Thursday, May 24, 2012

Salt Lake Spotlight: Red Butte Garden

The Water Pavillion from the back

I'm so excited to share one of my favorite local hangouts with you in this week's Salt Lake Spotlight!  Red Butte Garden is located in the foothills above Salt Lake City, in the University of Utah's Research Park.  Touted as a "year round" garden, we've found that there really is something to do at Red Butte each season, whether it's viewing thousands of blooming bulbs and blossoming trees in spring, snowshoeing along their trails in the winter, watching the leaves change colors in the fall, or enjoying a summer concert and picnic in their amazing amphitheater (Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, Bonnie Raitt,  and Crosby Stills & Nash are all in the lineup this year...I can't wait!).

Springtime blossoms

Paths wind around the garden, taking you through a Floral Walk and Pear Arbor before reaching the many beautiful themed gardens, including a Fragrance Garden, Herb Garden, Medicinal Garden, Waterfall Garden, and Rose Garden.  I'm always in awe of how many varieties of flowers, plants, bushes, and trees they manage to cultivate here.

The Waterfall Garden

One of our favorite spots to explore is the Children's Garden.  My daughter can't get enough of the water features, sandbox, raspberry bushes, oversized lizard and salamander figures, and vineyard "tunnels."  There is also a Sprout House where kids can participate in learning activities throughout the year.

The snake water feature is a huge hit with my daughter

The Water Pavillion is another well-loved area.  Kids can feed the pond's resident ducks and koi (take some quarters along to buy the food).

The Water Pavilion 

Some tips for visiting Red Butte Garden:

  • Pack a picnic!  There are many lovely areas to enjoy it throughout the garden, and food is not sold here.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a good walk.  Since the garden is set in the foothills of Salt Lake, you will notice many elevation changes as you explore.
  • Buy a membership!  Daily admission prices for a family can add up ($8/adults, $6/kids), and purchasing a membership grants you free or discounted access to many other American Horticultural Society gardens throughout the United States. 
  • Check the Garden's online calendar for activities and events.  Also be aware that the garden closes early--5pm--on concert nights.

Do you have a local garden that you like to visit?

Please visit Friday Daydreamin' at R We There Yet Mom? for more great travel posts!