Spanning 250 acres, the New York Botanical Garden is a lush oasis in the Bronx, NYC’s northernmost borough. The grounds are breathtaking, and exploring this iconic institution is a must when you’re visiting the Big Apple. I’m a sucker for botanical gardens, and the New York Botanical Garden is a world-famous, tourist to-do and travel checklist item for good reason!
Tips for Visiting the NYBG with Kids
Let’s be real— most kids can only take so much of admiring pretty plants and listening to mom read placards detailing different flowers’ Latin names. Here’s what we recommend to have a happy visit to the New York Botanical Garden with kids!
- If you’re visiting in the Fall, Winter, or Spring, wear layers. With all the walking you’ll be doing, being able to shed layers may come in handy. Whichever season you visit, wear comfortable walking shoes. ($20 off Rothy’s shoes, anyone?)
- Get your kids excited by encouraging them to take their own photos of all the interesting and new flowers, trees, and plants they find. Here’s an unofficial photo scavenger hunt you can download for free!
- The paths are largely unshaded, so apply sunscreen.
- Check the NYBG website to find out if any drop-in kids’ activities will be happening during your visit.
- Register for the free Nature Quest to gamify the garden experience— should make things more interesting for your kids!
- Visiting with kids under 8 years old? Plan on spending a lot of time at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. This special children’s space offers 12 acres of kid-friendly fun and activities to keep your little ones entertained.
- Ride the tram for a relaxing trip through the park! There are few things that little kids like more than a fun train ride, amirite? But caution: when it’s busy, the wait times are long.
When To Visit
To avoid crowds, avoid Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays! The New York Botanical Garden is constantly hosting special events and exhibits that draw large crowds, including New York locals and tourists alike. As you might’ve guessed, these usually take place on weekends. For a more tranquil garden experience, we recommend visiting on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. The garden is generally closed on Mondays. Wednesdays are free entry, which means—drumroll, please— crowds.
If you absolutely must visit during the weekend, we recommend heading there around 3 pm on Saturday afternoon, and as soon as opening (usually 10 am) on Sunday.
For the most colorful, vibrant blooms, visit mid-May through June. Our second favorite time to visit is right in the heart of autumn when the trees are saturated with the deep reds, warm oranges, and bright yellows of Fall.
As of writing this post, here are the ticket prices to get into the NYBG:
Adults: $28; Seniors (65+): $25; Students (with valid ID): $25; Children (2–12): $12; Children under 2: Free; Members: Free*
Now, that’s before any transportation costs— including parking— so for a family, these costs add up.
Save on admission
- Option 1: Attend when admission is free! You can enter the New York Botanical Garden with a free Grounds-Only pass all day on Wednesdays and from 9-10am on Saturdays. Note that a Grounds-Only pass does not include access to the certain facilities, including the Conservatory, the Library, or use of the Garden’s tram.
- Option 2: Get discounted tickets ahead of time via GetYourGuide or Viator. As of writing, tickets cost the same from either site, with adult tickets available for just $23 and kids’ tickets going for just $10.
- Option 3: For families of four or more, the Family Membership (currently $135), offers a fantastic deal. Membership includes unlimited full access for a year, a few comped passes for friends, discounts, and even a bunch of free parking passes. Members also get reciprocal access to dozens of other botanical gardens throughout the USA (even Canada!)
With two adults and three school-aged children, we opted for a Family Membership, and for us, it’s so worth it! The complimentary parking pass made traveling to the NYBG very convenient, and within weeks, I’d already used our reciprocal garden admission benefits, too.
See the other botanical gardens we’ve visited (and written about) here.
Visiting New York soon? Check out this article: Six Hudson Valley Gardens to Visit
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Inspire Your Visit to the New York Botanical Garden