Lessons Aubrey and I learned at the New York Botanical Gardens last weekend:
- Don’t depend on your corporate discount to get you and 3 guests in for free. According to my company’s website, I am supposed to get in for free “year-round” but according to the NYBG, I can only get in for free a few specific dates this season, which all happened to be during the week, when I couldn’t go because of work, so that doesn’t really make sense.
- Keep your ticket with you at all times. Even though you can’t get into any part of the gardens without going through the ticket lines, you are required to show your ticket at certain exhibits which do not require any extra payment. This was difficult for us as we were carrying way too many snacks (read: hard boiled eggs and cookies shaped like wreaths) in our bags to find our tickets in an efficient way.
- The winter is not the best time of year to go to the NYBG (this is pretty obvious). We didn’t find a lot of flowers that were actually in bloom and a lot of the areas of the garden were locked or under restoration or construction. We did make a promise to come back in the spring or summer to get a more botanical experience.
- Don’t assume you won’t spend a lot of time walking around the gardens. Aubrey and I did not spring $7 for the entrance to the Train Show because the earliest time for us to get in was 2:15. We incorrectly thought we wouldn’t be there that long and missed out on probably the coolest part of NYBG. The Train Show has model trains and replicas of NYC landmarks done with flowers and plants. We ended up staying at the gardens until 2, so we definitely should have signed up for the exhibit, but maybe we can go back next year better prepared.
Despite the above, Aubrey and I had a great time, as we always do together. Instead of being like a garden, the NYBG felt more like a park but who doesn’t LOVE parks (& rec, I might add)? My favorite part was walking through the Thain Forest, fifty acres of forest which made us feel like we were no where near NYC and actually reminded both of us of our hometown in the Pineys. The coolest features of the forest walk were finding marks left by glaciers a gazillion years ago on the rocks, a babbling brook with a cool bridge (which was featured in Sesame Street in the 1970s), and being able to text back my friend saying “I’m in a forest right now, but I’ll get back to you later.”