Beautiful Gardens in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Appreciate the beauty of the season by bringing your family to these gorgeous gardens.

After a bitter winter, seeing Michigan bloom with beauty in the spring is a magical feeling. Take some time to smell the flowers, as they say, with a visit to a botanical garden, community green space or conservatory. 

Enjoy an afternoon stroll through one of these local gardens and take a little extra time to appreciate the season. 

For more family activities this season, check out our guide to Things to Do with Kids this Spring in Southeast Michigan

Ann Arbor

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Photo credit: Scott Soderberg

The botanical gardens at University of Michigan are some of the most beautiful learning opportunities for your kids. Visit the Great Lakes Garden or Perennial Garden and learn about Michigan’s ecosystems. Play at the Gaffield Children’s Garden, a natural play space with a builder’s garden, picnic plaza, sensory garden and more fun surprises, including a fairy and troll knoll! 

University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum

Photo credit: Scott Soderberg

Just a few miles from Matthaei Botanical Gardens is the Nichols Arboretum. Take time to smell the roses (and peonies, blooming shrubs and more!) with a visit to The Arb. Elevate your garden stroll by walking one of the arboretum’s landscaped trails. May we suggest the Peony trail? 

Metro Detroit

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory

After being closed for an extensive renovation, the outdoor gardens at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory will reopen in May. Smell the flowers and spot tiny pollinators on the lawn of the conservatory while you wait for the magnificent indoor showrooms to reopen in May 2024. 

Cranbrook House & Gardens

Photo credit: Eric Franchy

Explore the signature gardens of the Cranbrook Estate. Discover colorful tulips and annuals in the Sunken Garden; milkweed and monarchs in the Butterfly Garden; sculptures and statues throughout the grounds and more. Make sure to stop at the Japanese Garden or the Reflection Pool Garden for a few moments of meditation. Let your senses take you on a self-guided tour, or book a tour of the grounds. 

Heritage Garden

Photo credit: Shelby Township

Follow the paved walking paths of the Heritage Garden to find flowers, gazebos, tiny fairy gardens and ducklings galore. The garden offers peaceful views of Heritage Lake, and is a favorite spot for photographers. Visit the Shelby Township Heritage Garden and find out why for yourself! 

Lafayette Greens

This green space in the heart of downtown Detroit is maintained by The Greening of Detroit, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating sustainable growth by planting trees and plants in urban settings. 

At Lafayette Greens, an outdoor meeting area and event space, flowers and chemical-free veggies and herbs grow in raised planters. The garden is also a certified pollinator habitat with plants and flowers for native butterflies, honey bees and birds. Next time you’re downtown, stop by and enjoy a few moments of peace in this respite from city dwelling. 

Oudolf Garden Detroit

Located on Belle Isle, this artistic three-acre garden is run completely by volunteers. Divided into the Main Garden, the Rain Garden and the Meadows, Oudolf features perennials, shrubs and trees that are sturdy, beautiful and bright in all four seasons. 

Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Photo credit: Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

This peaceful floral oasis is a popular wedding venue location. Arches of bright, beautiful blooms and colorful arrangements are at every turn. Schedule a 30- to 45-minute children’s tour to learn about the plants and their care, or visit during the summer for Music & Art in the Gardens.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.


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