Though I haven’t been to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in years—in fact, the last time I went I was little and it was called Shaw’s Garden—I really look forward to starting to regularly go this fall. I wish we were residents of St. Louis county so we could go for free every Wednesday, but we’re just outside the county. Still, membership beckons me—did you know that your membership there also covers the Butterfly House and Shaw Nature Reserve?—and we may just have to scrape together enough money to join, especially if I love it as much as I used to.
Todays MOBOT is much more community centered than when I was little, with a children’s garden, Chinese lantern festivals, and so many other things to do. They also host dozens of classes every year for all ages, which are fairly affordable (around $18 each for children, which is a bit out of our price range at the moment). Members also get discounts.
A good friend in our homeschooling co-op joined MOBOT with her family and she takes her kiddos there on nearly a weekly basis. I don’t think we’d be able to do that, but if we could, I’m sure it would be a wonderful adventure. MOBOT just announced their fall class lineup, and it includes gems like Full Moon Friday Hikes (the first of which is sold out already!), Caterpillars to Ladybugs programs, canopy climbing, and weekly classes children are sure to enjoy. Classes are grouped by age, so you can choose the ones that best suit your family.
Parents can also select courses to take themselves. There are all kinds of art classes—from watercolor to photography to sketching and more—as well as landscaping courses, gardening instruction, food and cooking classes, and more. The cost for these classes vary widely; check to see how much and when the ones you want are by visiting the website.
If you don’t want to sign up for classes, of course, there’s still plenty to do at the gardens. From various exhibits to concerts, signature events and members-only programs, there is really something for everyone. Recycling programs, flower sales, and many more opportunities are also available, as are special lectures featuring guest speakers and programs of interest to many gardeners. Be sure to check the MOBOT schedule to find something that’s happening on the day of your visit.