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When you’re looking for a way to enjoy some nature in St. Louis, head to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s located in the heart of old St. Louis, adjacent to Tower Grove Park. This amazing facility was founded in 1859, and it’s the oldest botanical garden in the U.S. today. Named a National Historic Landmark, the botanical garden is a relaxing oasis in the middle of busy St. Louis. With 79 acres of outdoor and indoor exhibits, this gem of St. Louis entertains visitors of all ages. Their garden exhibits alone are some of the best in the country, and they also host a plethora of special events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and light shows. In addition to being a beautiful and family-friendly spot, the Missouri Botanical Garden is also a center for research, science education, and conservation. Their mission is to share plant and environmental knowledge to preserve and enrich life. Read on to learn why the Missouri Botanical Garden should have a spot on your must-visit list:
Get outside and de-stress
Living in a city has many advantages, but from time to time you may start to feel burnt out and feel the need to retreat to nature. The Missouri Botanical Garden is the perfect place to find that piece of paradise. It’s proven that spending time in natural green spaces can reduce stress and improve your overall mental health. If you’re short on time or simply don’t feel like leaving the city, the botanical garden is the perfect mini-vacation to unwind from the city bustle.
14 acres of the Missouri Botanical Garden are dedicated to the tranquil Japanese Garden, named Seiwa-en. It’s one of the largest in America, and it stuns visitors in the spring when the flora is in full bloom. Named a “garden of pure, clear harmony and peace", it contains several gorgeous glass sculptures from the famed glassblower, Chihuly, which are carefully integrated into the landscape. You’ll also find trickling waterfalls, beaches, islands, and greenery to contribute to the traditional Japanese style and serene mood of the garden.
One unique attraction within the Missouri Botanical Garden is the impressive climate-controlled dome which houses over 2,800 plants, including 1,400 tropical species. The 70 ft-tall dome is a light-filled structure with a tropical rainforest environment, including rocky cliffs, peaceful waterfalls, dense greenery, and even a bridge to view the forest canopy. You’ll find exotic plants like cacao, coffee, bananas, and the double coconut. In winter, this is a perfect way to retreat to a tropical environment for the afternoon.
One show that’s quite popular at the botanical garden is the annual Orchid Show. It goes on from the beginning of February through March, and it’s open from 9am-5pm daily. Located within the Orthwein Floral Display Hall, the exotic display of hundreds of vibrant orchids will give you a taste of the Victorian era “orchid mania”, when collecting various new orchid species was all the rage. The show has 4 scheduled Orchid Nights where you can experience a lighted orchid exhibit, listen to live music, and sample libations from local breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
You may think the botanical garden is a seasonal attraction, but it’s actually stunning year-round. The garden glow exhibit is one of the most popular, family-friendly events, and it takes place from mid-November through January 1st. Garden Glow transforms the botanical garden into a wonderland. With over 1 million stunning lights, the dazzling display will please visitors old and young. This amazing attraction also includes festive drinks, s’mores, and family photo opportunities.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for a unique date, a family-friendly afternoon, or a great place to relax for an afternoon, the Missouri Botanical Garden is it. With its rich history, ever-changing landscape, and year-round events, it never gets old. Come for a day and see why so many consider it a true gem of St. Louis. Check out their website for up-to-date information on their events.