Five Perfect Picnic Spots

Five Perfect Picnic Spots

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Last week our fellow public garden Winterthur was featured on ABC’s Bachelorette as the most romantic spot for a picnic. Well not to brag, but Scott Arboretum boasts some wonderful picnic locations as well. Check out our top five locations. Some are well known, while others are hidden gems.


Parrish Lawn on a relaxing fall afternoon. photo credit: R. Maurer

5. Parrish Lawn – The large swath of lawn in front of Parrish Hall is ideal for those who enjoy people watching. Located in the heart of Swarthmore College campus, picnickers enjoy the comings and goings of campus and arboretum life. This expanse of lawn is bordered by majestic Swamp White Oaks which add the gentle rustling of leaves as background noise and a colorful backdrop during the fall.

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Adirondack chairs make a great location for a picnic. photo credit: R. Manduca

The lawn also has comfortable and picturesque Adirondack chairs to pull into a cozy circle or for relaxing in a shady spot.  Parrish Lawn features the big Adirondack chair for a wonderful photo op and a great spot for kids to climb.


Mark and Jenna Buehner enjoying an afternoon swing in the Conifer Collection. photo credit: R. Robert

4. Conifer Collection Swing – Tucked in the Conifer Collection is an old-fashioned wooden rope tree swing, the type you would find in Forest Gump’s front yard. This delightful swing is an ideal spot for your picnic and a romantic sway for you and your Jenny. Suspended from the grand Liriodendron tulipifera, the swing is in an idyllic setting among the stately conifers.

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Sunsetting across the pond in the Terry Shane Teaching garden. photo credit: D. Mattis

3. Terry Shane Teaching Garden – A favorite spot of Arboretum volunteers, the Terry Shane Teaching Garden offers the ambiance of a tranquil shade garden with a pond. Nestled behind the Cunningham House, the offices of the Scott Arboretum, this garden features a charming pond with a gentle trickle of water emerging from a whimsical cat statue. This kitten, named Mina, appears to be playfully batting at the goldfish in the pond.

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An inviting picnic spot among the containers of the Terry Shane Teaching Garden. photo credit: R. Robert

This lush garden has inviting benches and chairs positioned under the cooling foliage of a shade garden. Sometimes referred to as the curator’s play ground, the Terry Shane Teach Garden is where our curator, Andrew Bunting, trials many of the new plants for the campus. There are numerous remarkable plants awaiting discovery here.

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A romantic picnic at the whisper bench. photo credit: R. Robert

2. Whisper Bench – The ideal location for whispering sweet nothings into your sweetheart’s ear is the whisper bench. Hidden at the edge of the Cherry Border with a sweeping view of the weeping cherry allee, this bench is secluded for a romantic picnic. In April when the Cherry Border is in full bloom, the bench is bathed in delicate pink and white petals.

True to it’s name, the whisper bench carries the sound of whispers form one side to the other. A couple can sit at opposite ends and whisper to one another without another soul hearing a word.

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Enjoying the ideal woodland picnic in the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater. photo credit: R. Robert

1. Scott Outdoor Amphitheater – Situated under the grand canopies of Liriodendron tulipifera, the elegant, lawn-covered stone tiers of the Amphitheater provide a relaxing view of the Crum Woods for your perfect woodland picnic. When you are situated in the Amphitheater at the heart of campus, you would never know what is going on outside of this peaceful natural theater.

A favorite lunch location for Woody and Perennial Plant Conference attendees, most days you will find only one or two people enjoying the tranquility of this natural cathedral. The gentle green terraces and cooling shade of tulip poplars offer a memorable spot for your picnic blanket.

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Picnicking among the stately conifer collection. photo credit: R. Robert

Explore the many perfect picnic spots at the Scott Arboretum.

Becky Robert
  • paul
    Posted at 17:07h, 28 July Reply

    Romantic? Even better is that I first met Fran on the proverbial dark and stormy night for a walk in the woods along Crum Creek (meeting place was the water tower, before the new science building was erected). Romantic indeed – we got totally soaked, but the moon was visible through blowing clouds when we returned, and we were married at my Quaker Meeting three years later.

    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 19:10h, 28 July Reply

      We didn’t even touch on those great spots along the trails in the Crum Woods. Some people like Stone Hedge near the James Frorer Holly Collection.

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