Everything you need to know about visiting the New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458).
The New York Botanical Garden is revered as one of Gotham’s greatest cultural institutions, and for good reason: Where else can you find 250 spectacularly verdant acres filled with over one million tropical, temperate and desert flora within mere walking distance of a major metropolitan subway stop? Founded in 1891, the NYBG was born from a civic movement with a mission to cement New York City as a cosmopolitan world capital through the creation of public libraries, museums, zoos, gardens and various other now-iconic cultural organizations. More than a century later, the NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs, state-of-the-art molecular labs, hands-on curriculum-based educational programming and incredible outdoor and indoor botanically focused art exhibitions that attract more than one million visitors annually.
Know before you go
The New York Botanical Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday—with the exception of Monday federal holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the Garden lures in vitamin D-deprived office workers with the unbridled enchantment of its sun-drenched Rockefeller Rose Garden and floating courtyard water lilies. Hours vary by season, so check the website ahead of time. As for weather conditions, the extensive outdoor grounds are open rain or shine, so check your weather app and wear shoes, sunscreen or raincoats accordingly. Just be sure to leave your laptop and French bulldog at home—the Garden does not provide bag check facilities, and unless they’re service dogs, pups are prohibited.
Explore exhibits by day or night
As if you don’t reap enough efflorescent inspiration from its permanent collections, the NYBG hosts seasonal exhibits specially designed to complement the Garden’s distinct architecture. Through October 2018, check out Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i, which pays tribute to the late painter’s stunning canvases reflecting the Hawaiian Islands circa 1939. The exhibition includes a flower show with pieces designed by Tony Award-winning set creator Scott Pask inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. A separate exhibition showcasing the aforementioned paintings is on-view at the garden's LuEsther T. Mertz Library Art Gallery as well. And, in true NYBG form, there will be special after-hours Aloha Nights, during which you can stroll through the conservatory and enjoy live music and artist demonstrations. There will be illuminated installations by contemporary Hawaiian-Chinese sculptor Mark Chai, as well as speciality cocktails and Hawaiian bites for purchase from the STARR Events new Poke Truck.
Thanks to several hands-on educational class offerings for kids and adults, you can continue to expand your botanical horizons at not just one, but two NYBG locations: the 250-acre Bronx locale and the conveniently located Midtown Education Center at 20 West 44th Street. Bring kids to the Edible Academy’s family-friendly cooking demonstrations, where you’ll learn how to use seasonal garden ingredients to create fam-favorite recipes like homemade green goddess dressing teeming with fresh herbs picked straight from the garden. Meanwhile, adult-focused classes range from single sessions to intensive certificate courses in a wide range of soul-nourishing subjects like photography, floral design, gardening, crafts, landscape design, botanical illustration and horticultural therapy. Intro to Herbal Medicine, anyone?
Our New York editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of NYC. at your fingertips. The New York Botanical Garden was most recently updated with new tips on June 14, 2018.