Did your holiday festivities leave you feeling more frazzled than festive? Or do winter’s icy gray days leave you cold? Then it’s time take a break and enjoy one of these garden destinations. Whether you choose an indoor venue brimming with lush flora and fauna or a brilliant outdoor display glimmering with seasonal sparkle, a visit to any one of these locales will be a stroll through a garden of delight.
The indoor conservatory offers a warm welcome to those wanting to escape New York’s freezing temps. The exotic tropical plants, palms and desert cacti will whisk any winter-weary soul into a warm wonderland will delight children and adults alike. The trains travel along nearly a half-mile of intricately laid out track that winds past more than 150 handcrafted NYC landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center and Coney Island, all re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials and displayed in the garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Outdoors the winter wonderland extends across the garden’s 250 acres with special tours and activities for kids. Visit https://www.wavehill.org/ for more information.
From the Longwood Gardens website – “Experience the world of Longwood Gardens – a place to see dazzling displays that elevate the art of horticulture – a place to enjoy performances that inspire – a place to watch majestic fountains spring to life – a place to relax and reconnect with nature. Discover our storied heritage and the indelible mark of our founder, Pierre S. du Pont, which guides us today. Explore one of the great gardens of the world, from our 4-acre Conservatory to the splendor of our outdoor gardens spanning 1,077 acres. Step out of your world and into ours – where the living things that surround you make you feel more alive.” Visit https://longwoodgardens.org/ for more information.
The Central Park Zoo’s Indoor Tropic Zone, NY
If the only island you can get away to this holiday is Manhattan, check out Central Park Zoo’s Indoor Tropical Zone for some warmth. The experience is that of a real rainforest, and while most of the exhibits are either behind glass or pushed away from the path of zoo-goers, the Tropic Zone imitates the excitement of trekking through a foreign landscape, complete with the soothing sounds of nature. From the forest floor to the canopy, you can also experience a wide variety of animals that live naturally alongside the exotic plants. Visit https://centralparkzoo.com/ for more information.
The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History, NY
The Butterfly Conservatory allows visitors a hands-on interaction with plants and insects that have remained interdependent for hundreds of years. Without the restriction of glass or ropes, museum-goers can experience a room brimming with colorful brilliance in contrast to the season’s gray days. Brush up on your butterfly knowledge (Did you know that a butterfly’s nervous system remains during the complex transformation from caterpillar to adult butterfly, affording it the ability to have memory? While the butterfly may not remember being a caterpillar, it can remember experiences it learned as a caterpillar.) or enjoy a sense of enchantment, if by chance, you have a great monarch land on you. Visit https://www.nycgo.com/events/the-butterfly-conservatory for more information.
From the Wave Hill website – “Winter is blooming at Wave Hill! A spectacular 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades in the Bronx, Wave Hill’s vibrant landscape is one of the most beautiful spots in New York City. Wave Hill is located at 4900 Independence Avenue, at the intersection with West 249th Street, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York.” Visit https://www.wavehill.org/ for more information.