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Family Garden Trip Ideas Near Boston

by Barbara Rogers

May 31, 2024

© Barbara Rogers

Destinations / North America

Without traveling far from the city, parents will find two outstanding gardens for flower-filled family daytrips. Less than an hour from downtown, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill spreads across 200 hilltop acres in Bolton. Formal gardens and borders are bright with color, and trails lead through meadows of wildflowers and green woodlands. Even closer to the city, Garden in the Woods is dedicated to native wildflowers. Each has a lot to appeal to kids.


At Tower Hill, The Ramble is a garden designed with families in mind, featuring interactive play features; a pond with aquatic plants; and hundreds of colorful flowers that bloom in succession throughout spring, summer and fall.



© Barbara Rogers

The Court is a smaller but just as colorful garden designed for access with raised beds and plants that are not only colorful, but also fragrant and interesting to touch. The living wall shows how gardens can grow in vertical spaces, an idea kids find fascinating. Inside the glass conservatory, citrus trees, palms, camellias and orchids create a subtropical world.


Take a picnic to enjoy in the Lawn Garden, surrounded by blooming perennials. On weekdays, bring the kids to Nature’s Play Days for garden activities, nature stories, crafts and creative fun. A regular schedule of family activities includes hands-on garden workshops, crafts and plant journaling for various age groups.


At Garden in the Woods in Wayland, kids love trying to spot wildflowers hiding beside the trails that wind through the woodland dells, while in some places the native flowers bloom in profusion, carpeting the woodland floor with color. At the pond, kids love looking for frogs among the lilies and other water plants.


botanical gardens

© Barbara Rogers

Follow the trails to an area designed just for children, with a cave to crawl through, logs to balance on and woodland materials to create their own fairy houses. If they look into the woods, kids will discover a large rock that’s been turned into a stegosaurus.


Garden in the Woods changes with the seasons and is at its height of bloom in May and June. But a visit any time will reveal a woodland world of native New England plants. If you and your kids are inspired to grow your own wildflowers, a nursery sells plants that will thrive in shady environments.


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