Saturday, August 27, 2016
AMARILLO BOTANICAL GARDENS
It had been years since we had gone to any botanical gardens so we thought this might be another way to enjoy nature in our travels.
Their fee rate is pretty basic $5 adults, $4 seniors and children under a certain age free. Gary and I qualified for the seniors rate but we also had two coupons, given to us by the Oasis Campground that took $1 each off the price. They are in an Amarillo attractions book and while most of the coupons in the book are good for 2 or more tickets this particular one you needed one coupon per person. Luckily Gary spotted that before we left the campground and we were able to acquire another coupon.
For $3 each we thought the gardens were well worth it. We enjoyed the conservatory with its rainforest atmosphere even more.
The first few gardens were looking pretty wilted in the 100 degree high humidity weather, and one garden needed some serious dead heading of spent flowers. Later on in one garden area we found someone working who was doing just that.
The walkways in the gardens all lead back upon themselves and intermingle where you can roam easily from one theme to another. While the main walkways are wheel chair accessible there are a few individual areas that would be extremely hard to navigate in a chair. Two that come to mind is one with big natural looking paving stones set loosely in gravel and the Japanese Garden which was a series of stair step decks going down to the koi pond.
There are ways for you to view these areas, but not by roaming the individual pathways.
It appears that each area has a different sponsor who follows a certain theme for their section. There were some new sections under development that looked like they would be interesting to visit in the future.
Pergolas and benches of every sort decorate the gardens, all generally tied into the theme of that particular garden. There are also nice garden statues scattered among the flowers and grasses.
We particularly like the conservatory with its waterfall, orchids and the one lone South American (Peru I think they said) duck living in the area. Ricky, the duck, was a donation from a patron along with Lucy. However, Lucy did not travel well and failed to survive the trip. So poor old Ricky sits by the waterfall waiting for visitors.
The day we were there they had a concert scheduled for in the amplitheater in the evening. It was suppose to be the Sweet Adalines and another similar group. We considered coming back for the show, once we had cooled off.
Because all the gardens are naturally outside and the conservatory is of rainforest type we got increasingly warmer as the afternoon went on.
So warm that as we were leaving I threatened to go run through the splash park that was right next to Botanical Gardens. It was one of the nicest splash parks I had ever seen.
Besides all types of water areas to play in they had a big unique playground with swings that slid on a tube from one end to another as a child rode in it. We considered filming it, but feared somebody might take us for bad people and call the police, so we decided not to film any of the waterpark or adjoining playground.
Gary told me that while I was probably short enough to play on the splash pads I was too old. Well I fooled him. Later that day, back at the campground, I convinced him to go on a walk with me. Then the skies opened up and we both got cooled off very quickly as we sprinted, okay waddled, back to the camper.
The rain storms of the evening caused us to decide to not go to the open air concert that night.
Next to the splash pad and playground area was the Helium Monument at the Children’s Discovery Center. A hands on museum. We did not go into that museum because we had no children with us. I do know that the same coupon book had discount coupons for the discovery center as well.
If you are traveling with young children this entire area could be a great spot to visit. Along with the places I already mentioned, including the botanical gardens which periodically has children’s events, there is a very nice picnic area. You could easily spend an entire day with young folks.
Here is just a small sample of the beauty of the gardens. Hope you enjoy.