Nestled against the Colorado River near central Grand Junction lies the beautiful and breath-taking Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. Encompassing 15 acres, the Botanical Gardens is a peaceful haven awaiting those to enjoy its beauties and wonders.
I attended with my kids and our first stop was the Butterfly House. Here, you can watch butterflies emerge from their cocoons as they get ready to enter the House. Periodically, the butterflies are released and we were lucky to watch a Swallowtail make its debut. The caretaker catches him by the wings and he then kindly placed the butterfly on my daughter’s arm. She was mesmerized by the black and yellow little guy, who very much seemed to like her and didn’t want to leave. Eventually, he flew off to join the others.
The Butterfly House as well as the Tropical Atrium take you to the Equator and let you experience all of its beauty without having to travel there. You will witness flowers bloom, bananas grow, bamboo stalks thicken, and watch the fish swim in the pond all the while enjoying the balmy environment. Dozens of different species of butterflies flit around while you breathe in the peacefulness and calm.
The journey continues to the grounds outside where you can enjoy a cactus garden, herb garden, international garden, and a native plants garden. With a plentitude of benches to choose from, you can sit and enjoy the nature scape wherever you choose: next to a fountain, stream, or pathway. Also, there is a children’s garden that encompasses a castle complete with a dragon slide and a sandbox as well as an observation platform. This is a great place for the kids to run around and explore nature. Also, there is a marvelous outdoor stage and arena where numerous events are held throughout the year. Private events such as weddings, concerts, birthday parties, etc can be held here by the public.
Future plans include a Japanese garden that will surround a sizeable pond that will include coy fish, pond lilies, frogs and turtles. We completed our day with a stop at their gift shop that sells unique nature items (including tons of stuff for kids) as very reasonable prices.
Overall, my kids and I had a very enjoyable time at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens. We experienced nature up close and personal and my kids had the opportunity to explore all the pathways and see some unique plants (while running around and playing their imaginary games), which made for a very easy transition to nap time! The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon learning and experiencing nature without having to travel to Denver or another large city for a similar experience. The prices are a real bargain: all kids under 5 are free (can’t find that at many places), kids 5-12 are $2 and adults are $5. They do offer a membership program as well as group discounts.
Address: 641 Struthers Avenue, Grand Junction, CO Hours: Open Tues-Sunday 10am-4pm.
Phone: (970) 245-3288 Website: http://www.wcbotanic.org