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.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum–Chaska, Mn

Run by the University of Minnesota and only 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, prepare to be stunned by the more than 1,200 acres including a Maze Garden, the Harrison Sculpture Garden and the new Tashijian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center. You’ll find miles of trails that roam from formal garden to open prairie and there’s even a 3-mile drive for the winter months when much of the garden is covered in snow. Children will find year-round fun at the Plant-Maker Studio where kids can get their hands dirty! Learn how to start cuttings, plant seeds, make art from leaves and more. Summer programs include pollinator watching and fairy gardening!
Online: arboretum.umn.edu

photo: delobius via flickr




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

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen