The 112-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden is open year-round and boasts a picturesque aquatic garden, a wooded nature trail that includes the nation’s largest accredited trillium collection, and a variety of specialty gardens and plant selections. The Children’s Garden, made up of eight themed areas, including a dinosaur garden, storybook garden, and pollywog bog, is a popular destination for play, pretend, and hands-on learning.
In addition to a wide array of events and education programs held throughout the year, the Garden also celebrates each season with a family-friendly festival. In January and February, Beaks & Barks encourages guests and their canine companions to shake off the winter doldrums and enjoy a stroll through the grounds or a game of fetch in the no-leash zone. This is also an excellent time for birding enthusiasts to grab their binoculars and head outdoors. The Garden is considered a birding hotspot by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society and its Lewis Birding Trail features a rich diversity of local and migrating birds.
In March and April, Huntsville Blooms! The Garden explodes with floral displays of tulips, daffodils, dogwoods, and trillium, and the Bush Azalea Trail, with over 3,000 varieties of azaleas, is a must-see. Popular events include the region’s largest plant sale and Bunny Bonanza; plant walks, classes for adults and children, and homeschool programs add to the fun.
The Purdy Butterfly House, the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house, opens on May 1 and through September is home to over 3,000 butterflies, as well as turtles, button quail, frogs, and other critters. A series of butterfly releases are scheduled during the season where visitors can take part in an environmentally safe restoration of the indoor butterfly population. Although our winged friends leave in the fall, Garden guests can enjoy the waterfalls, ponds, streams, and lush vegetation of the Butterfly House all year.
Other summer activities include family campouts, picnics, outdoor music performances and movies, and weekly Wacky Wednesday activities for kids. A variety of water features, including bubbling rocks and misting rockets and dinosaur bones help keep playtime in the Garden cool.
Nothing says family fun like fall at the Garden. Each year artists, families, schools, and businesses create whimsical and wonderful scarecrows for display on the Scarecrow Trail in September and October. Weekend hayrides, Scarecrow Trail Night Hikes, BOOtanica, and the Fall Plant Sale are other seasonal favorites. Bring your camera to capture the beauty of autumn in the Garden and don’t forget to visit the pumpkin patch in October for a family photo.
From mid-November through December more than 140,000 visitors walk or drive through the nationally-recognized Galaxy of Lights. This magical event, featuring a series of custom-created animated light displays, is designed and coordinated by more than 1,000 volunteers and delights crowds from around the region. See Santa’s sleigh soar over a winter village, nursery rhyme characters spring to life, an enchanting icicle forest, and much more. Galaxy of Lights is the perfect holiday treat for the young and young at heart.
The Propst Guest Center features a gift shop, cafe, and rotating art exhibits. The Garden also offers indoor and outdoor facility rental options for meetings, weddings, parties, and other events.