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12 Beautiful Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in Ohio (2024)

These arboretums in Ohio are some of the best places to see flowers, trees and beautiful gardens! You can also find some pretty amazing activities inside these gardens!

There are some truly beautiful botanical gardens and arboretums in Ohio! Some of these gardens are well known and some, I feel, are truly hidden gems in Ohio that everyone needs to know about! If you love being out in nature and appreciate beautiful gardens, bookmark this list of Ohio’s best gardens for inspiration!

1. Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens

  • City: Columbus, Ohio
  • Address: 152 Howlett Hall 2021, Fyffe Rd, Columbus, OH 43210
  • Website
  • Free admission

Chadwick Arboretum is part of The Ohio State University and there are a couple of different garden areas to visit. The main garden areas are the Learning Gardens, Arboretum North and Lane Avenue Gardens.

Labyrinth inside Chadwick Arboretum in Ohio.

The Lane Avenue Gardens are probably the most typical of what you think of when you think “arboretum”. There is a walking path through gardens, trees, sculptures and more. Highlights of this garden are are the Labyrinth Garden (pictured above) and Annabelle the Praying Mantis (which you can see on my list of free things to do in Columbus this summer!

The Arboretum North has a nice walking path around a 3.5 acre lake. The Learning Gardens are garden areas for trials of various kinds of flowers, plants and bee hives.

2. Cleveland Botanical Garden

  • City: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Address: 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
  • Website
  • Admission required, kids 2 and under get in free

The Cleveland Botanical Garden was such a gem! They have both an indoor conservatory AND outdoor gardens which is a little bit of a unique feature when it comes to this list of gardens in Ohio! Most of them seem to focus on one or the other.

Flowers in full bloom at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Ohio.

Inside the Clevleland Botanical Garden, The Glasshouse consists of indoor gardens featuring Madagascar and Costa Rica. There is also a fun Perennial Playspace upstairs for kids that has a lot of interactive activities.

Next, head outside to the outdoor gardens. One of my favorite outdoor gardens was the Japanese Garden. The Hershey Children’s Garden has a lot of great things for kids to enjoy like a treehouse structure, a sand box, water pumps to fill watering cans and more!

There is a lot to explore here and I would allow at least 2 hour to enjoy all of it! Afterwards, check out some of these other fun things to do in Cleveland!

3. Columbus Park of Roses

  • City: Columbus, Ohio
  • Address: 3901 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214
  • Website
  • Free admission

The Columbus Park of Roses offers your chance to view more than 12,000 types of roses! There are paved paths and benches to sit and enjoy the view! In the early summer, visiting this park is probably one of the most popular things to do in Columbus, Ohio!

An elevated gazebo in the Columbus Park of Roses in Ohio.

The best time to view the roses is in the month of June, but there always seems to be something in bloom here throughout the summer! There are a variety of gardens here including heritage roses, an herb garden, and a Formal Rose Garden.

It’s free to visit the Columbus Park of Roses and there is ample parking within Whetstone Park, the larger public park in which the rose gardens are located.

4. Cox Arboretum

  • City: Dayton, Ohio
  • Address: 6733 N Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449
  • Website
  • Free admission

Cox Arboretum is part of the Five Rivers MetroParks system in Dayton, Ohio. This is a truly beautiful park to visit with several distinct garden areas and a visitor’s center. Another plus is that this is one of the arboretums in Ohio that you can visit for free!

The Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum in Ohio.

The highlight of Cox Arboretum is the Tree Tower! You can climb to the top to look over the greenery of the surrounding area and view Dayton from a distance! The Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum is 45 feet high and only takes about 5 minutes to climb!

Other highlights at this arboretum include the Monet Bridge, the Bell Children’s Maze where kids can run though a labyrinth made of shrubs, the Water Garden and the Shrub Garden and lake. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Dayton, Ohio while you’re there, including the Wegerzyn Gardens listed below!

5. The Dawes Arboretum

  • City: Newark, Ohio
  • Address: 7770 Jacksontown Rd, Newark, OH 43056
  • Website
  • Admission fee required, kids under 5 are free

The Dawes Arboretum is a great place to visit where you can see some amazing gardens. My personal favorite garden at this arboretum is the Japanese Garden (pictured below). I remember my first visit to this garden and how breathtaking it was!

Two boys walking across stones in the water in the Japanese Garden at Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio.

This is a great place to see azaleas in bloom, to hike through woods, sit by the Dawes Lake and learn about native trees and flowers.

