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.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens–Boothbay, Ma

You’ll find over 270 acres of family fun (from mid-April through the end of October) at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. Enjoy a stroll through the cultivated gardens or embark upon miles of hiking trails. Discover a fairy house village, take an electric boat tour or check out classes offered in the children’s garden, including growing a pizza and family quests.

Good to know: Got a boat? Visitors can sail right up to The Landing and dock before heading into the garden.

Online: mainegardens.org

photo: courtesy Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens




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

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen