You’re never Too Old to Enjoy the Children’s Gardens at Naples Botanical Garden

If a child could wave a magic wand and create the perfect Children’s Garden, the Smith Children’s Garden at Naples Botanical Garden would probably be the result. Colorful and inviting, the garden is designed on many different levels to pander to a child’s natural curiosity and desire to be interactive. This garden has something for everyone and provides as much delight for parents and grandparents as it does for youngsters!

Most importantly, this Children’s Garden is a place you’ll want to return to often. Every weekend the Naples Botanical Garden organizes activities of W.O.N.D.E.R. which stands for Walk, Observe, Navigate, Draw, Explore and Read. Each themed event includes educational family-friendly activities and there is also an excellent Summer Camp.

Throughout the busy winter season from November to April, the garden hosts Second Saturday Celebrations with even wider events, activities and crafts. Whether you are into Dr. Seuss or garden gnomes, these days are a wonderful way to enjoy the Smith Children’s Garden in a new way.

This exciting garden was designed by Herb School who has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Artists for no less than 38 of his garden landscape designs. He did a wonderful job at the Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden, as you will see when you visit. | Children's Gardens at Naples Botanical Gardens Naples, Florida. Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Climb, Splash and Play at the Naples Botanical Garden Children’s Garden

The garden is reached along a “secret” pathway between leafy saw palmettos. You pop out in the Entry Court, an open space with a Splash Play Area. Parents be warned. You need to bring towels and dress your children in suitable play clothes. They are sure to want to rush in and enjoy the spray fountains and jets that splash over the boulders and paved compass rose.

On one side of the mesh enclosure is the Butterfly House. Here you can watch many colorful butterflies flutter and settle on exotic flowering bushes and plants. The butterfly identifier chart helps you identify some of these gorgeous exotic species, or enlist the help of the docent. | Children's Gardens at Naples Botanical Gardens Naples, Florida. Photo credit Lauren Ettinger

Photo credit Lauren Ettinger

Back once more in the garden the path leads to an area of junk with colorful plantings in household containers from purses to sinks. The mosaic benches and planters are just beautiful to see as you stroll towards the mailbox to get a copy of the “I Spy” Quiz. Kids are encouraged to explore the miniature cracker house and model garden. Admire the sunflowers and herbs in the Hidden Garden and plant your own sunflower seed for others to enjoy. | Children's Gardens at Naples Botanical Gardens Naples, Florida. Photo credit Lauren Ettinger

Photo credit Lauren Ettinger

Follow the stepping stones, wriggle through the crawl net and climb the wooden observation tower with a suspended bridge as you explore the garden on different levels. Bemused parents can “take-5” on the swing bench set beneath the pergola. Alternatively, follow the winding concrete footpath down to the sandy play area where beach toys are provided for some serious sandcastle building. It’s the sort of place where Robinson Crusoe meets Sesame Street!

Beyond the Children’s Garden, the Naples Botanical Garden is no less exciting, with a stunning waterfall where a hidden surprise awaits at the top! This Southwest Florida attraction never fails to entertain, relax and inspire, and the Smith Children’s Garden is the most fun place of all.

Get a coupon to save on admission to the Naples Botanical Gardens’ Children’s Garden here!


Written by:

Nita Ettinger is Co-publisher for Siesta Publications Inc. and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed magazines and the website Must Do magazines are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County Chamber of Commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications can be found.