Leland Johnson is a student of history, religion, politics, and current events. He wishes to respectfully engage readers on those points.
A Virtual Tour In Pictures
Dow Gardens is open year-round and is beautiful even now in early April. Much of Michigan is drab and dreary at the moment, but you'd never know it once inside the gates of this botanical paradise. Continue reading and let me be your guide for a tour in pictures and a one-minute M-Live video of the Butterflies in Bloom event!
Begin In The Gift Shop
Let's begin where you would if you were actually here; in the gift shop. Personally, I like to go right to the trails and the butterfly house and save the shopping for last. As you will see from the pictures, it is tempting to stay and peruse the beautiful array of books, candles, garden tools, and knick-knacks. Whether you'd rather start walking or shopping, the choice is yours.
On Our Way!
Hit the trails by walking out of the gift shop and out the back door. Paths are clearly marked. Site maps are also available just in case you're there for a specific event or display, and don't want to lose daylight by just walking around (for me half the fun of being there is just walking around, seeing the beautifully manicured landscapes, water features, and foliage. There are a million places to picnic too!). Amigo carts are available for a small rental fee (5.00 for the day) for the elderly or infirmed.
Waterfalls, Ponds, and Trails...
As we continue making our way to the butterfly exhibit we will walk along peaceful, meandering paths that serve to ease the mind and create a sense of well-being. The gardens never seem crowded, even in spring and summer- the busiest times of the year. There is always a path or bench in an out-of-the-way place. I've seen artists with their easels and writers jotting down inspiration drawn from these peaceful environs.
"All her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace." Proverbs 3:17
Inside The Butterfly House
Even Butterflies Have To Eat
Time For Crafts
Upon leaving, continue up the trail to the craft barn where free art supplies await your little Rembrandts. It's not only fun, but also a great way to reinforce all they've seen and learned in the butterfly house by coloring, drawing, and cutting out butterfly art they make themselves and take home for the fridge.
Read More from WanderWisdom
I doubt that you could see the entire park in one day. Feet get tired, yawns begin, and at some point, we have to head back. So back we go, passing the waterfall, the trails and paths, the bridges, fountains and streams. Back to the gift shop for a souvenir, perhaps, or just a soda or bottled water.
There are no food facilities on site, but as I said before, patrons are welcome to bring picnic lunches and there are myriad places to enjoy a tranquil lunch with friends and family, or by yourself.
There is also a small, interactive museum in the main building dedicated to sharing the way the Gardens were created and given by the property owner, chemist Herbert Dow, to the people of Midland.
Come For A Visit
I hope you enjoyed this pictorial tour of Dow Gardens. It's a great place for a day excursion if you don't live too far away. Next year, the Gardens will be connecting to Whiting Forest and will feature the longest canopy bridge in the country, rising to heights of three stories off the ground.
All though there are no restaurants on site, there is an abundance of eateries and fine dining establishments right around the corner.
Please keep watch for my upcoming hubs featuring Dow Gardens in all four of Michigan's beautiful and extreme seasons.
Dow Gardens: an Affordable, Beautiful Experience for the Whole Family
Visiting A Botanical Garden
Questions & Answers
Question: Is a reservation required to visit the butterfly exhibit in the Dow Gardens in Midland Michigan?
Answer: No reservation is required. Garden traffic is higher on the weekends though, so if you can make it through the week you'll have fewer people to compete with for viewing the beautiful butterflies.
© 2018 Leland Johnson