Place Category: FeaturedPlace Tags: Gardens and Summer Recreation
Explore the beauty in 16 acres of outdoor specialty gardens & year-round tropical conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid with palms, orchids, waterfall, birds & fish. The free outdoor gardens include a Sunken Garden with an 80-foot reflecting pool & Perennial Garden with meandering stream. The exotic Thai Pavilion & Garden is the only one in the continental U.S. A two-acre Rose Garden with a two-story, Prairie Style rose tower highlights Midwest-hardy shrub roses.
A free accessible tram runs on weekends spring & fall, daily during summer. Gift shop with garden-related items for adults & children, jewelry & books.
Free outdoor gardens open daily:
9 a.m. – 8 p.m. | April – August
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | September – October
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | November – March.
Conservatory ($2 admission) open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free on Wednesdays & Saturdays 10 a.m – noon.
Gift Shop & Library open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Year-round events including concerts, summer butterfly exhibit, classes for adults & families, holiday model train show, indoor spring flower show, and more.
Established in 1952.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens & Bolz Conservatory are the result of the collective work of thousands of people who have labored for decades to make them a reality. But the Gardens would not exist today if not for the vision, energy & generosity of Madison attorney Michael B. Olbrich. As he stated in 1921, “No greater mistake can be made than the belief that taste and esthetic sense is a monopoly of the merely well-to-do or purely a product of formal schooling. The park proposed is intended primarily to bring back into the life of the worker…something of the grace and beauty that nature intended us all to share. For this park has not a passive, but an active function. It is not to stand aloof, a treasure of the city, beautiful, still, reserved. This park above all others, with a warmth and strength of love – of love of all the working world – should hold out its arms, should invite them to itself, until its naturalness and beauty enter into their lives.”
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