Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Lakeside Avenue, Henrico, VA, USA
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
run, local-highlights, fun-paid-activities
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Take in beauty and peace in the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is our family's top pick when we want to show off our city to out-of-town guests. The garden has miles of stroller-friendly paths that wind through Japanese Gardens, past several fountains, a children's garden, and a treehouse, and there is a huge conservatory, too!
When planning your visit, purchase your tickets online in advance to save time. Keep in mind a membership to Lewis Ginter pays for itself if you go to the gardens more than twice in a calendar year and includes a discount on summer camps. The parking lot directly in front of the entrance is best when you arrive. From here, you can quickly check in at the reception desk, where you can obtain a map of the entire grounds and a scavenger hunt for children, too!
My kids love Lewis Ginter because of the open space to run freely, the children's garden, a huge sand area with sand toys, a 100+-year-old mulberry tree to climb, and other nature play opportunities. Other highlights for kids are building cairns (rocks), playing in the garden keeper's cottage, running to the top of the treehouse (which has the best view of the gardens!), and the library. The library is open to all visitors, but only members can check out items. The children's section has educational, nature-themed toys, like puzzles, blocks, and of course, books. The storytime is every Friday and Saturday at 10:00 AM. Storytime is included with your admission.
Throughout the year, there are various events and programs, which can be found via the website or social media. Some family favorites are Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, a holiday event where the garden is beautifully lit up, and s'mores and hot chocolate are sold. Free Admission and half-price admission days in January, and Butterflies Live are other favorite events!
This outing usually takes us about 3-4 hours. If your children are small or tire easily, consider bringing a wagon or stroller. Packing snacks to enjoy at the tables behind the children's garden is essential for us, water, sunscreen, bug spray, and of course, wearing comfortable walking shoes!