Recently we took a trip to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. By ‘trip’, I mean a fifteen minute drive. We are so lucky to be back in Tidewater with so many great educational resources close at hand. The NBG has beautiful gardens, yes, but what we really went for was to check out the Enchanted Forest and to spend a short time in the WOW section–two areas made especially for children.
Even though it’s high summer, the garden in general and even the children’s areas were remarkably uncrowded. I don’t think the tourists know what they’re missing! Of course, most of the tourism is in Virginia Beach and maybe it just doesn’t occur to folks to head into Norfolk when the ocean is right there. Apparently, it is a haven for locals. We bought a family membership so that we can go back whenever we want.
NBG offers programs throughout the year. Some of them sound like a lot of fun. There are Mommy and Me teas, which I’m not sure cater to the age group we’re looking for but we might give it a try just to wear our fancy hats. Local astronomical societies have star gazing nights at the NBG and we’re definitely going to attend one or more of those. There are programs for learning about botany on Lake Whitehurst as well as night time garden activities and summer day camps.
NBG is also a good location for waving off loved ones who are flying away. It’s simple to leave the airport as your flier goes through security, head to the gardens and climb up on the berm that separates the gardens from the runway. Even if you just want to watch the airplanes take off, it’s the best place to do it.
We are looking forward to exploring the garden by tram and bicycle on a bike night M/W/F from 4-7 pm as well as spending time ambling through the butterfly house and picnicking under the trees. The Norfolk Botanical Garden is a local treasure for homeschoolers with it’s open spaces, educational bent and it’s programming. See you there!