The New Orleans Botanical Garden at City Park offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Nature lovers of all ages wander around the lush foliage, play in the open gardens or relax near the tranquil fountains. Surrounded by the nation’s largest collection of mature live oaks, patrons enjoy a sensual walk past 2,000 varieties of plants. Most of the vegetation is native to Louisiana, but there are many other more exotic species.
The recently renovated Conservatory features a simulated tropical rainforest complete with hanging vines and a roaring waterfall. Children get a thrill out of the goldfish pond and parents appreciate the educational displays of geckos, tree frogs and snakes. The Living Fossil section of the Conservatory also combines a fun afternoon with learning. Duck under low hanging ferns to find hidden treasures and exhibits including fossilized plants and even a dinosaur egg or two.
Don’t miss the garden’s newest exhibit, the "New Orleans Historic Train Garden." Jazz music lures the visitors into a historical replica of the city. G-gauge streetcars and freight trains chug through a model of the Greater New Orleans area with informational “Neighborhood Stops” that include the Marigny/Bywater area, Uptown New Orleans and the Garden District. Trains weave past model-sized replicas of New Orleans' buildings and a Mississippi steamboat made from all natural materials. These buildings depict famous New Orleans landmarks such as the Old Absinthe House and the St. Louis Cathedral.
Carefully trimmed hedges and colorful beds of flowers create a maze of beauty and serenity. Bronze statues and sculptures dot the landscape. Visitors are sure to find photographers - amateur and professional - clicking away in the Butterfly Walk or by the Lily Pond. Be sure to bring your own camera to catch a loved one enjoying one of the themed gardens. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this wonderful Mid-City living museum is that it is always changing – you’ll never make the same visit twice!