Visit the Garden

  • Hours

    Allen Centennial Garden is open year-round, dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

  • Parking

    Observatory Drive Ramp
    Babcock Drive (25-minute meters)
    Tripp Circle (2-hour meters)
    Observatory Drive (8-hour meters)

  • Photo Policy

    Photographs are a great way to remember your visit to Allen Centennial Garden. Planning on using the Garden for professional or commercial work? Please be sure to fill out our Photography Permit.

Visitor Map

Parking is Free at the Observatory Drive Ramp and Tripp Circle after 4:30pm Monday–Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

  • Dogs

    Well-behaved, four-legged friends are welcome on your Garden visit. We ask that dogs remain on leash and on the path at all times.

  • Guided Tours



    Allen Centennial Garden offers guided group tours by reservation March-October. 


    Booking a tour

    Contact Elin Filbey at 608-576-2501 or

    A 50% deposit* is required to confirm a reservation. Payment must be received online or by mail. Final payment and headcount must be received 2 weeks prior to tour. 

    *Deposits are non-refundable.


    Guided vs. Self-Guided Tours

    Guided tours are led by a student intern, Garden staff member or the Executive Director. All guided tours require a reservation.

    Self-guided tours do not require a reservation and do not include any docents. However, it is strongly recommended you call ahead of time to ensure your group’s visit doesn’t conflict with any other Garden activities.


    Group Sizes 

    A minimum of 10 people are required for a guided tour. Groups smaller than 10 will be charged a flat rate of $50.00, which must be paid in full at least two weeks prior to the tour date to confirm a reservation. 



    Contact or call 608-576-2501.

    Tour Offerings

    Tier 1: General Tours

    General Garden tour, given by a student intern or garden staff and includes garden history, stories, and plant highlights.

    Duration: 1–1.5hours

    Cost: $5/person


    Tier 2: Specialty Tours

    Fun and unconventional tours that will have you laughing and learning at the same time. Current offerings:

    Duration: 1–1.5 hours

    Cost: $7/person

    Honey, Take your Plants Off

    Ever wonder why certain plants are showier than others; or why flowers vary in shape, size, color and smell? Join us for "Honey, Take Your Plants Off," an original Allen Centennial Garden tour that explores the ways plants have made themselves sexier! You will be introduced to plants that showcase various morphological and chemical adaptations for optimal pollination, and you'll learn how to identify the relationships plants may have with their pollinators based on these adaptations.

    The Dose Makes the Posion

    Plants are beautiful, sometimes tasty, and have generally been an important component of our own human history; but they're not always innocent, some, in fact, are tricksters, devious, and even murderers! Join us for "The Dose Makes the Poison: Murderer's Row edition," an original Allen Centennial Garden tour that explores the ways plants have been used in murders. We've all heard the tales of murder mysteries that involve a plant, like the murder of a Bulgarian dissident, Georgi Markov, who was killed by the slightest prick of an umbrella that contained ricin, or the death of Socrates from ingesting poison hemlock. You will be introduced to the world of poisonous (and sometimes medicinal) plants and learn all about their various plant chemicals as they relate to toxicity, physiology, and application.

    Director of Horticulture Tours

    Enjoy a plant-centric tour with the mastermind behind many of the plant choices and designs throughout the Garden, with a special focus on container designs throughout the Garden.


    Tier 3: Director Tour

    Personalized Garden tour with the Garden’s Executive Director for a maximum of 25 people.

    Duration: 1–1.5 hours

    Cost: $10/person

© 2015, All Rights Reserved.
Allen Centennial Garden
620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706

Contact Info
Phone: 608-576-2501

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