Destination RI: The Botanical Center At RWP
This week, I was part of a tour of some of the most coveted wedding venues in the state. And that's how I ended up at the Botanical Gardens at Roger Williams Park, which is essentially the largest indoor garden that's open to the public in all of New England (True story: I had no idea.). Past the boat house and that antique carousel is where you'll find the two greenhouses that right now can and will transport you to a magical place of sunshine, greenery, and beaucoup bright colors. Whether you're planning a wedding or not (They have also been known to host cocktail parties, photoshoots, charity events, and live music as well.), I'm telling you to block out some time and G-O.
The day we were there, a lot was happening. Other tours. And mini classes, with people teaching school kids about the flowers and plants or birds. (I saw feathers being passed out to one group.) There were also quite a few volunteers tidying up, digging in the dirt, and generally keeping things looking phenomenal and lush.
It's the perfect place for: An outing with the kiddies that's so fun yet unexpected (in a good way) that they won't even realize they're learning some key info; an inexpensive first date that keeps things low key while giving the two of you plenty to chat about; a go-to when you need a vaca somewhere sunny in the worst way, but only have the afternoon and are broke-y broke (They're usually open Tuesday thru Sunday.)
Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for the kiddies, and kids under 6 are free. In addition, there's a regular promo that allows PVD residents to visit for FREE the first Saturday of every month.
Word or phrase you'll find yourself repeating while there: "Cannot believe I've never been here before."; "It's like a little bit of Fla/Cali/the tropics right in the middle of Providence."
What to wear: Refrain from following my lead (I wore pointy, suede flats and leather leggings.) and grab your sneakers (or kicks, if you're so inclined), or other casual footwear, and a comfortable pair of jeans, yoga pants or leggings. Especially because you may encounter a few random puddles here and there.
Look for: the Koi pond; 17 different types of palm trees and 150+ different varieties of plants and flowers (Too many to mention, but I did learn that that different clubs, like the Begonia Society, come in to help with the flowers. And I was raised in the city, so my knowledge of plants and such is limited at best. I can recognize maybe a dozen types, but that's it.)
*And I hear they'll be having the Fairy Gardens Exhibit in April once again this year and yours truly is definitely going back to see it.