Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Gateway Garden

So, our plans fell through again. My daughter and I were supposed to travel to see my brother and his children but there was an emergency in my sister-in-law’s family. Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead and make the most of our trip though since we were already there. This is why it’s important that you learn to be flexible when traveling.

It was a beautiful day so we decided to visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, operated by the University of Michigan. For $5 we purchased all day parking from the meter and then headed inside to the conservatory. As we had paid for parking admission was actually free.

There is an amazing array of plants available within the conservatory. There are massive succulents as well as tropical examples such as banana trees and pineapple plants. They even have plants thriving there that are on threatened and endangered lists.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens


Afterwards we decided to head outside and of course my daughter had to visit the Children’s Garden. It has great activities that allow kids to climb all over rocks, navigate a maze or just engage in some plain ol’ digging in the dirt. The fairy garden was definitely a hit and there some lots of tools for the children to use.

Be sure to let your little one wear some clothes that can get dirty. Trust me, you will not be able to keep them clean in this garden. But that is what’s so great about it!

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and conservatory have varying hours depending on the time of year. In general though it doesn’t open until 10:00 a.m. So, take advantage and have a leisurely breakfast or maybe head over to Nichols Arboretum beforehand.


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