National Parks

The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

4 (5 reviews)

Where are we going?

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Address: 500 Alumni Drive, Lexington, KY 40503 Number: 859-257-6955 Website Contact How do we get there?

What is there to do?

You don't need to leave a city to immerse yourself in a nature filled family day out! Just head to the University of Kentucky.

The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky has been giving family's beautiful nature to enjoy since 1991. It spans over 100 acres of beautiful year round plants and colors - all ready to be marveled at by yourselves!

They have created a space where you can feel like you are escaping into a paradise. The gardens are popular with the kids because they have a place where they can enjoy a large and diverse collection of plants and flowers from all around the world.

The Rose Garden is a beautiful and peaceful showcase for many types of roses (you will be surprised how many there are!) and the Fragrance Garden is small, but an amazing area for kids to explore with their wooden columns covered in climbing roses, and winding trails.

Just stand there and take a deep might be in for a treat!

Most popular of all for the kids, of course, is the Kentucky Children's Garden! This 1.85 acre site at the Arboretum is an outdoor learning environment designed JUST for those little green thumbs aged 2 to 10 years to learn all about plants and the environment.

There are a number of "child-scaled" theme gardens, as well as garden-like elements for their essential play. There are even gardens planted and maintained by children themselves!

Nature is amazing, and at The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky you can get right up close to it!

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How much does it cost?



Free, but children's garden $2



Same as adult


Free Under

2 years for children's garden


Last Updates


Additional Information

Note the hours of the children's garden are different to that of the arboretum. During inclement weather the children's garden might close too

Any top tips?


Dogs are allowed on the paved pathways, but must remain on a leash at all times

I'm Hungry!


Healthy Eating They have picnic tables available on a first come first serve basis so why not bring your own healthy lunch and enjoy it under the sun!

What people are saying?

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Where is it at?


1. Exit Interstate 75/64 at Exit 115 2. Merge onto Newtown Pike KY 922 toward Lexington (3.3 miles) 3. Turn left onto W. Main Street (.6 miles) 4. Turn right onto South Upper Street (.6 miles) 5. Stay straight to go onto S. Limestone US 27 (1.1 miles) 6. Turn left onto Alumni Drive (.7 miles) 7. At the 1st traffic circle, take the 2nd exit & stay on Alumni 8. At the 2nd traffic circle, take the 2nd exit & stay on Alumni 9. The Arboretum will be on your right (.5 miles)

Teachers corner


Why not arrange a docent led your for the students - From May to September you can schedule docent-left tours. Self-gudied tours are available all year round. Docent led tours are $2 adults and $1 per child under 12 (under 2 free)

Need a little extra help?


Give them a call to see the accessibility of the grounds!

Click here for lots more great things to do near you in Kentucky

When can we go?

Dusk until dawn but keep in mind "Dawn" and "Dusk" change throughout the year. The Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center is open Monday-Friday, 9am - 4pm

All year round however children's garden is open seasonally

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