Philadelphia & South Jersey Gardens
FREE Awbury Arboretum (pictured above)
Between Chew Ave. & Ardleigh St., Philadelphia
Families can go for strolls through these gardens, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Stop by the Francis Cope House on the property to learn about the trails, trees & history of the site.
In Bloom: Look for wild violets. In the summer, the Children’s Garden will debut a Rainbow Carrot Garden. Other themed gardens for kids include the Pizza Garden, Candy Garden & Edible Flower Garden.
Open daily. 215-849-2855, www.awbury.org
FREE Bartram’s Garden
54th St. & Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia
This historic garden along the Schuylkill River was once the home of pioneering 18th century botanist John Bartram. Explore Bartram’s former house & farm buildings, along with the surrounding gardens, meadows & wetlands. Highlights include a fragrant flower garden, a cider press, five active beehives and a kitchen garden used for growing vegetables & herbs for cooking & medicines in Bartram’s time.
Visiting Tips: Visit & explore the site yourself for free. Guided tours on weekends through Oct. ($10 adults, free for kids) offer a glimpse into Bartram’s life & a closer look at the plants he collected.
Perfect for Preschoolers: Monthly Little Explorers programs ($10) for ages 2-4 feature walks, hands-on activities, reading & snacks.
Fun Facts: The rare Franklinia tree is named for Bartram’s friend Ben Franklin. Bartram also boasts the oldest gingko tree in the U.S.
Open daily. 215-729-5281, www.bartramsgarden.org
Camden Children’s Garden
3 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ
Camden Children’s Garden entertains kids with themed gardens such as the Dinosaur Garden, featuring a big dino made of recycled materials, and the Storybook Garden, with spots dedicated to tales such as The Three Little Pigs & Alice in Wonderland. Learn about foods in the Picnic Garden & cool off in the fountains in Violet Plaza. There’s also a train, carousel & sky-high butterfly lift ride for kids. Indoors, check out the Plaza de Aibonito, a tropical exhibit named after a town in Puerto Rico. Get up-close with fluttering friends in the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House & Education Centre.
Visiting Tips: The Garden attractions are designed for ages 2-11. Visit bi-weekly family festivals (April 10-11 & April 24-25 this month, 12noon-4pm) for play, planting activities, crafts for kids & hands-on lessons.
$5-$6 admission. Call for hours. 856-365-8733, www.camdenchildrensgarden.org
100 E. Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia
This University of Pennsylvania arboretum features more than 2,500 types of growing plants. The attraction Out on a Limb takes you into the treetops at 50 ft. above ground.
Visiting Tips: Pick up a map when you visit or download one from the website to plan your trip. Guided tours are offered on weekends at 2pm.
Save the Date: Welcome spring & discover Japanese culture during the Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration on April 10, 12 & 17. Tea demonstrations, performances & origami projects for kids are all part of the festivities. During an Arbor Day Celebration on May 1, kids receive a seedling planting to take home. The popular Garden Railway, a model railroad made from natural materials, re-opens on May 29.
In Bloom: Cherry blossoms, magnolias, daffodils & roses during April & May.
Fun Fact: The Katsura tree smells like cotton candy in the fall.
$7-$14 admission, ages 2 & younger free. Open daily. 215-247-5777, www.morrisarboretum.org
Shofuso: Japanese House & Garden
4700 States Dr., Philadelphia
This 16th-century-style Japanese hideaway in Fairmount Park re-opens for the season on May 1. See bamboo, azaleas & other native Japanese plants. Kids can enjoy feeding the golden carp fish in the pond & the house hosts traditional tea ceremonies.
$3-$6 admission. 215-878-5097, www.shofuso.com
FREE Wyck House & Garden
6026 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia
The historic Wyck house museum isn’t geared for kids, but the surrounding gardens are very family-friendly. Little ones love running around the contained grounds, which feature the oldest rose garden in the U.S. & an extensive vegetable garden.
Perfect for Preschoolers: A monthly story hour begins Mon., May 3 ($5).
In Bloom: Pretty spring tulips, daffodils, hyacenths & pansies.
Free to explore the garden, $5 house admission. Open Mon.-Sat. 215-848-1690, www.wyck.org