DATES: Opens Feb. 29, 2020 TIMES: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm PRICE: Free with general admission and membership
Feb. 29 – May 31: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. June 1 – Sept. 30: 8 a.m. – noon and Saturdays during Flashlight Tours
Desert Botanical Garden is inviting kids to engage with the outdoors around them at Cactus Clubhouse, a brand-new nature play space. The play area will provide unstructured, child-led activities for kids ages 0 to 12 to discover the fun of the natural world by climbing, creating and building with various organic materials.
Throughout Cactus Clubhouse, kids will encounter several activity areas designed to spark independent play, while encouraging physical, cognitive and behavioral growth. Activities include:
Nature Art – Children will work with natural materials such as seed pods and leaves to develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world, while strengthening skills in observation and creativity.
Music and Movement – This space will feature nature-based instruments and a place to move in order to help children discover basic concepts of sound and rhythm.
Climb – Children will climb, balance, jump and crawl to develop confidence, balance, coordination and risk-assessment.
Messy Materials – This area is filled with large-scale, loose parts to encourage building and imaginative play, which gives children a sense of accomplishment and belonging in the outdoors.
Build – This area will feature blocks made from natural materials to give children a different sensory and spatial experience, while strengthening math skills and conceptual thinking.
Dig – Children can use tools or their own hands to manipulate dirt and soil. This simple but rich multisensory experience can have a soothing effect on over stimulated minds and bodies.
The Cactus Clubhouse is made possible by grants from the USDA Forest Service and the Pharos Foundation in collaboration with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
Desert Botanical Garden’s newest art exhibition is traveling straight from Milan to bring Wild Rising by Cracking Art—an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful and recyclable plastic. Visitors of all ages will be drawn to engage these vibrant creatures and to discover that plastic does not have to end up in landfills, but it can be reinvented into something eye catching and thought provoking.
Join the conversation of Wild Rising by Cracking Art with Elephant in the Room, a thought-provoking installation in Ottosen Gallery that invites visitors to dig into rotating worldly topics and commit to reducing human impact on the natural world. The interactive exhibit will feature topics related to biodiversity and climate change, including environmental happiness, cactus as a threatened species and the culture of convenience.
Hundreds of butterflies native to the Southwest are waiting to greet you at the Garden’s Spring Butterfly Exhibit. Learn more about the butterfly life cycle in the caterpillar nursery, and see butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
Become a member and get unlimited access all year!
Desert Botanical Garden and Gertrude's Restaurant will close at 3 p.m. on Feb. 21 with last general admission at 2 p.m. The Garden and Gertrude's Restaurant will be closed Feb. 22 - 23 for Devour Culinary Classic.