Thursday, August 11, 2016

New York Botanical Gardens - with kids!

You wouldn’t necessarily describe your average visitor to a Victorian garden known for it's beauty and tranquillity as an adventurous four-year old boy, but earlier this week I took B to the New York Botanical Gardens and he loved it.

We first visited the gardens in December as they hold a wonderful model train show each year. I was sure he would love that and he did.  But we haven’t been back to this 250 acre gem in the Bronx since and I was a little unsure visiting such a big space on my own. 

I need not of worried, we spent most of the day in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. The lush and green space kept us entertained for hours. It is beautifully designed to get children hands-on with nature in an organic way and there are plenty of surprises, such as giant floral bugs, and activities at every turn.

The staff who I think are volunteers or interns were excellent and engaging with the children. They helped B plant his own Coleus and afterwards he made some artwork. Both creations he could bring home as little keepsakes from the day. 

Halfway through we discovered the most charming little house, set up for a children’s tea party. Being English, we naturally stopped for a cup of tea and to read some of the carefully selected children’s stories that were placed in the house. They even had managed to source a story about dinosaurs coming for tea! 

We went mid-week during the summer break and I was surprised at how quiet it was here in comparison to other places we’ve visited so far. 

I had planned to use the designated picnic area at the exit of the children’s area, but I found this sheltered table and chair area to be quite sad looking, when just two minutes away we found a nice bench overlooking a vast and wonderful green space. 

We had hoped to head up to the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, to do some planting and tasting, but we never quite made it – next time!  

I was very keen to view the as much of the gardens as I could, but to save B’s little legs we took a train ride around the gardens to finish off our day. 

The train slowly tours the gardens, you don’t get to see as much as you would if you explored by foot, but it was enough. I would really recommend this, as after a busy day B was also happy to sit on the train and take in the sights. 

More Info

The NYBG is surprisingly easy to reach from the city or Brooklyn. You can drive, as there is a designated car park, take the Metro-North Railroad to the Botanical Garden Station or ride the subway. 

If you plan on visiting more than once a year as a family, you should look into membership. 

Find out more on the NYBG website

One of many picture perfect scenes from the NYBG. 

On the rocks!

At the Inspiration Station.

You might think this would be loud and annoying, but the wooden tones compliment the garden. 

Well hello there. 

Building a nest. 

Just look at this house!

B in the tea house. 

Tea for two.

Scooping some soil...

And planting his own Coleus.

Exploring inside a tree. 

B running to see what has got the crowds gathered, turns out it was lunch!

Allllll this green space in the Bronx.

Ended the day with a rest and a train ride. 

View of the Mill on the river from the train. 

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