Learn about plants and walk around in a beautiful, scenic environment at the Denver Botanical Gardens. There are special kid/family programs for children ages 3 and up.
Gardens are usually pretty, sometimes unique and interesting to look at, but Denver Botanical Gardens are also fun and exciting. My family (kids ages 1-10 years) was delighted with the 3-acre children’s garden, science pyramid, and tropical conservatory. We visited in early April, so the gardens were not fully recovered from winter. Most of the ponds were empty. But we still had a great time.
MORDECAI CHILDREN’S GARDEN
This garden is specifically designed for children ages 1 to 8 years, although we all loved it. The entrance to this garden is conveniently located at the parking lot, across the street from the main garden entrance. Families walk (or crawl) through a “cave” and emerge into a garden full of interesting plants, activities, and information. The signs point out specific things to look for as children explore the garden. Of course, it’s not all looking at plants. There are plants to touch, bridges to run across, and man-made mountains to climb. Stations throughout the garden promote imaginative play. My kids loved creating animal habitats on Marmot Mountain. The 5 & 10-year-old couldn’t resist acting out the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at a little area with a tent and tablecloth over a log. It was great seeing them use blocks of wood as food for their story. The play areas are all very natural and earth toned. Most look like something you would find out in the woods.
Make sure to go all the way to the end of the trail to explore Morrison Discovery Center. Although there was not too much to explore here, there was a fun greenhouse with a few interactive elements. Around the room are containers that visitors can squeeze and sniff the contents. Some contained mango, chocolate, and avocado scents. There are pictures of what the plants these foods come from look like, and the actual plants are growing in pots around the room. It was so fun to see a real life cacao (chocolate) tree.
Located in the main gardens, this uniquely designed building showcases the scientific side of plants. Visitors can change the image projected on a globe to represent Earth at different seasons, temperatures, or eras. You can even decide you’d rather see a representation of another planet in our solar system. My boys had lots of fun experimenting with this one. Other stations invite visitors to look closely at magnified images, watch informational videos, or listen to sounds of nature. The sound stations were interesting. To listen, you put your elbow on a metal disk and your hand on your ear. The sound vibrations travel up your arm and into your ear. Your arm basically becomes a headphone.
The paths were nicely maintained and easy to walk with a stroller. We enjoyed seeing the few flowers that were blooming. I would suggest going a little later in the year to get more color. Even without the flowers, the gardens were lovely and peaceful. There are plenty of benches for relaxing. The pond areas look like they would be nice when they are filled. The tropical conservatory is a beautiful tropical paradise. The kids enjoyed climbing the wooden staircase to a lookout station.
Bottom line: Denver Botanical Gardens is a great place for families who love to explore outside. There are many interactive stations to keep little ones entertained for hours in the children’s garden and even some fun elements they will love in the main gardens. I recommend these gardens to anyone visiting Denver on a nice day.
*Disclosure-I received complimentary admission to Denver Botanical Gardens. I received no other compensation and opinions expressed are completely my own.
There are a ton of kids classes and programs they offer for kids of all ages. They tend to fill up quickly so register early. The gardens are great to spend the morning at with kids and there is a fun kids garden where little ones can run and jump in the water.
There are a ton of kids classes and programs the Denver Botanic Gardens offer for kids of all ages (a lot of adult program too). They tend to fill up quickly so register early. The gardens are great to spend the morning at with kids and there is a fun kids garden where little ones can run and jump in the water.
I was there last June, which was a prime time to go. We loved walking around and soaking it all in. There is a kid focused area, but it's not huge. I think it's well worth the trip. Spending time outside in a beautiful setting like this is good for the soul.
I went here with my sons kindergarten class for a field trip. They have a variety of different types of gardens including a chocolate garden! They also have one that is like the town of Littleton, yet when we were there the kids were disappointed that it wasn't running. There is lots of space, but I found it very confusing to get around, things were not easily marked.
Went to a wedding at the gardens this summer and it was just beautiful there! Everything was well kept and manicured and felt magical. The kids area is nothing to write home about (3rd floor of the parking garage across from the regular entrance). The variety of fauna was stunning. The building that house tropical plants made you feel like you were being whisked away to another world.
We've visited the Botanic Gardens every so often for years. It's always beautiful - a wide variety of gardens and styles. My older kids don't enjoy it as much anymore (9 and 12) but my younger two still do (7 and 8) and it's been a nice place to go with out of town visitors as well.
With a little planning, a picnic lunch and a good pair of shoes the Denver Botanic Gardens is a fun, relaxing and educational experience for the whole family. There are always events and activities both for members and non-members alike and it is a beautiful venue for events such as weddings, birthdays etc.
There are free days scattered throughout the year for Denver residents so make sure you take advantage of at least one to visit this spectacular garden and you're sure to find a favorite spot to sit for a picnic or just to enjoy the beauty around you.