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.

Missouri Botanical Garden–St. Louis, Mo

This St. Louis garden is a total must-do for living it up in Missouri. The 29-acre botanical space often hosts annual events like their signature orchid shows and music festivals. Little ones have their own garden to explore and interactive exhibits where they can build, experiment and play while learning about nature in their own backyards.

Online: missouribotanicalgarden.org

photo: Eric Allix Rogers via flickr




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

— Amber Guetebier, Christal Yuen & Gabby Cullen