Botanical gardens have become a kid-friendly activity for families to explore all year-long. Each season nature brings something new and exciting and offers wonderful opportunities to learn. Many botanical gardens offer children’s gardens and family programming to encourage hands-on exploration of their surroundings. These are some of Trekaroo’s favorite gardens to explore with kids.
Morton Arboretum (Lisle, Illinois)
Trekaroo families rave about Morton Arboretum! The Children’s Garden features ten themed gardens providing interactive activities kids will absolutely love exploring. Secret streams, giant acorns, tadpoles, grassy meadows, a maze garden, and windmills are just a few of the exciting things to be found. Throughout the rest of the arboretum, there are nine miles of paved trails and 16 miles of unpaved trails to be enjoyed by walking, biking, hiking, or even cross-country skiing! In Tree House Tales, families will enjoy visiting six fun tree house structures. Families will also enjoy the many festivals, events, classes, and special programs offered at the arboretum.
Thanksgiving Point Gardens (Lehi, Utah)
Open seasonally, Thanksgiving Point Gardens boasts 15 themed gardens and the largest man-made waterfall in the Western Hemisphere. If you’d like to give your feet a rest, visitors can explore the gardens via a golf cart or Segway rental! A not to miss event is the Tulip Festival held each April. The highlight of this event is the more than 250,000 tulip bulbs in full bloom! Gardening demonstrations, live music, vendors, performances, and family activities round out the festival.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens (Atlanta, GA)
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is another family favorite. The Children’s Garden is composed of two acres featuring themed gardens that encourage education and interactive fun. The kids will love exploring the fountain, treehouses, discovering the gnomes, and so much more! The gardens have a variety of programs and classes, including drop-off classes as well as drop-in classes for kids and families. The Children’s Garden Amphitheater is home to many performances and storytellers throughout the year. Be sure to check out their schedule! Throughout the rest of the grounds, families will enjoy sculptures, the Cascades Garden, the Butterfly Pavilion, in addition to the gorgeous blooms!
Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA)
No matter what time of year, Longwood Gardens offers fun programs, performances, and events to be enjoyed by families. In addition to the breathtaking flowers, both indoors and out, kids will find some areas of the garden of special interest to them. The dancing fountains shoot water 130 feet into the air and the treehouses provide a birds-eye view. The Children’s Corner features a splashing fountain and the Indoor Children’s Garden has hands-on water features, secret stairways, and fun plant displays. Scout Days, Summer Camps, and Homeschool Days are other great programs to enjoy.
Huntington Botanical Gardens (San Marino, CA)
The Huntington features a library, art collection, and 120 acres of beautiful botanical gardens. Fourteen themed gardens provide breath-taking views of a variety of landscapes. Children will enjoy exploring the Jungle Garden, watching the fish in the koi pond of the Japanese Garden, or discovering the scents in the Herb Garden. The ultimate Huntington experience for kids is the Children’s Garden, which was designed specifically with the children in mind. Designed around the four elements, fire, water, earth, and air, the garden provides hands-on experiences that kids can relate to. They will love crawling through a prism tunnel, discovering the topiary animals, and learning through water play. Families can continue learning through workshops, programs, and festivals. One of the best parts of The Huntington is the Free Days offered the first Thursday of each month. Tickets must be requested and reserved in advance for the free days, so be sure to visit the website to learn more.
Missouri Botanical Garden (Saint Louis, MO)
The Missouri Botanical Garden offers tons for visitors to explore. Families will particularly love the Butterfly House, The Shaw Nature Reserve, and the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden. Hands-on activities occur daily to allow children to learn about and explore their environment while having fun. Kids can climb a tree house, visit a prairie village, explore a limestone cave, and board a steamboat, all while never leaving the garden. Families may borrow a backpack from the interpretive center which feature activities designed around specific gardens.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas, Texas)
The beautiful Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden just got better with the inaugural year of the Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Gardens. While the focus of the Children’s Garden is education, kids will be sure to have a lot of fun while learning. The garden design includes several galleries, each geared to a different age group. Wind your way through a garden maze, follow the trails, walk in the clouds, enjoy a tale at the puppet theater, and much more! Before you go, be sure to check out the website to download and print family activity guides to enhance your experience and check out their current deals and discounts.