Music series

Iowa Arboretum near Madrid hosts monthly outdoor music series

Iowa Arboretum & Gardens, 1875 Peach Ave., Madrid, is home to gardens, woods, and trails open to the public. It is also the site of a new summer concert series called Tunes in the Trees held at the Beckwith Grand Pavilion.

“It was a dream and a vision of our board chairman, Don Draper, who has seen concerts become very successful in other public arts (venues), so he created a concert committee and looked at different ways to host a concert at the Arboretum,” said Arboretum General Manager Mark Schneider.

The schedule is as follows (second Tuesday of each month) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

  • July 12 – NOLA Jazz Band; food by Smokin Bid Dawgs
  • August 9 – Violin Duel; food by Weinie Wonderland
  • September 13 – Gilbert High School Jazz Band with opening Diva and the Deacons featuring Tina Haase Findlay; food by Smokin Big Dawgs

“We really want to bring people here for something totally different,” Schneider said. “We were pleased with the turnout for our first event in June. It’s a beautiful setting for a concert. It’s just different and it has an appeal for that.

He added that the Arboretum plans to offer the concert series on an annual basis.

Tickets can be purchased at each event, and admission is free for members (and children 12 and under) and $5 for non-members. Food trucks will be on site from 5 p.m. Drinks, including beer and wine, will be available for purchase. Participants can bring their own garden chairs and blankets. People are invited to walk the grounds and explore what the Arboretum has to offer.

Funds raised are used to support the Arboretum’s mission.

Schneider said the Arboretum is working on a master plan with some upcoming announcements. Currently a trail expansion project is underway which would add more wooded trails for hiking. The design process has begun, with construction expected to start in 2023.

Work to repair the damage suffered during the 2020 derecho continues. A total of 350 trees were lost on the main campus during the storm, and 170 were planted last year to begin replacing them. 135 additional trees should be planted in 2022.

In addition to the concerts, the grounds will host a free Butterflies in the Garden event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 9. Guests will learn about butterfly plants from David McKinney, who is the grounds curator.

He will talk about which plants butterflies prefer and how to grow these plants at home. ISU Extension entomologist Donald Lewis will be on hand to discuss the butterfly’s life cycle.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to watch an educational documentary at 1:30 p.m. and see these creatures in their natural habitat on a guided tour at 3 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. there will be a Q&A session with Donald Lewis, David McKinney and Greg Anderson. Learn more about events at

For more information on the Summer Concert Series, visit or contact Events Specialist Amber Schmidt at [email protected] or 515-795-3216.

The Arboretum is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $7 per person; youth 3-12 years $2; 2 years and under free.