Category: Visiting

Visitor Rules & Safety

August 24, 2021

We are a place of consolation and inspiration. As you explore, remember that this is not your typical park. Please help us to preserve Mount Auburn’s character and beauty by being mindful of our visitor guidelines.


Face masks are required inside all buildings per the Watertown Board of Health (effective August 25, 2021).

Visitors do not have to wear masks outdoors but we ask that you respect other’s personal space while on the grounds.


Be respectful and considerate of other visitors. 

Driving through the Cemetery is allowed. The speed limit is 15 MPH. You may park on any road without a green line, but please keep all wheels on the pavement to protect our grass and plantings.

Our grounds are open year round between 8AM and 5PM with extended hours during daylight savings. Please consult our current hours and plan your visit accordingly.

Visitors can find a water fountain by the public restrooms at our Entrance. Please do not drink from the water spigots on the grounds as this is not potable water. 

Please help us keep the Cemetery clean. You can find trash and recycling receptacles at our Entrance Gate.

Children under the age of 16 must be with a parent or guardian at all times.

Follow all health and safety guidelines.


Please leave your bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, balls, frisbees, cross country skis, and other recreational equipment at home. If you are traveling to the Cemetery by bike, please lock it up at the rack just inside our Mount Auburn Street entrance. 

Running and jogging are prohibited. 

Please leave your pets at home.

Picnicking, sunbathing, and sitting on the grass are prohibited. Please leave your blankets and lawn chairs at home.

Gravestones are fragile. For your safety and their preservation, please do not touch or climb on them. Gravestone rubbing is prohibited.

Help care for our trees. Please do not climb on or hang from them.

Leave our plantings for all to enjoy. Please do not pick any flowers or walk through planting beds.  

For your protection and their well-being, please keep a safe distance and do not feed the wildlife.

Our ponds are for reflection. Therefore, wading, swimming, and fishing are prohibited. Likewise, ice skating is not allowed. 

Please help us protect Mount Auburn’s tranquility. Use headphones with any digital devices. 

Artist easels and stools are allowed, but please keep them out planting beds and away from monuments and graves.  


Feel free to photograph our landscape, plants, and wildlife for your personal enjoyment. We only request that you do not photograph any funerals. 

Drones are prohibited. Leave the flying to the birds. 

Photography for any non-personal use requires advanced approval. Fees may apply. 

All filming requires advanced approval. Our staff will approve filming requests based on their appropriateness. Fees may apply.

Wedding photography is restricted to certain areas of the Cemetery and requires a permit and site fee. 


Private groups must register a scheduled visit two weeks in advance. 

Buses and other large vehicles are not allowed on the grounds. Groups traveling to the Cemetery by private bus must contact us in advance to arrange walk-in entry at an alternate entrance. 

Organized gatherings of any size are not permitted on the grounds without advance arrangements and may include a site rental fee. We are not currently hosting wedding ceremonies or receptions at the Cemetery.


Bring only natural plant materials for placing at graves within the Cemetery. Review a complete list of our Floral Tribute Regulations.

Visitors can place flags at graves for certain holidays, including Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Veterans’ Day. Please see our Veterans Flags Guidelines for additional information. 

Enjoy Mount Auburn and have a safe visit!


Visit Mount Auburn

Guided Group Tours

May 1, 2021

Mount Auburn welcomes group visits year-round. Guided walking tours of the Cemetery are available for educational and non-profit groups on a wide variety of topics. Tours generally last approximately 90 minutes.

We are not currently taking requests for guided tours. We will announce revised tour options in 2022. Thank you for understanding.


Groups wishing to schedule a guided tour the Cemetery should submit their visit request at least two weeks in advance of visiting. Those wishing to visit in the spring (late April through May) or fall should book their tours well in advance, as our calendar fills quickly.

Tours can be arranged seven days per week between April and October, subject to staff availability. Tours are available Monday – Saturday between November and March.

Mount Auburn does not offer rain dates. Group tours will only be cancelled for severe or hazardous weather.

If you have accessibility concerns, ask us about our options for accommodating people with limited mobility.


Discover Mount Auburn

Mount Auburn, designated a National Historic Landmark, is one of the country’s most significant designed landscapes. Here, the arts of horticulture, architecture and sculpture combine with the beauty of nature to create a place of comfort and inspiration. This walking tour will focus on the stories of history, monuments and the lives of those buried here.

* Stops during this tour can be customized according to your group’s interests, provided the tour is arranged with enough advanced notice. For example, the tour can be tailored to include visits to the graves of those buried here with connections to your organization.

Horticultural Highlights

Mount Auburn Cemetery is one of the most beautiful and historic landscapes in America. Its impressive collection of over 5,000 trees represents 630 taxa. Thousands of shrubs and herbaceous plants weave through 175 acres of hills, dells, ponds, woodlands and clearings. Plant species from around the world that grow in a northern temperate climate can be seen on the grounds, including individual specimens recorded as Massachusetts or New England champions for their species. Walking tours will be customized to highlight areas of seasonal interest.

Custom Tour

We are happy to create custom tours tailored to the interests of your group. Our docents have given tours on a wide host of topics, ranging from monument studies to landscape design and history, and African American heritage and abolition to notable figures commemorated at Mount Auburn. Please give us a detailed description of your group’s interests, and we will do our best to create a highly-personalized tour.

President’s or Curator’s Tour

Mount Auburn’s senior staff and curators are available for private guided tours upon request. Tour content will be customized to meet the interests of your group.


Monday – Friday, 9AM – 3 PM – $150 per guide*
Monday – Friday, 3 PM – 6 PM, available seasonally – $200 per guide*
Saturday & Sunday, 9AM – 3 PM – $200 per guide*

President’s/Curator’s Tour, Weekdays Only – $300

*Groups larger than 20 people will require at least two guides and a fee will be assessed per guide.

Tour fees should be made payable to the Friends of Mount Auburn and are due one week prior to your group’s visit. Cash, check and credit card (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted as payment. There is no deposit required to reserve a group tour.

Mount Auburn does not offer refunds without a week’s notice of cancellation. If your visit is cancelled due to severe weather and cannot be rescheduled, a full refund will be issued.


We are not currently taking requests for guided group tours. We will announce revised options for guided group visits in the Fall of 2021. Thank you for understanding.

During this time, we do encourage groups to explore the Cemetery on their own. If you would like to plan a self-guided visit, please complete the Group Visit Request Form to let us know more about your plans.


Visit Mount Auburn

Group Visit Form

May 1, 2021

Thank you for your interest in a group visit to Mount Auburn Cemetery. Please complete the form below to let us know more about your plans.

Please Note: We are not currently taking requests for guided group tours. We will share more details about our revised guided tour offerings in 2022. Thank you for understanding.