You won’t want to miss the observation deck! A climb to the top will reveal Dawes Arboretum written in shrubs! There is also a Natural Play area here for kids and a great Nature Center!

This arboretum is open year-round with something to enjoy in every season! Pair your visit with one of these other family-friendly things to do in Newark, Ohio!

6. Franklin Park Conservatory

  • City: Columbus, Ohio
  • Address: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203
  • Website
  • Admission fee required, kids under 3 are free

Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio is such an incredible place to visit! Of course, I’m biased because we live in Columbus and, on this list, this is probably the place we have visited the most! If you live in Columbus, it’s absolutely worth having a membership here!

A sculpture behind tulips at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.

Franklin Park Conservatory has indoor and outdoor gardens. Inside, you can walk through a collection of biomes including desert, rainforest and Himalayan Mountains! You’ll also want to make sure to see the John F. Wolfe Palm House. That place gives me major vacation vibes!

You also won’t want to miss the Pacific Island Water Garden which is home to beautiful koi pond and the Blooms and Butterflies exhibition. When Blooms and Butterflies is open, you can walk amongst butterflies and watch daily releases of butterflies into the garden!

Outside the conservatory, make sure to visit the The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden for an amazing garden area where kids can explore, get their hands dirty and interact with nature! It’s one of the best things to do in Columbus with kids! Keep an eye on their website for special events and educational programs for kids that take place in the garden!

7. Holden Arboretum

  • City: Kirtland, Ohio
  • Address: 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094
  • Website
  • Admission required, kids 2 and under are free

Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio is another one of those amazing gems in Ohio! Not far from the beaches of Lake Erie, this beautiful arboretum in Ohio is a must visit destination!

The canopy walk at Holden Arboretum in Ohio.

The Murch Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum is not to be missed! It’s probably one of my favorite things to do in Lake County, Ohio! You can climb to the tree tops and walk the suspension bridge through the trees.

Another highlight is the Kalberer Family Emergent Tower! This tower is 12 stories high and is 202 steps to climb! When you get to the top you will be overlooking the tree tops and if the day is clear enough, you can even see Lake Erie! It’s breathtaking (and not just because you walked up 202 steps, but that might have something to do with it)!

Also, Holden Arboretum has a natural play area for kids called Buckeye Bud’s Adventure Woods! Additionally, there are many gardens to walk through and explore including a rhododendron garden, a wildflower garden, a butterfly garden and more!

8. Inniswood Metro Gardens

  • City: Westerville, Ohio
  • Address: 940 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
  • Website
  • Free admission

Inniswood Metro Gardens is one of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and it’s located in Westerville, Ohio, just north of Columbus. No matter the season, this is a beautiful park to visit in Ohio!

A flower and tunnel walkway at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Columbus, Ohio.

There are beautiful flowers and blooming trees here in the summer, but one of my absolute favorite times to visit Inniswood Metro Gardens is in the fall! The Boardwalk Trail in the park is just magical when the leaves are changing!

Additionally, inside this free garden is the Sisters’ Garden, an area created with kids in mind. Look for a labyrinth maze, the Secret Garden, and frogs croaking in the pond! Your kids will also love the treehouse!

One of the most unique parks in Columbus, there are 10 feature gardens including a rose garden, herb garden and the Woodland Rock Garden, which is one of my favorites!

9. Kingwood Center Gardens

  • City: Mansfield, Ohio
  • Address: 50 Trimble Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906
  • Website
  • Admission required, kids 12 and under get in free

Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio is just beautiful! The gardens are incredible! Enjoy formal gardens, greenhouses, a rose garden, duck pond, and more! There are even peacocks roaming the grounds!

Pond and gardens at Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio.

You can also tour the home of Mr. And Mrs. Chalres Kelley King (Kingwood Hall) who owned the property beginning in the early 1900’s. The gardens opened to the public in 1953 and a Garden Gateway visitor center was added in 2020. The Garden Gateway, where you enter the gardens, has a restaurant and gift shop.

Kids will enjoy the Storybook Trail and the Peacock Playhouse where they can play with hands-on exhibits! Nearby, your kids may also enjoy the Ohio Bird Sanctuary or some of these other fun things to do with kids in Mansfield, Ohio!

10. Secrest Arboretum

  • City: Wooster, Ohio
  • Address: 2122 Williams Rd, Wooster, OH 44691
  • Website
  • Free admission

Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, Ohio is also part of The Ohio State University. This campus in northeast Ohio is home to the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI). This is a free arboretum in Ohio to visit when you are in Wayne County! You won’t regret it!

a redbud tree in front of a small pond at Secrest Arboretum in Ohio.

Secrest Arboretum is home to the largest crabapple collection in the United States! This botanical garden covers 110 acres and features over 3500 different types of trees and plants. Secrest Arboretum is open year round.

I grew up in Wooster, Ohio, so Secrest Arboretum is one of my favorite arboretums in Ohio! I have a lot of memories here: we had prom here, I learned to drive on the quiet roads through the arboretum and both my uncle and my cousin got married in the park!

Fun fact, my husband and I got engaged in the rose garden at Secrest Arboretum! Unfortunately, the rose garden suffered from a disease but it was replanted as a coneflower trial garden!

For kids, there is a fast and bumpy slide built into the side of the hill! Kids will also enjoy the tunnels to climb through and the larger-than-life turtle statues!

Make sure to read this list of fun things to do in Wooster, Ohio to plan your trip!

11. Toledo Botanical Garden

  • City: Toledo, Ohio
  • Address: 5403 Elmer Dr, Toledo, OH 43615
  • Website
  • Free admission

The Toledo Botanical Garden was a highlight of our recent trip to Toledo! We stayed at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and then spent our days discovering all the fun things there are to do with kids in Toledo!

We arrived at this botanical garden just when the kids needed a break from the car! We were happy to find the The Secret Forest, a children’s natural play area. There are plenty of picnic tables in the area and this makes a great place for a lunch break!

A statute of a woman holding birds at Toledo Botanical Garden in Ohio.

Toledo Botanical Garden is part of Metroparks Toledo. The gardens are home to sculptures and seasonal art. There is also an Artist Village on site!

You can walk through a rose garden, the Doneghy Inclusive Garden, the Heirloom Garden and more! Perennial Gardens bloom June through September and are beautiful to see! One of my favorite areas was the Grand Allee, lined with trees!

12. Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark

  • City: Dayton, Ohio
  • Address: 1301 E Siebenthaler Ave, Dayton, OH 45414
  • Website
  • Free admission

Wegerzyn Gardens is another one of Dayton’s Five Rivers MetroParks. It is absolutely worth a trip to this beautiful garden, not just to see beautiful flowers and trees, but to play in the Children’s Discovery Garden!

I am still in shock that the Children’s Discovery Garden is free to visit! At just around 1 hour away, it makes a great day trip from Columbus! Kids will enjoy exploring the various themes within the garden which is divided up into 6 major areas including: Woods, Geology, Prairie, Wetlands, Backyard Fun and Skeeter’s Garden.

Gardens and trees at Wegerzyn Gardens in Toledo, Ohio.

The Wegerzyn Gardens feature 10 distinct specialty gardens that are just east of the Children’s Discovery Garden. It’s such a beautiful place to explore if you love flowers and formal gardens! If you’re looking for a longer hike, you can take the Stillwater River Trail within the park.

Also, you can take a short walk on the Swamp Forest boardwalk! This path goes through a vernal pool habitat. Find this trail at either end in the Victor Ries Memorial Garden or the English Garden. The English Garden was one of my favorites!

More Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in Ohio:

About 95% of the time the places I write about on this blog are places I have personally been. It’s best to talk about somewhere I can speak to personally. This blog isn’t a list curated by AI, it’s a personal retelling of our own travels and explorations!

However, I haven’t been EVERYWHERE in Ohio (shocking, I know), so in this section I’m going to list a couple of botanical gardens and arboretums in Ohio that are still on our list to visit! And when we do, I’ll move them into the top section with actual photos from our trip!

This section will help those of you in different parts of Ohio to find more gardens near you!

Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

  • City: Alliance, Ohio
  • Address: 11929 Beech St NE, Alliance, OH 44601
  • Website
  • Admission required, Kids 0-2 get in free

Krohn Conservatory

  • City: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Address: 1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Website
  • Admission required, kids under 4 get in free
things to do this weekend in columbus ohio

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Botanical Gardens and Arboretums in Ohio to visit.

Maura Rawn

Sunday 10th of March 2024

So helpful to have these Ohio garden destinations all in one listing. I do understand this is a personal account and not curated. One suggestion is to reduce all the exclamation points. We can get excited about what you are telling us without your emphasis. Too many !!! then becomes meaningless. Please take this as a writing lesson, not a harsh critique. Thank you!

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