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Good For Kids
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10 = better
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A water fountain area was popular with younger kids.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Closest available address
1800 Lakeside Avenue Richmond, VA 23228
Open 9am-5pm, closed Thanksgiving Day & December 24-25.
Best time to visit
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a well-developed 50 acre garden facility near downtown Richmond. The garden includes a seasonal butterfly enclosure, a children’s garden and play area, rose gardens and an outdoor light display in winter. The garden is open year-round but late spring through early fall is the best time to visit to see the largest variety of flowers and the butterflies. The garden's website has a calendar of weekly events, including evening programs.
Lewis Ginter was an interesting man. He was a Yankee who moved to Virginia and fought bravely in the Confederate Army. A successful businessman, he made and lost several fortunes but was perhaps most respected for his charity. He also excelled in multiple pursuits but remained modest. Toward the end of his life he purchased the garden area for use as a bicycle club. The land was later acquired by his niece who was responsible for conveying the property to Richmond for use as a garden. It took some time but the garden eventually was established in 1984, and the primary attractions were then built.
The garden is well designed and easy to walk around. The plants and flowers were diverse, but interpretive signs and plant identifications were limited. More interesting areas included the seasonal butterfly area and a colorful rose garden. The small Asian garden was an enjoyable place for a stroll; a tea house in this area is open for lunch. Children’s activities are a big draw and include an edible plant garden, a learning zone, and a play area with water fountains. These attractions are intended to both entertain and educate and will have most appeal to younger children. During the school year, school groups flock here during the week. For a more general audience, the garden was pleasant to walk around and admire the plants. It was serene too except in the children’s areas. Staff members were informative and welcoming. For an $11 fee, the garden provided good value for a leisurely 2 hour visit.
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