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Jul 11

Botanica: a little breath of beauty

roseBotanica, The Wichita Gardens is a small but beautiful 9.5 acre botanical garden located in the heart of Wichita near the Arkansas River.  There are several different themed areas in the Botanica Garden which includes a butterfly house (from June to September), a wildflower meadow, and the new Downing Children’s Garden.  Botanica will not be the best garden you ever visit, but if you are in the mood for a tranquil walk then this is a good place to go if you find yourself in Wichita, KansaskaleidoscopeEver since our daughter was born Karen and I have looked for a variety of ways to break up any road trip that are over a few hours.  Our daughter M has never been a big fan of her car seat though she tolerates it a lot better than she used to when she would cry after a block or two.  Now on every road trip we like to drive a few hours and stop at an attraction, a public park, or even a rest stop to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  At first this took a little getting used to because all of our trips before M we would drive as fast and as long as we could to get to our destination.  Our driving portion of our road trips have now become much more enjoyable since the change to a much more leisurely pace has given us the chance to find little gems like Botanica along the way.Butterfly HouseKaren and I saw Botanica in early June and used it as a great place to get out and stretch our legs while driving through Wichita.  We just happened to be there on a Thursday which meant we got to take advantage of their special $3 Thursday admission price.  Not knowing much about the place other than that it was highly rated on the internet, but after visiting much larger gardens in Saint Louis and Denver our expectations for a botanical experience in Wichita were not very high.  While it could never compete with the much larger and more famous gardens in the United States, Botanica was enjoyable and ended up being a place that we were glad we took the time to see.pondBotanica’s gardens are well maintained and cared for and provide quite a variety of plants in its 9.5 acres.  We especially found their fountains, pond, and general layout of the place very pleasing to the eye.  Overall the garden was nice, but there were a few places that stood out from the rest, their rose garden with over 350 different species of roses was a sensory delight, and M really liked the butterfly house as she pointed at different butterflies flying past her.  The Sally stone Sensory Garden was a real treat and seeing their kaleidoscope which made different color patterns as we moved it around to look at the different flowers was a unique experience.  If we had more time we would have liked to spend it setting in their Woodland Bird Garden which had a variety of feeders set up to attract different types of birds.BotanicaWe found that Botanica was just the recipe we needed for a tasteful stopping point to get out and stretch our legs on our long road trip.  It helped pass the time in an enjoyable fashion that did not break the bank, two things we always look for when finding places to see along the road.  We recommend seeing Botanica if you are in the Wichita area.  If you are in for an extended stay you can check out list of top 10 things to see in the Wichita area.

To see other botanical gardens that we have reviewed click here Pipevine SwallowtailBotanica
Located at 701 Amidon St, Wichita, KS
Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with extended hours from April to September- Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Botanica is closed on most major holidays
Cost as of this Posting: Adults 13 to 61 $7, Seniors 62 and over $6 and Children 3 to 12 $5 As of this posting there is a special Thursday admission price which is $3 for children and adults
For more information visit their website at http://www.botanica.org/

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