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Arbor Day Fun Facts and Activities

This year is Arbor Day’s 150th anniversary. Get ready to celebrate with these Arbor Day fun facts and activities that you can do with the kiddos.

Looking up at the sky from the bottom of many large trees.
Photo by Arnaud Mesureur on Unsplash

Arbor Day Fun Facts

When is the BIG Day?

There is one BIG question that is on everyone’s mind…when do we celebrate Arbor Day with fun facts and activities? The quick answer is the last Friday of April. This year that is Friday, April 28th, 2022.

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Although, not everyone celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday of April. For some states that isn’t the best time to plant trees. So, depending on which state you live in your Arbor Day celebrations could be in January or as late as November. The trees rule the day so its celebrated when it’s best for them.

To find out when your state celebrates the big day head on over to There you can enter in any state and discover the day of it’s tree planter’s holiday.

Arbor Day’s Humble Beginnings

Every great holiday starts somewhere. Arbor day has its humble beginnings in the state (territory at the time) of Nebraska in the city of Nebraska. The city was lacking in trees and the residents were needing them to help keep soil in its place when the wind blew as well as needing trees for building and even just for shade.

Thus Arbor Day was born. On the first Arbor Day (April 10, 1872) it is estimated that 1 million, that’s right, 1 million trees were planted!

Nebraska was on to something and 150 years later Arbor Day is a National Holiday and celebrated in all 50 states as well as in countries all over the world. Looks like everyone loves a good tree!

Two palm trees on a beach.
Photo by Negley Stockman on Unsplash

Arbor Day Activities

What Trees Do For Us

Trees do so much good for us. As an Arbor Day activity make a list all the things you can think of that trees do for us.

To make it more exciting everyone could keep their lists secret until the end and see if someone can come up with something that no one else could think of.

Need some help remembering all the things trees do for us? Check out where it gives a fun and colorful look at benefits we receive from trees.

Boy climbing a tree.
Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

Next let the kids make a list of all the ways they can use trees to play. Their lists might include climbing trees, sitting in their shade for a picnic, hanging a swing from a tree branch, using a tree in a game of hide and seek or hanging a hammock between 2 trees.

Hug a Tree

Hugging a tree or being a “tree hugger” is a great activity for Arbor Day. It can be as simple as hugging the trees in your own yard.

Or you can spice it up a bit and turn it into a game of hugging. Set boundaries (your yard or your neighborhood) and then send everyone out to take a pic (or selfie) hugging trees.

Once the time is up and everyone returns you could look at everybody’s tree pics and see who hugged the most trees. Or who had the greatest variety of trees hugged. You could even take the pics in advance and have everyone try and find the same trees as your pics and hug those trees.

Your options are endless when it comes to hugging trees!

A man hugging a tree.
Photo by KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Though it can seem like a silly notion to hug a tree it can be a good reminder of how thankful we should be for them and all they do for us.

Learn About Your State Tree

Did you know every state has its own state tree? They do! You can find a whole list of them at

For a fun Arbor Day activity check out this website and read through all the states and their trees. See if you can discover which 2 states have the same state tree and which tree it is. Or which states have trees that flower? How many of the trees have leaves and how many are a type of pine tree?

After finding your own state tree head outside and see how many of them you can find in your own neighborhood. Not very many trees within walking distance? No problem, jump in the car or on your bikes and head out to parks and other places looking for your state tree.

Are there other trees in your area that you think might make a better state tree? A fun activity would be discussing options for a different state tree or learning how your state’s tree became the state tree in the first place.

Plant a Tree

It’s what they did on the first Arbor Day so the tradition should continue on. You can choose to plant a tree in a spot where you need some shade. Maybe you have been wanting a fruit tree and Arbor Day is a great excuse to get it into the ground.

A young girl watering a tree.
Photo by Pedro Kümmel on Unsplash

You can plant a tree in honor of someone or as a memorial. It would be neat to plant a tree in your yard for each child. They can be in charge of caring for that tree and watching it grow.

Look at Leaves

At there is a fun quiz you and the kids can take. It shows you a leaf you and click on the answer for which tree you think the leaf came from.

Also, try looking around the yard and neighborhood and gathering as many different leaves as you can.

Learning and doing Arbor Day fun facts and activities is a great way to give thanks for all that trees do for us. Whether you have time and space to plant some new trees or just take a moment to appreciate the trees around you we can all do our part to celebrate trees this Arbor Day.

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