Taking your kiddos to the playground is one thing, treating them to a dose of nature’s playground is a next-level experience they’ll want again and again. The following botanical gardens across the country are not only bursting with rare blooms and exotic trees, they’re also centers for learning about everything from saving the bees to fishing to fairies. And as it turns out, there’s plenty of fun for mom and dad, too. Click through the gallery to find out 18 sweet spots for budding botanists.

Naples Botanical Garden–Naples, Fl

In the Smith’s Children’s Garden, kids can take a journey from tree to sea (stop to create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece, climb to the top of the treehouse and catch a spiders-eye view of things) before heading to sensory-filled exhibits such as the Cracker House, the Hidden Garden and “Chuck,” a royal poinciana tree. There’s a monthly theme to the family programs and every weekend guests can be a part of W.O.N.D.E.R.—where they’ll be free to imagine, create and explore.

Good to know: The warm Florida weather is the perfect climate for tropical plants, so be sure to also check out the Brazilian Garden and the Caribbean Garden.

Online: naplesgarden.org

photo: Jack Vinson via flickr




What’s your favorite garden to visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen