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.

Descanso Gardens–La Cañada Flintridge, Ca

Descanso Gardens is a winner for train and flower lovers alike. Open from morning til noon on weekdays and all day on the weekends, the Enchanted Railroad chugs along a section of the Gardens. Depending on the month, there’ll be different flowers in bloom (from daffodils to toyon berries), and there is always an art gallery and a glamourous house from the 1930’s to explore.

Good to know: Enchanted Railroad riders must be at least 30 inches tall and able to sit on their own.

Online: descansogardens.org

photo: Gaston Hinostroza via flickr




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

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen