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Plan Your Visit

Craving Garden Tranquility? Stroll through our stunning 25 acre garden and expansive 45 acres of arboretum featuring hundreds of varieties of flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses in harmonious settings. Experience horticultural education and join us for a one-of-a-kind botanical adventure!

McCrory Gardens Hours

Summer Hours (May - October)
- Sunday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m
- Last Admission: 5:30 p.m.

Fall/Winter Hours: (November - April)
*Extended hours for McCrory Gardens' special events and holiday shopping.
- Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m
- Last Admission 4:30 p.m.

Open Holiday Hours:
- Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day 10 a.m. - 6 p.m
- Native American Day 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Holiday Hours:
- Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President's Day.


Our Arboretum

Our arboretum features 45 acres of tree and shrub collections and approximately 1.6 miles of trails that are open and accessible to the public from dawn to dusk. It is free to explore for our guests, with some additional opportunities that are not usually available in the formal garden areas such as:

  • Jogging and bicycles are allowed and encouraged on the arboretum trails.
  • Pets are allowed. However, must be cleaned up after and kept on leash at all times.
  • It is permitted to explore and examine plants off trails; however please be cautious of your own safety.

With these in mind, please also consider:

  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed in the arboretum.
  • Please still be respectful of all other garden rules that apply throughout McCrory Gardens, such as no climbing, no removing plants, etc.

Our arboretum, located on the north side of McCrory Gardens, was designated the South Dakota State Arboretum in 1988 and has a long history of ornamentals research, beginning with the work of some of our earliest researchers, Sam McCrory and N.E. Hansen. Hansen alone was responsible for over 50 ornamental plant introductions to the early Green Industry in this country. More recently, work by Norm Evers and others resulted in the introduction of many new plants including Aesculus x ‘Homestead’, Forsythia x ‘Meadowlark’, Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Nugget’, Pinus mugo ‘Tannenbaum’ and 'Thuja occidentalis ‘Rushmore’.

We have been a part of the NC7 Ornamental Plant Evaluation Project for over 40 years and have evaluated dozens of different plants during that time. In addition, we routinely trial new selections of trees and shrubs to test their adaptability to our growing conditions.

In North America, there are approximately 650 native tree species north of Mexico. Over 100 additional species have been introduced and have naturalized. Of this number, only a handful are native to or have become naturalized to the northern Great Plains. In the Arboretum, we are trying to expand the number and quality of species that can be successfully grown in the northern Great Plains. There are numerous species and cultivars that have not been evaluated; many are native to harsh environments similar to South Dakota. Species native to Northern Asia have particular value. The Arboretum serves as a long-term evaluation site for these selected species.

Enjoying Our Gardens Responsibly

Our gardens are a living work of art for all to enjoy. To preserve the beauty and health of our plant collections, we kindly ask that you follow these guidelines when visiting:

  • Stay on walkways, trails and grass. Traveling elsewhere will damage plant material and damage soil conditions.
  • Do not pick or remove any flowers or other materials from the gardens.
  • No climbing on trees, walls, rocks, statues or exhibits.
  • No wading in fountains, ponds or streams.
  • No jogging, bicycles, horses or motorized vehicles within the formal gardens.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • No pets within the Visitor Center, Terrace Gardens or formal garden areas except service animals.
  • Pets in the Arboretum must be leashed and cleaned up after.

We appreciate you following these guidelines for your visit so that others may continue to enjoy for years to come. Please reach out with any questions.

Education and Visitor Center

Built in 2012, An organic, open and welcoming facility, the McCrory Gardens Center serves as a visitor center, event rental space, interpretive and education center and adds full-season access to the Gardens.

With the future goal to achieve Silver LEED Certification, the Visitor Center design uses natural materials - glass, water, wood and stone - and design principles such as the use of light, connection to the outdoors and human scale elements.

The Education Center provides a flexible 300 +/- seat conference room or 200+/ - banquet room, two meeting/classrooms, a warming kitchen, administrative offices, a gift shop and outdoor garden patio seating.

Straw Bale House

The Straw Bale Building was completed during the summer of 2008 as a service learning project for SDSU students. It was designed and organized by SDSU Professor of Interior Design, Dean Isham. The project provides 900 sq. ft. of classroom/multi-purpose space for various events and activities at McCrory Gardens.

​This unique building with a living roof of sedum is surrounded by a series of plantings and displays for those visiting the Gardens. The entire space teaches about gardening and exposes visitors to natural building techniques, living roofs and sustainable design.

Schedule a Tour

To set up a tour please call 605-688-6707 or contact by email - Education Coordinator Sidonia Trio.

View the tour options below.

Public Guided tours:

  • Guided tours prices are based on 25 guests to one tour guide ratio.
  • Pricing: $25 per guide + admission price per person.
    • Adults (18-64), $6 Seniors (65+) $4, Youth (6-17) $4.
    • Military (with valid ID) $4, Children (5 and under) FREE.
    • SDSU Employees FREE (with valid ID), SDSU Students FREE (with valid ID).

Unguided tours:

  • Groups of 10+
  • Cost:
    • Adults (18-64), $6, Seniors (65+) $4, Youth (6-17) $4.
    • Military (with valid ID) $4, Children (5 and under) FREE.
    • SDSU Employees FREE (with valid ID), SDSU Students: FREE (with valid ID).
  • Groups will receive $1.00 off admission per person based on general admission rates.

Educational tours:

Maps and Directions