Lewis Ginter Children's Garden
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Lakeside Avenue, Henrico, VA, USA
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
run, farms-orchards, fun-paid-activities
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Lewis Ginter's Children's Garden is perfect for the young, and young at heart!
The Children's Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a must see! While Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden itself is absolutely stunning, you simply cannot visit Richmond with children and not stroll through the Children's Garden!
When you arrive at the garden, park in the main lot. You must pay admission to visit the garden. You may purchase tickets in advance online, or upon arrival. Admission costs are: Adults, $14 ; Seniors (65+), $11 ; Youth (3-12), $8 ; Children (under 3), Free. I suggest purchasing a membership if your family will visit the garden more than twice in a calendar year. Then you can benefit from other discounts at the gift shop, camps and other programs. After checking in at reception, you will walk completely straight back to the garden. You can go either across a bridge, or another way that follows the lake. It is a large loop, and you won't get lost.
Once in the Children's Garden your children will love to climb up to the top of the Klaus Family Tree House. There are no steps involved, this is completely stroller and wheelchair friendly. Once you get to the top of the tree house, you will have a gorgeous view of the garden. Another must see in the children's garden are the little "houses" as my children call them. They are within the "International Village", and there are globally inspired houses, like those Native Americans would've lived in. My kids love playing "house" here, but it's also a great learning opportunity about history and culture. Under the tree house is a monarch butterfly meadow.
For nature play, don't miss the mulberry tree. This tree is over 100 years old, and kids are allowed to climb on it. It's always a highlight of our trips. There are also massive building blocks that my son loves to use to make ramps, so pack some hot wheels if your little engineer has a similar interest! A sandbox with toys is near the edge of the children's garden. Behind the sandbox is the Gardenkeeper's Cottage. This small "house" has a little table and broom, where kids can play house, or pretend they are the garden keepers! This cottage is quite small, so if you go in with your child, be sure to duck your head!
Benches and a designated "Parent Rest Area" is between the sandbox and the building blocks. There's a large shade canopy over the block area, but you will still want to pack sunscreen as much of the garden is in direct sun. There are picnic tables near the breezeway. Lewis Ginter does not permit picnics, but we've packed small snacks for our kids to enjoy in this area with no problem. If you continue past the picnic tables on the "Tree Trail", you can follow a path filled with beautiful fairy houses, made completely out of various elements of nature. There are also logs to cross and stumps to supply nature play in this area as well.
The Children's Garden is popular for play dates, learning through play and even birthday parties!