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Explore Gainesville Botanical Gardens

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Spring is in the air and it is the perfect time, before it gets too hot and humid, to explore the Gainesville Botanical Gardens. My family was recently visiting and we had a really great afternoon meandering through the garden, learning about the plants and finding fairy gardens, dragons and frogs.

Here is the lowdown on the Garden:

Kay and Douglas Ivester Visitor Center

Start your journey in the Gainesville Garden's welcoming visitor center, which also houses the Garden gift shop, event space and admissions.

Stream Garden

A wooded hillside is filled with the soothing sounds of a dramatic, cascading water feature flowing past spring wildflowers and summer-blooming hydrangeas.

Glade Garden

An opening in the woodlands creates a sun-drenched garden room focused on the seasonal colors and patterns of the landscape in the Glade Garden. This space is popular for (weddings and private events), giving those who book it a sense of woodland seclusion.

Overlook Garden

Perennials, shrubs and ornamental trees frame overlook seating that offers a place to relax in the breeze.

Event Lawn

Late summer is a splendid time for the Event lawn by the Kay and Douglas Ivester Visitor Center and Ivester Amphitheater. Sometimes home to large exhibition art, this is the Garden's most open play space that lends itself perfectly to weddings and private events.

Ivester Amphitheater

The woodland vista is a stunning backdrop for both major performances during (Concerts in the Garden), as well as local children’s programs. Each year in spring and fall, the amphitheater is home to the (Woodland Ramble Arts & Crafts Market), a day-long event that allows garden guests to browse a selection of works and wares by local artisans.

This space – which holds up to 2,200 people - is also available for (private events).

Forest Pond

Flowering water lilies and other ornamental aquatic plants break the surface reflections of the surrounding forest in this peaceful pond behind the Kay and Douglas Ivester Visitor Center. Enjoy views from the Visitor Center Terrace or get a closer look on the paths to Garden trails and Overlook Garden.

Woodland Promenade

This central path in the Gainesville Garden offers places to sit and enjoy woodland views as well as a colorful palette of annual plantings.

Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden

The Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children's Garden provides an exciting opportunity for play and learning in a botanical-rich setting. Perched on the highest point of the property, the 2 ½-acre garden is planted with trees, flowering shrubs and perennials, an estimated 95 percent of which were grown on site, some for at least seven years from seeds or cuttings. Designed by Spurlock Landscape Architects, the garden features hands-on exploration, opportunities for adventure, and water play and free play elements that highlight earth, fire, water and wind.

  • Explore the world or carnivorous plants in bog bowls

  • Reach new heights climbing the Treehouse and Rock Climb

  • Discover fairies and dragons, including Desmond, a balance beam dragon guarding the entrance

  • Wind through the Fairy Forest featuring the miniature Fairyland Trolley.

  • Leap like the giant frog plant sculptures around the pond

  • Catch water that jumps magically from bowl to bowl.

The Garden is open Tuesday - Sunday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Last entry at 5 p.m.) Timed tickets are required for non-members.

Tickets Weekday Admission

(Tuesday - Friday)



Child ages 3-12


Child under 3


Garden member


Atlanta Garden Weekend Admission

(Saturday - Sunday)



Child ages 3-12


Child under 3


Garden member


Enjoy the Garden and its current exhibitions during daytime hours. Members, please bring your member cards and photo ID for complimentary daytime admission. Members are required to make complimentary reservations for all visits.

Garden Membership

Garden membership offers a year of beauty and tranquility as well as access to member events, discounts and reciprocal privileges at other botanical gardens around the country – all while supporting the mission of the Garden.

Several levels of membership are available to serve the needs of individuals and families.

All membership levels include:

  • Free unlimited admission for 12 months the Atlanta and Gainesville Gardens during daytime hours

  • Free and reduced admission to special Garden events and exhibitions

  • Invitations to members-only events and exhibition previews

  • Discounts on educational programs and in the Garden Gift Shop

  • Discounts at select area garden centers and retailers

  • Discounts on multi-visit parking passes

  • Reciprocal privileges with more than 300 gardens, arboreta and conservatories

  • Guest pass(es) for one-time use during daytime hours

  • Subscription to Clippings, the member newsletter

  • Early purchase period and discounts on Concerts in the Garden (canceled for 2020-21) and Garden Lights, Holiday Nights tickets

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