Spring time in Atlanta means it’s tulip time downtown – and it’s amazing! With thirty acres of outdoor gardens to explore, the beautiful oasis of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of my family’s favorite destinations in the heart of midtown Atlanta. Towering trees cover the Canopy Walk, children giggle through the Children’s Garden, and the orchids never fail to impress in the Fuqua Conservatory.
The garden beds are ever changing with the season and never cease to be amazing. Make sure you grab a map because you will discover new favorite places each visit. Even in the winter, the garden manages to impress with the holiday light display and seasonal plants. Check the online schedule for visiting installations, and make return visits. And often.
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9AM- 6PM Tuesday to Sunday. The times change depending on time of year so check the calendar online.
⏳How much time do I need?
At least two hours; I would recommend half a day at least.
Adult $22.95; Child $21.95; Under 3 are free
Membership to the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a great investment as the nation-wide reciprocity through the American Horticultural Society fully covers visits to other botanical gardens around the United States. For my family of six, museum and garden memberships are paid for in less than two visits and an excellent way to save money in the long-run. If you have a membership to another botanical garden, you do not need a timed ticket and can simply present your reciprocal membership card at the ticket booth.
Also covered in the membership is access to the sister botanical garden north of Atlanta in Gainesville. It’s like having two memberships in one. Or 300 with the reciprocity!
Parking is paid at the entrance to the park at the SAGE parking facility. Take a ticket at the entrance booth and drive through to the garage. There is an elevator to take you to the correct level if you can’t do stairs. If you have become a member, consider buying a multi-visit parking pass to save a bit of money.
Per garden guidelines, food is not allowed inside but feel free to take your water bottles to fill up at scattered stations. I tend to take (sneak?) a granola bar or leftover Halloween candy in for the kids to give a bit of energy halfway through our visit. Leave your picnic in the car to go eat in the …. Park afterward.
There is a dine-in Longleaf restaurant, Quick Café, and Snack Bar in the garden if you’re looking for a drink or quick bite.
Most of the botanical garden is in the open other than the canopy walk. You might want to load up on sunscreen in the summer and wear your mom hat and kid hats. While not usually a problem, I have had some visits with bug bites; keep these handy wipes in your bag.
There are multiple restrooms inside the garden – upstairs in the entrance, in the children’s garden, and in the tropical garden building.
Nope. Not this time unless they are a service animal.
- Put the kids on the search for statues. There are multiple bronze statues scattered throughout the garden and even a few plant-covered figures. From the Dave Chihuly exhibit several years ago, several colorful Chihuly glass sculptures remain; don’t forget to look up in the visitor center.
- The children’s garden is a great way to get out wiggles by running, sliding, and climbing over their play structures. During the summer, the water section is open; bring a change of clothes to dry off in the nearby restroom.
- We love talking to the gardeners, and they are always willing to answer questions. Ask away and enhance your trip. They give great tips including how to feed the fly traps!
- If you’re feeling fancy, consider taking the spouse or family to the restaurant during your visit.
- Check online for upcoming events like the Garden Lights (in November to January), Orchid Days, and new art installations. There are frequent specialized day program including yoga, story time, and cooking classes.
- We love checking out the edible garden to get ideas for growing vegetables at home. This changes per season and always inspires.
- Grab a map of the garden at the entrance. Sometimes they also have a bingo scavenger hunt to get the little ones looking for certain types of plants.
- Make sure you walk through the orchid center to the micropropagation lab. My kids love seeing all the tiny plants in their futuristic home.
- As almost all of the paths are paved, this garden is very wheelchair and stroller friendly.
- Currently in February 2022, you have to get timed tickets online and face masks are required inside. Make sure you get your tickets ahead of time.
- Expect a lot of walking so wear good shoes.
- During peak vacation times, this place can get crowded. Definitely try to go during the week if possible.
The ABG is organized by type of plant. Explore the desert, rainforest, orchid house, arboretum (trees!), Japanese garden, and so much more. Take your nature sketch pad and sit for awhile to observe, draw, and take notes. Make sure you return at different times in the year to see how the planting have changed and which blooms are on. The camellias and tulips are our favorites. Contact the garden for a docent led or discounted group visit.
The garden is located in the huge Piedmont Park so consider a stroll or skate for several hours after your garden visit. Pack your picnic lunch and grab it after the Garden to eat in the park.