We live in Huntsville, AL and have for the past 4 years. It’s a quiet city with the highest number of PhDs than anywhere else in the US (NASA, Boeing and a couple of Universities make this possible). Most out-of-towners think the only thing to do is to go to the US Space and Rocket Center. While that is definitely a must see (and if you the Space Camp program is fantastic!), another must see is the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. We purchase membership every year and visit as often as possible for the events that they have for kids (the adult events are pretty great too, like their Wine 101: From Vine to Mouth and Cocktails and Dogtails ).
We visited a couple of weekends ago to try and beat the heat by playing in their water features in the children’s garden. (BTW – Em is only 3 and yet I plan on having her wedding at the Botanical Gardens, they have an absolutely perfect spot – I’ll show you )
As you enter the gardens, you’ll see this larger than life flower pot wrapped around the tree. Inside the pot are steps for the kids to look up and around and pretend to be gnomes.
Throughout the garden there are quiet nooks like this one. The Gardens offer yoga classes and sometimes Plein Air workshops with known artists.
Huntsville Botanical Gardens does a wonderful job of keeping things interesting and getting the community involved in creating sculptures that frequently change.
But my kids favorite spots are the tree-houses that are throughout the whole garden, the Children’s Garden and the Butterfly Garden.
One of the first buildings you’ll pass on your way to the Children’s Garden is the Butterfly Garden.
Inside the Butterfly Garden is winding walkways, a waterfall, stream and hundreds of butterflies moving from flower to flower. If you stand still with a little nectar on your finger they’ll even land on your finger, or in this case a shoe that had some nectar dribbled onto it.
This little guy was hard to find, and I didn’t realize it until I was looking at this picture, there is another turtle to the right of this one hidden under the brush.
Once we stepped out of the Butterfly Garden we entered into the Children’s Garden. There are water features all around that the kids can play in – great place to beat the heat while I can relax on a shaded bench.
How cute is this! In the children’s garden there is a section for Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. Here are the Three Bears flower beds.
There’s a wishing well on your way to the Secret Garden, just follow the yellow brick road.
Inside The Secret Garden is a little gazebo, colorful flowers and a little gated door in the brick wall for the fairies to escape.
In another part of the Children’s Garden are rainbow benches surrounded with Rosemary, kaleidoscopes and a Dinosaur Garden where the kids can run through the mists.
There is soo much more to the garden that we didn’t get to go to it all in one day. But as promised, here is where I’d like Em to get married one day.
(this picture is from Halloween last year at Huntsville Botanical Gardens).