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A Day at the New York Botanical Garden

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
Published June 28th 2012
Among the many parks throughout New York City, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx is world-known for its array of lush and beautiful gardens, each one presenting flora that fits a specific theme. Once you start exploring the 250-acre living museum, you'll find yourself engrossed in a palette of colors and delightful scents for a few hours, or even a whole day.

One of the spots to relax while within the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden.

Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden

Follow your nose to the Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden where the strong scents of curry and mint plants entice passersby to walk in and investigate.

Visually appealing potted seasonal blossoms and herbs sit atop the garden gate entrance.

No, your sense of smell isn't deceiving you. Yes, there's curry in the air.

Pots contain seasonal plantings at the herb garden entrance.

Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden

Walk over to the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, which is adjacent to the herb garden. Satiate your curiosity and find out what seasonal foliage is blooming, such as hydrangeas and impatiens.

Pretty double impatiens.

Enid A. Kaupt Conservatory

Don't miss the latest exhibitions, including the interesting exotic foliage and blossoms from around the world that await your discovery.

One of many flowers blooming within the tropical rainforest.

Places to Buy Refreshments

As you stroll along, you may find yourself needing some nourishment. Depending on the day and season you're visiting, you may chance upon the greenmarket where you can buy fresh produce, baked goodies, drinks and more.

Local farmers sell their wares at the greenmarket.

There are plenty of benches throughout each themed garden, plus chairs and tables with umbrellas where you can rest and eat, while taking in the scenic and fragrant surroundings.

Relaxing seating area outside the Enid A. Kaupt Conservatory.

Or, if you prefer, the Garden Café and Leon Levy Visitor Center Café offer snacks, salads and sandwiches, plus hot or cold drinks within relaxed settings. Choose from among the seating areas inside and outside both venues.

View from the Garden Café exterior seating overlooking the Enid A. Kaupt Conservatory.

You can also eat your fare at the Picnic Pavilion, past the Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail. Who knows, you may even spot one of the frogs that you'll hear as you walk through—hiding under the shade.

The sound of frogs surround you as walk through the trail.


Traverse the grounds on your own, avail of the free audio tours, or join some onsite tours. During the course of your visit, you may even find NYBG guides (teachers) engaging school children in some activities. The group in the photo is listening to how they can use descriptive words to craft poems that captivate as many of their readers' five senses.

School children and parents listen to NYBG staffer's instructions.

Use your All-Garden pass and hop aboard the Garden Tram Tour to travel to other areas while listening to narration.

Other Places to Visit

Don't forget to check out the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, the Seasonal Walk, the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum and the Home Gardening Center.

With the All-Garden pass, your kids can visit the Everett Children's Adventure Garden.

One of the pine trees within the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum.

Take a self-guided stroll on the Daylily Daffodil Walk.

Stop by the Home Gardening Center to check out the latest vegetables, perennials and other plantings.

Souvenir Shopping

If you're like most folks, your trip isn't complete until you've at least browsed through the Shop in the Garden for some supplies, plants or trinkets you can take home.

Before you leave, browse around for some souvenirs.

Regardless of which meandering trail you choose to follow or what garden to linger in and explore, a day at the New York Botanical Garden is a fun educational experience amidst natural splendor.
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Why? Spend a relaxing day surrounded by nature.
When: Open all year round every Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open Mondays (Federal holidays).
Phone: 718-817-8700
Where: 2900 Southern Boulevard, New York
Cost: Admission, event and onsite tour ticket prices vary. Check website for details.
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