Naples Botanical Garden: Review by a Visitor
(Gainesville, FL )
The Naples Botanical Garden is a great place to take the kids, and a really fun, hands on way to get them to appreciate nature!
We saw a leaflet in our hotel and thought we'd give it a go. They have all sorts of programs for little ones that really let them get 'stuck in', especially the monthly Wee W.O.N.D.E.R. class (the W.O.N.D.E.R. stands for walk, observe, navigate, draw, explore and read, neat huh?) which is fantastic.
We took our two kids (ages 3 and 5) at the beginning of this month and it was really satisfying to sneak a bit of education into their fun day out.
The theme was 'Fun with Flowers' when we went, so they got to get their hands dirty planting and making flower art, while we were able to enjoy learning about all the different types of flowers in the children's garden.
We will definitely go again when we're in the area. There are a few Naples hotels nearby, but we stayed at the Naples-Gulf Coast Staybridge Suites, so getting to the Gardens was easy, just a 25 minute drive straight down U.S. 41.
The class was 10 til 11 am, so after it we had a wander around the rest of the gardens and there were lots of strange and wonderful things for the kids to spot and investigate (purses, lamps and sinks used as planters, even a toilet!).
The children's garden is set amongst lovely little streams and as soon as you get in there're water squirting boulders for the kids to cool off under, I think that was definitely their favorite! It was hard to drag them away to see everything else!
Make sure you bring a towel and be sure to book in advance if you want to get your kids into the Wee W.O.N.D.E.R. classes. We called them up a week before and we got in OK, the number is 239.325.135 and it costs $12 for a non member child and their chaperone, which we thought was a great deal. But even if you don't, the gardens are definitely still worth a visit.
We would definitely recommend it to our friends and family, which is why we thought we'd take the time to put it on here!
4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112. Open 9-5, and there's a small cafe there, too.