Rental Frequently Asked Questions | LSU Hilltop Arboretum

Rental Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is your capacity for events?
A: Our maximum capacity for any event is 50 people.

Q: Are there any restrictions on music?
A: Yes! We do not permit live amplified bands. You are welcome to have a DJ or acoustical music. If music is going to be outside, we have a specific place on the pavilion where music needs to be set up. We monitor sounds levels during events and if the Hilltop Representative determines that the music is too loud, you will be required to turn it down or forfeit your deposit.

Q: Where do people park?
A: Our parking lot can accommodate up to 40 vehicles and that includes cars parallel parked between our main parking lot and the auditorium. If your event has more than 30 people and you need more than 40 parking spaces (including caterers, musicians, photographers, and any other vendors), you are required to arrange for off-site parking and shuttle people in. You are responsible for all of the costs and arrangements for parking and shuttle services. Shuttle vehicles should hold a maximum of 35 passengers as larger vehicles cannot maneuver in our narrow parking lot. Parking in the adjoining neighborhoods is prohibited.

Q: Do you require event insurance?
A: Yes, the Agreement for Use of Facilities and Premises Form outlines all of the details about the coverage required and how the policy is to be endorsed. Proof of insurance for the event as well as for all contractors and subcontractors must be received by Friends of Hilltop Arboretum at least 30 days prior to your event.

Q: Do you provide catering? Or require certain caterers?
A: We do not provide catering services. All caterers must be licensed and insured. We recommend you use LSU approved caterers as they carry the required insurance needed.  LSU has a list of approved caterers.

Q: What does it cost to rent the facility?
A: The price depends on a number of factors: which part(s) of the facility is being rented, the day of the week, the time of day, the length of time, and whether the rental party is a non-profit organization or a department from LSU. To get a list of all of the pricing options go to: Facility Rental Rates

Q: Is smoking allowed?
A: No, we are a non-smoking facility. This includes E-Cigs and Vapes.

Q: Is alcohol allowed?
A: For private rental events, yes. Bartenders must be licensed and insured, with proof provided to Friends of Hilltop Arboretum at least 30 days prior to your event.

Q: What is the process to make a reservation?
A: Complete an Agreement for Use of Facilities and Premises Form, the appropriate Application Form (Event or Meeting) and make a non-refundable payment of 50% of the rental fee plus refundable deposit.

Q: Is any part of the rental fee refundable?
A: Yes, the rental fee includes a $500 refundable deposit. The deposit will be returned, within thirty days following the event, providing the rental party strictly comply with all points in the Agreement for Use of Facilities and Premises. Damages exceeding the deposit are the responsibility of the Renter.

Q: Do you require security?
A: Yes, security is required for events serving alcohol. We arrange for the security officer, paid for by the Renter, to be here from an hour before your event begins through the end of take down.

Q. How far in advance can I book an event?
A: We accept reservations 12 months in advance.

Q: What is the latest we can hold an event?
A: All events must end by 10:00pm. Clean up can go later but the party ends at 10:00pm.

Q: What are the dimensions of the rental spaces?
A: Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium is 30’x40’
     Margaret Holmes Brown Pavilion is 38’ x 60’
     Bert Turner Courtyard is 38’ x 60’
     Cherry Owens Library is 35’ x 13’

Q: What do people do about mosquitoes?
A: We recommend you call Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement (225-356-3297) the week of your event and ask them to come out and spray. While they will not spray all 14 acres, they will spray around the main areas that are going to be used. Depending on the time of year, you might also consider having bug spray available for your guests to use.

Q: Do you have A/V equipment available for meetings?
A: Yes, the auditorium is equipped with a projector, screen, and podium with connection cables. There is a fee for using our A/V equipment.

Q: Is Wi-Fi available for meetings?
A: Yes, and passwords are provided the day of rental.

Q: Can we decorate?
A: Yes, you are welcome to decorate.  No nails, staples or tape can be used. We recommend tying decorations onto the rails, cables, beams, etc. or you can use Command® Pull-Tangers. If you want to hang additional lighting in the courtyard, you need to rent stands as we do not want the trees used for this purpose. Open flames are not allowed, candles need to be enclosed. You are required to remove all decorations at the end of your event.

Q: Do you provide trash cans or do we need to bring our own?
A: We provide cardboard trash boxes and bag liners. You are responsible for making sure all trash is taken to and put in the dumpster at the end of your event.

Q: Do you have tables and chairs to rent?
A: We do have tables and chairs that can be used outside that you are welcome to use. You are responsible for set up and take down for any Hilltop furnishings. We have 8’ rectangular tables, no rounds.

Q: Is there a place for the bride and bridal party to get ready?
A: Yes, sort of. We were designed to be an arboretum, not a wedding venue, so we make do with what we have. Typically the bride and bridesmaids get ready in the office area. There is a bathroom and plenty of space. Please note we do not have a full length mirror. The groom and groomsmen usually convene in the library space.

Q: Does the office stay locked so bridesmaids can leave bags and purses?
A: Yes.

Q: Can we have a crawfish boil?
A: No, crawfish boils are not allowed on site.

Q: Do you have a clean-up crew?
A: No, you are responsible for making sure the facility is cleaned and returned to its original state. This includes hauling all of the garbage and placing it in the dumpster.

Q: Are there any specific instructions for guests?
A: No, although we strongly suggest you advise your guests to wear appropriate shoes. Being an outdoor venue, most of our walking surfaces (grass, gravel, and slatted boardwalks) are not appropriate for high or spiked heels and, in fact, can be a serious tripping hazard. Better to be safe and comfortable than sorry and cute.