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.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park–Grand Rapids, Mi

A must-see is the Japanese Garden Environment for Families in the Snell Education Center. As of late January 2017, the garden features Al Weiwei sculptures throughout. Your smallest gardeners will love the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Little ones can launch boats in the Great Lakes Garden, dig for buried fossils in the Rock Quarry and do what kids do best—play and learn!</span>

Good to know: Art buffs will appreciate the sculpture park—an impressive collection of outdoor art nestled among waterfalls, pathways and meadows. </span>

Online: meijergardens.org 

 

photo: Kate Ter Haar via flickr

 

 

 

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

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen