Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, opened in 1939 with a ‘simple’ mission to save the desert. Over the years it has expanded and now focuses on conserving and protecting the desert ecology while providing educational experiences for both locals and visitors, as well as providing a tranquil retreat in the desert.
Scenic Desert Beauty at The Desert Botanical Garden
With 140 acres, over 50,000 species of plants, and five different loop trails (each with its own theme), you can enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert on your own, or with a guided tour. Hike to the top of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail for an expansive view of the surrounding mountains. Walk through the Center for Desert Living Trail and submerse yourself in the colors and fragrances that the desert habitat can produce. If the season is right, you can watch hummingbirds visiting the vibrant desert wildflowers and blooming cactus as you wander along the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail. To understand how the desert plants were used by native peoples, take the Plants & People of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail.
There are many educational opportunities available – lectures and workshops are held year-round. With the addition of their new 400-seat reception hall, the Garden can now offer larger lectures, workshops and concerts. Take a guided tour – Birds in the Garden is just one of the tours offered. This Tempe Botanical Garden is happy to offer private tours and accommodate field trips for schools and scouts. Your kids will have fun playing Desert Detective Bingo as they scamper down the trails.
The Garden isn’t all serious, there are fun events too. Bring your dog for “Dogs Day in the Garden”. Attend the “Lit & Sip” – after you wander along the garden trails with your cocktail, dance the night away at the Silent Dance Party (dancers use headphones and dance to their own beat). Or, experience what has become an annual southwestern holiday tradition – Las Noches de las Luminarias. Sip your drink and nibble “lite bites” while you wander down the sparkling desert paths. Lit by over 8,000 luminarias, the dazzling lights will help you get into the holiday spirit.
The Garden is the perfect venue for wedding ceremonies, showers and receptions, corporate and non-profit events, award ceremonies, family reunions and memorial services. With its quiet serene beauty, the Desert Botanical Garden has become a romantic spot too.
The Tempe Botanical Garden’s hours vary slightly season to season, so check their website for current hours, information and admission rates. On Community Day, every second Tuesday of the month, admission is free and there is free admission every day for active military personnel with valid ID.