What it is: A lovely conservation garden perfect for exploration, hiking and nature appreciation. A brand new Educational Center, recently opened to the public, provides even more opportunities for discovery.
Once you leave the parking lot, you can choose to head to the Educational Center, or take one of The Piedmont Natural Trails that leads you over bridges and streams, or walk straight into the garden where you will find just about every plant that can grow in North Carolina. A perfect spot for the tots is just inside the gates next to the Herb Garden. There is a gazebo that offers shade and a large digging area where you can bring your own garden tools and let the kids play in the dirt. They also have a mailbox which the kids open and close to their hearts content.
What we like: The herb garden is cool even on the hottest summer mornings. It’s a great place to escape into the peace and quiet (or as peaceful and quiet as it gets when you have kids around.) Plus, as you are immersed in all the beauty around you, you just might get inspired enough to do some gardening of your own. The people at the center are extremely helpful and friendly, and they always have brochures on hand for various educational classes available throughout the summer for your children.
What we would change: The Piedmont Nature Trails are not stroller friendly, but if you are okay with a slow meandering walk – it’s perfect for toddlers who are steady on their feet.
Website and other important information:
Address: 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Office Phone: 919-962-0522
Visiting Hours at the Display Gardens:
Weekdays, 8 am - 5 pm
Saturday, 9 am - 6 pm; Sunday, 1 - 6 pm
Note: The Piedmont Nature Trails, Coker Arboretum, and Battle Park are open from Dawn to Dusk every day of the year.