We took a field trip last Friday to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Steady Eddie and I went many years ago, in the B.C. era of our marriage (Before Children, that is), but the girls had only been on a drive-through trip one Christmas to see the Christmas lights. Steady Eddie saw online that Friday, May 6, was National Public Gardens Day, and since we had planned to go there the last time we took a field trip but opted out when we realized how expensive it would be, we jumped at the chance to go FREE this time. It turned out that Steady Eddie had an important meeting at work and couldn’t go, so my mom went along with us. She loves flowers and spends a good portion of her time each spring working in her yard, so I knew she’d enjoy it.
I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves, more or less. There were so many areas of the gardens that I didn’t remember from our trip there so many years ago. Most notable among the new features is the children’s garden area, although I might’ve just not paid attention to it the last time since I didn’t have any children then. 🙂
The gardens has a seasonal feature right called Treehouses with a Splash. It was a lot of fun to meander through the gardens, looking for the next tree house. I think the girls’ favorite was probably the pirate ship. I enjoyed seeing the variety of them; there was everything from a gnome house to an old trading post to a “We’re Not in Kansas, Anymore, Toto” farmouse all askew, complete with the ruby red slippers.
The gardens also has a miniature train set, complete with landscaped village. The garden that they wanted to visit over and over again, though, was the rock garden. Who can resist water from a rock? (Old Testament allusions here apply. 🙂 ) There’s also a beautiful, Japanese (?) inspired pond, complete with huge goldfish. Employees of the gardens were on hand to help supervise the children (did I mention there were lots of school groups also taking advantage of no admission cost?) as they explored the pond and tried to capture minnows or tadpoles with dip nets.
The children’s garden area is huge and has so many different areas to visit and explore. Of course, the girls loved the pollywog bog, and they even caught a pollywog! 🙂 There’s also a sandbox area, a vegetable garden area, a storybook garden, and almost every area incorporates water in some way. We could’ve spent all day just in the children’s garden!
My favorite part was the butterfly pavilion. Not only does it house butterflies and moths, but there were also different kinds of turtles to be seen. Rumor has it that little tiny guineas, frogs, and possibly even a snake or two call it their home, as well, but we didn’t see any of those. (Whew!)
Of course, there were plenty of flowers to enjoy.
I think time spent in the Huntsville Botanical Gardens is definitely worth the price of admission, and I’m eager to go back! They even offer homeschool programs, and if we didn’t live so far away, I’d consider them for the girls. Who knows–one day we might try some of them out, anyway!
It was a fun day for us and a great way to (almost) end the school year. Does your family do anything special to finish up your school year?