Family Fun Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum – VIDEO Get in touch with nature at this Ann Arbor haven, located east of the University of Michigan's central campus. « Previous Next » Stacey Winconek • August 8, 2011 Add Comment Tweet Get in touch with nature at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, located in Ann Arbor east of the University of Michigan’s central campus. Metro Parent’s editorial assistant visits Matthaei Botanical Gardens and gets a closer look at all the family-friendly things this natural setting has to offer. First, we step inside the conservatory, where kids and parents will be exposed to three climate houses – tropical, temperate and arid. Then, we step outside and into the Gaffield Children’s Garden – filled with loads of activities for kids of all ages. Here, children will learn about flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Kids can use their imagination to build structures in the Builder’s Garden or build a fairy house in the Fairy Garden. This kid-friendly area gives the little tikes a chance to learn about nature through activities that are designed at a kid’s eye-level. The nature trail puts kids up close with their natural surroundings. Matthaei Botanical Gardens is open daily from sunrise until sunset – excluding major holidays. There is no charge to roam the outdoor gardens and trails.