Holiday Activities at the Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places to go in St. Louis.  It has been a feature in the area for 150 years and is one of the country’s oldest botanical gardens.  Also known as Shaw’s Garden, it was founded by Henry Shaw in 1859, a world traveler who decided to create his own garden in St. Louis after the gardens he saw in Europe.  Check out Henry Shaw’s travel blog, a collection of his journals detailing his journeys across Europe.

Founded in 1859, this is the country’s oldest continuously operating botanical garden and has been deemed a National Historic Landmark. This attraction offers free on-site parking and is easily accessible from most of the metropolitan area. Subsections include the Children’s Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Ottoman Garden, and Climatron, which houses some 1,400 species of plants as well as several tropical animals. Public walking and tram tours of the premises are given by an experienced and knowledgeable guide while private, customizable group tours can also be arranged.

The Garden includes almost 80 acres of beautiful flower displays, Japanese gardens, orchid, rose, and iris gardens, a tropical greenhouse and much more.  Here are a couple of pictures from the Garden, including inside the Climatron.  It is also a world-class research center and a leader in science education, including an emphasis on environmental sustainability.

But, I have always thought of it as a warm-weather attraction and not a winter destination.  Until now!  There are a lot of fun events around the holidays that everyone can enjoy!  One of the larger holiday attractions is the Gardenland Express, an annual flower, and a train show that includes a miniature reproduction of the Garden, including the Climatron.  Check out photos of all the work that goes into creating an entire mini Garden, which started back in August.

The historic Tower Grove House and the Kemper Center are decorated for Christmas, complete with an auction of wreaths created by many local florists.  They even offer holiday cooking classes!

There are a lot of events taking place in December, so click here to check out the complete listing of events, schedules, and price information.  St. Louis City and County residents get a discount on admission, as well as free general admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.  So, if you’re a resident be sure to bring your driver’s license or other proof of residency!

Since its inception in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the country and a National Historic Landmark.

The Missouri Botanical Garden features flower shows, live music, and education and fitness activities throughout the year. From Orchid Show in February, to the languid Wednesday nights of the Whitaker Music Festival all summer long, to the three- day celebration of Japanese Festival on Labor- Day weekend, to the sentimental favorite Garden land Express holiday flower and train show, there’s something for everyone at any time of year.

The Missouri Botanical Garden provides a place for gardeners to find instruction, expert advice, and inspiration at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening. With professional staff experts, adult education classes, a reference library and website, and eight acres of display gardens, the Center is the largest and best- supplied gardener’s resource in the country.

The Garden has worked since 2002 to facilitate improved learning and teaching in surrounding public schools, growing young minds for future greatness.

Hours : 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Daily (closed Christmas).

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

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