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Friday, March 1, 2013

explore botanical gardens with kids (+ a project)

Have you spent time in botanical gardens with your kids? They are some of the most magical, relaxing places to be. We recently spent an afternoon at the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando and loved the grounds as well as the entertaining home tour (Florida pioneers have to have been a special breed to risk life down here in the 19th century) .

I highly recommend a visit for any family who is in the area doing the theme park tango. Calm strolling through the gardens, lounging in the great lawn or dock over looking the lake and smelling the rose garden might be the balm you need to restore yourself before heading back in to the plastic madness. A side tip: there is a funky, local restaurant nearby. Check out Dandelion Communitea Cafe for a healthy vegan or vegetarian lunch.

Most homechoolers are pros at reciprocal programs. There are ones for science centers, art museums, and botanical gardens. By becoming a member at your local botanical garden you can likely participate in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admission Program, which means you can get into another 270 gardens all across the US and Canada. It only takes a visit or two to get your money's worth. We find that as members, we tend to visit more new places more often.

The next morning we spent time working on designing our own botanical gardens. It is always fun to make a map, and even funner to fill it with the plants you like. We had poison plants, bee areas surrounded by lavender and orange trees, yoga gardens, and my favorite: a people's garden, where "people can just come and plant what ever they want." 

This seems to be the approach to many of our outings, field trips and explorative travels.

Go somewhere, see inspiring things, come home and play with whatever new ideas we have gleaned - adding to our toolboxes of ingenuity.

If you could design your own botanical garden, what would be the most unique feature?

The Family e-Lab is signing up now. Join us in April as we shake the dust off our creative souls and rejuvenate our family life. You can read more here

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  1. We spend so much time at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. It is one of our favorite places.

  2. I love the butterfly garden at ours in Arizona. Perhaps a herb garden would be nice.

  3. Oh my wowza- Thank you for reminding me to do this with my kids! My littlest has never been to one, and I think this would be the exact perfect thing to help get rid of some of our horrible cold winter ennui.


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