New York Botanical Garden
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY
Hours:10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Tuesday through Sunday; closed most Mondays and Christmas Day
Fee: Grounds-only admission: adults, $10; children ages 2 to 12, $2; children under age 2, free. Free admission for all on Wednesdays and from 10 A.m. to 11 A.m. on Saturdays.
Contact:; 718-817-8700

Bathrooms: Leon Levy Visitor Center
Water/Snacks: Full meals at the Garden Café; sandwiches, salads, and snacks at the Leon Levy Visitor Center Café

USGS Central Park and Flushing;

Explore a wilderness that has, in parts, remained largely untouched since before the arrival of the Dutch in about 1624.

New York Botanical Garden
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

A National Historic Landmark, the New York Botanical Garden is the largest botanical garden in the United States and one of the most renowned in the world. This destination is devoted to breathtaking gardens, greenhouses, research facilities, a centuries-old forest, and rolling lawns. You may be surprised at how quiet and spacious the gardens feel when you arrive, and your kids will be wowed by the explosion of colors. Visit from late November through early January, and you can catch the Holiday Train Show in the Conservatory.

The four-season Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is true to its name, and is a terrific stop for children ages 2 to 12. With hands-on activities, huge flowers, a boulder maze, a touch tank, and more, the garden will keep your kids engaged and excited. At the Howell Family Garden, on the eastern side of the grounds, children are encouraged to “dig in” to activities such as planting seeds and searching for worms in the dirt.

If you have time, allow two hours to explore the enormous oaks and maples of the 50-acre Native Forest, where mulch trails travel into the depths of the forest. From the main entrance at Mosholu Gate, take Garden Way (the trails are clearly marked) to the visitor center on your right. You will be at an intersection; turn left at Rock Garden Path and follow it north until it bends right and ultimately takes you to Spicebush Trail. You will pass a short path that leads onto Magnolia Way on the left. Keep an eye out, and you may spot raptors and hawks, which use the forest as part of their hunting grounds.

Spicebush Trail heads back south and, at a T intersection, connects to Bridge Trail. After soaking in this environment—and sometimes soaking your feet, as the path can have muddy patches and puddles for days after a rain—follow Bridge Trail to the footbridge that spans the freshwater Bronx River. The waterfall is captivating. Return to Bridge Trail, and turn left onto Sweetgum Trail, which eventually connects to Azalea Way, where you will turn right to head back to the visitor center. Remember: To enter the greenhouses and some of the themed gardens, you must purchase an all-garden admission ticket. Also, bicycles and scooters are not permitted in the garden.

Plan B:

The botanical garden shares Bronx Park, in the borough’s center, with the legendary Bronx Zoo at 2300 Southern Boulevard.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A picnic area is near the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Stores selling food and beverages are along Bedford Park Boulevard, northwest of the Native Forest.


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