One of the best parts of living in a large city like Houston is that there’s so many great things you can do on any given day. Some days we might wander through the art museum or check out the latest traveling sculpture downtown. Other days we might go strawberry picking or head to the local Chinatown to visit the dollar store there. One of the things that we do often is visit Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are amazing because they’re free to the public which means that anytime we’re headed that way, we’re going to stop by for a bit. Almost every time we’ve been there we’ve discovered something different.
This last visit we discovered a huge patch of blooming bluebonnets.
We were really shocked to find pink and purple bluebonnets. The kids went crazy over them.
Straight down the main path is a garden that holds plants that are native to Texas. If you go to the right after that garden you’ll find a long walking path that will lead you to a Japanese Garden. We didn’t go to the Japanese garden this trip, we took the path to the left that lead us to the Dinosaur garden.
Ok so the Dinosaur garden probably isn’t the proper name but it’s full of fossils and prehistoric plants.
This trip they also had a lot of signs in that garden to watch for snakes. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long enough in that garden to take a picture.
You can wander through the formal middle of the botanical gardens or take the rustic outer loop, which goes alongside a creek.
My kids love a section where you can run up huge stairs that look down upon the entire garden. They ran ahead while I struggled to keep up.
I begged this cute one to wait for me so I could take a picture. I snapped this one and then walked to the side to look at a camilla plant and she fell down the stairs. She was ok, just shy of the rest of the stairs.
The Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are great because they are free to the public and taken care of by the Mercer Society which helps support the gardens through plant sales.
Truthfully the Mercer Botanical Gardens are small. You can easily walk it all, except to the Japanese Garden, in 20 minutes if you want to. But if you take your time and seek out all the different little things there it’s a great place to visit.
One of the great things about the botanical gardens is that you can plan a quick trip or make it an all day affair by checking out the playground and walking trails across the street.
You will have to drive over to the playground and walking trails but the playground is amazing! Without a doubt visiting the botanical gardens would be a great place to get together with friends for a day.
Mercer Botanical Garden is a hidden gem of Houston. If you’re in town, check it out sometime. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as my family does.