Have I been living under a rock? Where have I been? What have I been doing that I missed out on something so neat/cool/fun in Brown County? Don’t worry. I’m not going to let you miss out like we missed out.
Kids, the Green Bay Botanical Garden is where it’s at.
Before we had our son, I had only been there for one wedding and one romantic summer date with my (now) husband. Since then we’ve been to their annual event, The Garden of Lights (which we LOVE) several times…but hello, it’s in the dark. We had no idea how much was going on behind the lights.
It was only during Saturday’s snowshoe nature hike at GBBG that we learned it has a magical (even covered in snow) Children’s Garden, snowshoe trails, and programs for families with young children.
Come along for a short photo tour of our hike to see what GBBG is like on a sunny winter day.
Winter at Green Bay Botanical Garden
Kelle talked briefly about snowshoeing and showed us how to put on our snowshoes. And then we were off to discover the beauty of the gardens in winter! She was amazing with the kids, directing their attention to animal tracks, plants, and birds.
About halfway through the hike, Kelle had the kids “run” a snowshoe race to get out extra energy.
Not far into the hike I realized snowshoeing is the perfect winter sport for most abilities– no skill required to get outside and enjoy the snow and you can make it as challenging as you want (or don’t want).
Kelle showed the group galls. She opened one up to show us the grub inside while she explained what galls are.
This wasn’t part of the hike, but who doesn’t love a “real” Hobbit House?
At the end of the hike, Kelle invited us to play in the Children’s Garden. P discovered the slide is extra slippery and super fast when wearing snow-pants!
He ran the maze at the bottom of the slide, but is looking forward to running it again in the summer when it might be more challenging.
Did you know that you can check out snowshoes at no additional cost with paid admission to GBBG? Kelle ended the hike by telling us you can use them on the marked trails even if you’re not there for a program.
After a cup of hot chocolate we discovered the Children’s Corner. Stocked with books, puzzles, and opportunities to learn, their beautiful Children’s Corner is the perfect place to read, play, and discover indoors.
Now that I know what a local gem the gardens are, I’m super disappointed we missed out on making this neat experience part of P’s young childhood. Had we known about it, I imagine we would have had a family membership, packed picnic lunches, and brought P to spend sunny afternoons playing and learning in the children’s garden.
Why did we miss out? I’m just not into groomed gardens and landscaping. My association with the word ‘garden’ is either vegetables or “fru-fru” flower beds. Neither of which I’m interested in. While I appreciate the talent and artistic quality of gardens and landscaping, I’m more of a natural landscape kind of girl.
And that’s why we missed out. I thought I knew what the Green Bay Botanical Garden had to offer. I thought I knew what a Botanical Garden was. I thought gardens weren’t my thing. I decided, I made a assumption, before giving it a chance.
There’s still time for us to enjoy GBBG. There are plenty of magical things left for us to do and see, but I don’t want your family to miss on out on the experience while your children are young. So do it. Visit the Botanical Garden. Their upcoming free Winter Family Festival is the perfect opportunity to explore.