Would you like to get some spring in your kid’s step? Literally. It’s pretty easy to do; just head over to the beautiful Botanical Gardens. I know, I know - I wondered if my kids would get bored walking around and looking at flowers, too – but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much fun we had at the gardens.
For starters, we went on a nasty, soggy, cold day. Just walking in was like a breath of fresh, tropical air. Truly. It was warm and it smelled wonderful. My 4-year-old, Emma, loved the scent flowing through the air. We were off to a nice start.
Another huge plus was that the waterfalls and flowing little rock gardens throughout the houses create a mellow, peaceful atmosphere. We strolled along, pushing the baby in her buggy and stopping periodically to smell the flowers.
There is a scavenger hunt that is neat. You pick up a form when you walk in and try to find everything on it. We made it quite a competition and my 19-year old, Maria, really got into it. She found everything, too. It’s a fun way to play a game and learn as you go along.
[See smile photos from the opening of Lumagination in the Botanical Gardens]
For example, we learned some trivia about the chocolate tree. It’s called the Theobroma Cacao and it means “food of the gods.” The beans on the tree are used to make cocoa powder and chocolate. They grow in Hawaii. That’s sweet, right? We thought so. We learned little factoids as we went along. They have a remarkable collection of trees, bushes, flowers and more.
[See John Hickey's photo gallery of the spring flower exhibit in the Botanical Gardens]
We could have been happy just walking around. But - bonus - there is a place just for kids to play. It’s the Wegmans Family Garden. They have a sand box, chalk board, arts, crafts, and some toys.
My girls loved the sand box. Yes, they do get some sand on them, but who cares, right? It brushes right off.
The room was so pretty and the girls were having fun so we stayed for a while.
The vibrant colors, sweet smells and warm climate make it feel like you're in a tropical rain forest. It is a nice, low-key visit and the truth is, the winter weather can give you the doldrums. So, why not go to a place where you can stop and smell the flowers all year long.
Where: 2655 South Park Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Cost: Adults, $9; children 3-12, $5; under 2, free