Berkeley Botanical Gardens
Location: 200 Centennial Drive Berkeley, CA 94720-5045
Description: UC Berkeley's Botanical Gardens are 34 acres of natural gardens landscaped by region. Established in 1890 these gardens have grown in to a Berkeley icon. My daughter went here on a field trip previous to our visit, so she acted as a tour guide and showed us around. Even if your child doesn't love the outdoors, they will find something to appreciate here. They will be astounded at the giant cacti, enchanted by the lily pad pond, or in awe of the carnivorous plants. Your child will have fun being an adventurer on these grounds, make up a game and let them be the leader. You will get in a good walk, see beautiful grounds, and may spot a wild animal or two. We saw a giant black and yellow dragonfly and a friendly squirrel. There are lots of benches to take a break on. Also right in the center there is a rolling grassy lawn that is excellent for plopping down on with a group. The green house is interesting and stuffy all at the same time. And if you are lucky you can spot a giant mantis (fake) on the rooftop over the lookout deck. It is a wonderful spot to stop and learn about nature while basking in it's glory.
Highlights: The UC Botanical Gardens are just a hop away from three other popular Berkeley destinations- The Lawrence Hall of Science, Strawberry Canyon, and Strawberry Canyon pool. All of which are located on Centennial Drive and all of which have other listings on my site that you can refer to. Combine a few and make a day of it!
Tips: Wear good walking shoes and avoid bringing a stroller if you can- many of the paths are not easily walkable with wheels.