Touring a botanical garden with children in tow can be a challenge. But this is not so with Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve. This delightful garden center seems tailor made for kids and is the perfect way to introduce them to flowers and nature!My husband and I enjoy touring Botanical Gardens, especially those that have children’s gardens as a big part of the layout of the garden. Check out The Coastal Maine Botanical Garden for another great Children’s Garden.
In fact, our summer vacation gave us a chance to do this in several states. But anyone who has small children will know that they may not find it the most entertaining of activities. That all changes with Beech Creek Center, though!
This delightful botanical garden is located in Alliance, Ohio and is a family friendly garden with hiking trails, a butterfly house, picnic area, playground and a plant science center devoted to teaching children about plants and nature. The gardens are on the small size, as far as botanical gardens go, and easily accessible for all age groups.
My husband and I toured the Gardens last month and found it refreshingly different to most centers I have toured in the past. There are lots of displays that are designed with children in mind while still giving the adults a nice day out in lovely garden settings.
Touring Beech Creek Botanical Garden
We started the day with a picnic near the visitor center. Talk about a calming experience! Their hanging baskets and beautifully landscaped grounds are amazing.
The deck off the main visitor center area overlooks a valley. Large, decorative planters add to the charm of the seating area, making it the perfect spot for lunch.
The teaching areas of the Plant Science Center and a wonderful way to introduce children to gardening. Many of the exhibits were hands on, allowing the children to really get involved and keep them occupied.
One popular exhibit was the butterfly house. It was lavishly designed with loads of nectar flowering plants, caterpillar cages showing the life cycle and lots of butterflies feasting on the plants. They provide Q tips and sugar water so that visitors can try and entice the butterflies (a project for the VERY patient visitor!)
Nectar plants are important if you are trying to attract butterflies to your garden. Beech Creek certainly had these in full force!
As we left the indoor displays we started to tour the rest of the gardens. These, too, were designed with children in mind. One large area was devoted to a cooperative children’s garden and had lots of vegetables. I love to see youth being encouraged in the love of vegetable gardening!
It’s playtime at the Beech Creek Botanical Garden!
Fun for the kids extends to the playground, too. They have a climbing area made from hollowed trees, which lets the children burn off some energy. I love the natural setting!
Once they are done climbing, the “Gravity Glue” area lets the kids interact by encouraging their thinking skills at the same time. How many rocks can you pile before it falls over?
Since I taught school years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through all the kid tailored exhibits, but my husband was beginning to wonder if there was anything at the gardens truly designed with adults in mind. Fortunately for him, the best was left for last! The Secret Garden was a gorgeous area that was separate from the main teaching exhibits.
A peek through the arbor entry told us that we were in for a treat. Long winding paths through beautifully landscaped shade gardens wound in and out of arbors and pergolas.
What a perfect way for us to end the tour!
If you have children and want to encourage them in the love of gardening, be sure to visit Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve. They have a small admission fee, and children 2 and under get in free. I guarantee you that you, and your children, will love it!
More Garden Tours
If you enjoy garden tours, be sure to check out these gardens, as well.
- The Raleigh White Garden
- Roanoke Island Elizabethan Garden Statues
- Raleigh Botanical Garden
- Wellfield Botanic Gardens
- Stott Garden – Goshen Indiana
- The Gardens of Biltmore
- Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
Each is special in its own way and well worth a visit.