Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in the city's University Circle neighborhood, is a combination of indoor exhibits, housed in a magnificent glasshouse and ten acres of diverse outdoor gardens, including a special children's garden, an herb garden, and a woodland garden.
Cleveland Botanical Garden, originally called the Cleveland Garden Center, was founded in 1930, primarily as a place to house the extensive library of garden books donated by Eleanor Squire. The center was first located in a small boathouse on the shore of Wade Lagoon. The Center moved to its present location -- the former site of the Cleveland Zoo -- in 1966 and added the 18,000-square foot Glasshouse in the 2003.
The spectacular Glasshouse includes two major exhibits, the Costa Rica Rainforest and the Madagascar Spiny Desert. These two diverse displays contain over 350 different species of plants and visitors may wander through them at their leisure.
The glasshouse also contains the extensive, 19,000-volume Eleanor Squire library, the foundation of the museum. This collection, which contains books dating back to the 16th century, is considered one of the finest garden libraries in the country.
The Outdoor Gardens:
Cleveland Botanical Garden's outdoor display gardens cover ten acres of land, adjacent to Wade Oval. Among the diverse gardens is the Hershey Children's Garden, a fabulous interactive kid-friendly place, complete with a cave, a (wheelchair accessible) treehouse, a watery bog, dwarf forests, and a worm bin, among other features.
The outdoor displays also include a serene Japanese garden, a magnificent rose garden, an herb garden that includes more than 4,000 plants, and a shady woodland garden, whose wooden boardwalks make it wheelchair accessible.
Cleveland Botanical Garden maintains an ambitious schedule of lectures, learning opportunities, and exhibits. Highlights include the spring orchid show, usually held in March, and the December holiday WinterShow, then the Garden transforms itself with holiday trees, gingerbread houses, and other festive plants.
Visiting Cleveland Botanical Garden:
Cleveland Botanical Garden is located along Wade Oval, near the Cleveland Museum of Art. Parking for 200 cars is available underneath the museum. The fee is $5 for 2 1/2 hours and a discount is offered most days. (Bring in your ticket for validation.) There is also metered parking around the University Circle area and a number of other public parking lots.
The garden has a interesting gift shop that features books, plants, gardening accessories, and goods from Costa Rica and Madagascar as well as a small cafe that serves light lunches and snacks.
Contact Information and Hours:
Cleveland Botanical Garden
11030 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Monday through Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: Noon - 5pm
Open Wednesdays until 9pm
Adults $9.50, children 3-12 $4. Children under 3 are free.
Hotels Near Cleveland Botanical Garden:
The Intercontinental Hotel (check rates), at the Cleveland Clinic, is less than a mile away from the Garden and offers elegant accommodations as well as a full range of services. Smaller and more intimate is the Glidden House (check rates), just around the corner. It's a charming bed and breakfast inn, created out of an historic mansion.
(last updated 10-5-12)