What better way to celebrate nature’s beauty than with a relaxing stroll through the paths and Conservatory of the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia. In spring you’ll find an explosion of tulips surrounding the Fountain Garden on the approach to the lovely, glass-domed Conservatory.
With two miles of pathways meandering through 12 themed gardens, there is a lot to see, but not so much that it overwhelms the visitor. We saw visitors of every age and mobility level enjoying the gardens. The garden is a wonderful destination for an outing with Mom, a playdate, or a romantic stroll.
Kids will love to play in the large Children’s Garden complete with water and sand play areas. The adorable “International Village” lines up 4 playhouse-size dwellings from around the world including a cute Casita and a tiny Tukul Hut.
For a more peaceful setting, the Rose Garden offers comfortable benches under a rose-draped pavilion. In addition, the Flagler Garden provides a nice spot to relax and enjoy a quiet chat. The Woodland Walk and the Asian Valley were our favorites for strolling through the plantings.
Be sure to visit the Conservatory to see the gorgeous collection of orchids on display. It’s always incredible to see the range of shapes and color variations in an orchid collection.
During the warmer months, hundreds of tropical butterflies fill the north wing of the Conservatory. The Butterflies LIVE! the exhibit includes a nursery, where kids can peek in at the chrysalides holding native butterflies waiting to emerge. Time your visit at 10:00 and you can watch newly emerged butterflies being released into the exhibit.
During the holiday season, the Lewis Ginter garden lights up with more than one million lights. The Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights is one of the most beautiful holiday light displays in the DC region. The theme changes every year, but always includes sparkly lights, botanical decorations, trains, and holiday activities.
The Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights is open nightly except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. In 2019, you can enjoy the light display from November 22nd to January 6th.
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden isn’t only for looking. The garden offers classes for both adults and children, and there are two restaurants in the garden. The Garden Cafe offers casual fare in a bright room that is part of the Visitor Center. In fact, you can eat at the Garden Cafe even without buying a ticket to the garden.
The Robins Tea House has indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Asian Valley and the West Island Garden. They offer a seasonal menu based on fresh and local ingredients. Before you leave, visit the garden shop for unique gifts for garden-loving friends and family.
Admission to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is $13 for adults, $8 for children (3 and under free) with discounts for seniors and military. The garden is open daily from 9:00 to 5:00 year-round, and in the summer months, you can visit in the evening until 9:00. Learn more at the Lewis Ginter website.
Lewis Ginter is at 1800 Lakeside Avenue, 9 miles north of Richmond in Henrico. The garden is about a 2-hour drive from Fairfax, Virginia or Washington DC so makes a nice day trip. Even better, plan a longer stay with our guide: Fun Things to Do in Richmond VA on a Getaway to Virginia’s Capital City.
Our visit to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was hosted by Visit Richmond.