My family and I have visited Oklahoma City several times, but had never visited the Conservatory before. I have to admit that we probably liked it more than ever, going on a cold day in January. It felt like an escape to a warm tropical place, and we really enjoyed ourselves. The facilities include a Children’s Garden, a Band Shell with a Great Lawn, a 600 seat outdoor performance space, two restaurants, an ice rink and more than 12 acres of intensely planted botanical gardens…a combination found in no other city center in the United States.
Here are some tips for visiting the Myriad Gardens Crystal Bridge and Tropical Conservatory.
Take your time
Winter time is an especially great time to visit the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. It is warm and welcoming with its lush green foliage and tropical fruits. We particularly enjoyed seeing the banana tree and pineapple plants since these are things we do not see around us regularly in nature where we live. We stopped to take pictures on the bridge and bench areas. Our children enjoyed getting to be up high on the bridge where they could see out over the flowers and plants and reading about the different items throughout. We liked seeing the waterfall and the butterflies.
Play in the Children’s Garden
After walking through the Conservatory, we decided to brave the winter day to play in the Children’s Garden. I thought we would last 5 minutes, but ultimately spent an hour and had to pry our children away. We had the place all to ourselves but I’m sure it can be much more crowded on a nice day. Our children especially liked the slide, but there is also a hedge maze, story porch, biology pond, raised garden beds, plus multiple climbing and play structures.
Schedule a tour for larger groups
While in the Conservatory, we saw a group of people on a tour with a Garden Guide. Tours for groups of 10 or more are available at 10:00am or 1:00pm, Monday through Friday, included in the regular admission price. Please schedule at least 14 days in advance. We did not take a tour, but I wish we had. It seemed like you could learn and enjoy the experience even more.
Enjoy a meal
There are two on-site restaurants: The Park House and the Ice House (open spring through fall). Reservations are recommended at the Park House. It is located south of the Seasonal Plaza and has near 360-degree views of the Gardens. The Ice House is more casual, offering burgers and fries.
Go ice skating
Our family visited the ice rink and had a great time. You can read about it HERE.
Go to a concert or movie at the Great Lawn and Band Shell
During warm weather months, check out the schedule and enjoy the 28,000 square feet of lawn often used for concerts, movies in the park, and other special performances.
Good to Know
Where: 301 W. Reno, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
When: Year-round. Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm
How much: Adults–$8, Seniors and Students–$7, Military–$7, Children 4-12–$5, Children 3 and under—FREE
How long: Two hours or more
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