Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
GOOD FOR: Ages 0-4

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, PA
Hours:Trails and grounds open 8 a.m. to sunset daily; education center open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Fee: Free
Contact:, 610-647-8870

Bathrooms: Restrooms in education center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in education center and behind it
Map: (click on Gardens)

Paved paths wind downhill through woodlands, past shrubs and native flowers to a big pond.

Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens
Photo by: Susan Charkes

With its beautiful hillside setting, stroller-friendly paved trails, and diversity of plants, Jenkins Arboretum is a quiet, pretty locale to enjoy the outdoors with very young children. Its 46 acres are a mix of wide-open vistas along a pond and curvy paths among native wildflowers, lush ferns, flowering shrubs, and mature woods.

Admission to the nonprofit arboretum is free (donations and memberships are welcome). Kids will love the whimsical water fountain, a sculpture that suggests a tree stump. It’s behind the education center, a recently constructed environmentally friendly building. Greeters there are happy to help you get acquainted with the walking trails.

The grounds have 1.5 miles of trails, which are especially attractive in spring and early summer, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are blooming. The fall foliage is also splendid. Maps along the trails are at kids’ height. Wander the wide, well-marked paths in any direction; you won’t get lost and you can keep an eye on children running ahead of you. Don’t miss the long-distance hilltop views north to Valley Forge and beyond. Sculptural benches are along the paths; young kids will enjoy climbing on and off them. They’ll also find the sliding tree-branch garden gate near the visitor center to be fascinating.

A wide grassy area above the pond invites running downhill to the water (the pond itself is fenced to protect the plantings around it). Instead of an interpretive sign here, a wind-up box plays recorded information.

Remember: Pets are not allowed. Stay on the paths and grassy areas. You can picnic around the education center but no food is permitted in the gardens.

Plan B:

Valley Forge National Historical Park is nearby, with many miles of trails.

Where to Eat Nearby:

South on Berwyn Baptist Road leads to Lancaster Avenue (US 30), a commercial thoroughfare.


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