitors will learn how birds find their way flying at night, how bats use echolocation to communicate and ways people have reacted to darkness throughout history.
Exhibit support for In the Dark is provided in part by The North Carolina Arboretum Society, Asheville Citizen-Times, Gasperson Moving & Storage, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide and Smoky Mountain Living Magazine.
Adult Education Class
Embrace the dark! As part of the Arboretum’s In the Dark exhibit, the Adult Education program will host a special class focused on the importance of nighttime darkness and the many ways that darkness is necessary for the natural world and our physical, mental and emotional health. This class will explore ways to mitigate the effects of light pollution in our homes and local environments and discuss strategies for making homes more “dark friendly,” thereby improving health, saving money and benefitting the environment. Weather permitting, the class will include a walk around the Arboretum grounds to see the ways the Arboretum has implemented light-reducing methods and policies. Register Here
Special Evening Events
Learn about these amazing creatures of the night and prowl through the woods while discovering owls’ habitats, behaviors and language. This family-friendly event will feature hands-on activities, including an owl pellet dissection, nighttime guided hikes through the Arboretum property, educational programming and a live owl presentation. Add to Wait List
Stay up late for science! Learn how to use a special “bat detector” to hear and identify the high-frequency sounds bats emit while they echolocate their prey. See how black lights can attract moths and other nocturnal insects. At 9 p.m., adults are invited to attend a special presentation to learn how to create a “mothing” set-up, as well as the general taxonomy of moths and other nocturnal insects, before heading outside to view these organisms. Add to Wait List
Visitors will discover which amphibians are more active at night, while also enjoying local brews and tasty treats. Open to adults and children, this fun “HOPportunity” will showcase how to identify frogs by their nocturnal sounds, as well as offer animal demonstrations with different frog and salamander species. A guided evening hike through the Arboretum will focus on the sounds of gray treefrogs and other species. Register Here