National Parks / Natural World
Olbrich Botanical Gardens Madison
Where are we going today?
Nature is an amazing part of this world! It can inspire us, make us happy, entertain...we can learn from it, and kids can play in it!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens are 16 wonderful acres of outdoor gardens that your family can spend your day out in. Spend the day among the stunning landscapes, and unique plants, as well as visiting the Bolz Conservatory - home to exotic plants, birds, flowers, orchids, and even a magical waterfall.
Did you know that the Thai Pavilion in the Olbrich Botanical Gardens is the ONLY one in the continental USA, AND the only one outside of Thailand itself that is surrounded by a garden? That's pretty impressive!
The Rose Garden is a beautiful stop for the family - and gives a new meaning to stop and smell the roses...here it's literally!
What's fun about the Olbrich Botanical Gardens for the family is that it's filled with so many different elements. There is the Perennial Garden, the Herb Garden, and even a Sunken Garden.
Don't forget about that Bolz Conservatory we mentioned - which happens to be located in a 50 foot high glass pyramid! It's a fascinating experience for kids too, because they can see the plants which some of their food is grown, and learn where it all comes from. From vanilla, coffee and bananas...it doesn’t just appear in the supermarkets!
Keep an eye out for the special events that the gardens hold across the year - from the Blooming Butterflies to the concerts, even art exhibits.
There is always something to learn, to see, to smell and to experience at these beautiful botanical gardens.!
How much does it cost?
- AdultsGardens are free. Bolz Conservatory $2
- ChildrenGardens are free. Bolz Conservatory $2
- Free Under: 5 years for everything.
When can we go?
Garden open 8am - 8pm April to Sept. 9am - 6pm Oct. 9am - 4pm Nov to March.
All year round.
There are a number of ways for the students to experience the gardens. With grade and age appropriate programs, you can make a great day out of the classroom! .
Any Top Tips?
The conservatory hours are different from the garden hours - 10am - 4pm Monday to Sat, and 10am - 5pm Sunday. Keep this in mind when visiting! .
Doing our bit
The garden is dedicated to looking after the plants and wildlife that lives there, so they can continue to learn from them, and educate all who visit! .
Need a little extra help?
The gardens and conservatory is wheelchair accessible, and there are wheelchairs in the lobby. .
Strollers are allowed in the very accessible gardens and conservatory. .
Can I get one of those?
If you visit the Growing Gifts Shop, you might just find something you want to take home! .
If you love the gardens, then they always appreciate a donation! Or you can become a member and get free admission to the conservatory! .
What people are saying?
by Claudine Baccheschi
We went around 6:30. The tropical portion closes at 4, but the gardens are so so terrific looking! The smells were amazing. Go at sunset and it's just breathtaking. A must see whether you live in Madison or the surrounding area. Take a book and hang out or just walk the gardens and explore.
by Jamie Maynard
Have always loved the garden both outdoor and the greenhouse
by Lu Yao
There isn't too much to see in Madison, but Olbrich Botanical Garden is a place you must go to, especially in the summer! With gorgeous, blooming flowers and plants, this really is a romantic place!
Must do: Go up the Rose Tower and check out the view!
Can skip: The Bolz Conservatory isn't REALLY worth it - they have more tropical plants/flowers, smells a bit funny and has cute little quails.
Check out my blog post about this natural park: http://thelulife.com/2013/09/04/olbrich-botanical-gardens/
by Alvin Thalberg
Wow. Terrific, stunning beauty. What a hidden treasure. This garden is really the largest most stunning garden I've ever seen. The Thai pavilion with real gold all over it: amazing! Even if you are not so into botanics, this is a must see in Wisconsin!
by Robin Reece
Must go back, no way to see it all in the brief time I had available. Rode bike there with a friend after dinner gift shop closed at 4, but gardens remain open till 8. Lovely pools, trails and a quiet delights