Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Volunteer Park Conservatory

Kids in nature, plants
Volunteer Park Conservatory

We don’t always have time to go on day-long hikes, but we have so many wonderful resources in town we can visit to immerse ourselves in nature.  One such destination in Seattle is the Volunteer Park Conservatory.  We went there a week ago as a family.  It’s situated in a wonderful glass building, reminding one of a Victorian greenhouse.

volunteer park conservatory, nature with kids
Detail Above Entrance

Open the door and you are greeted by warm, fragrant air, moist with lush humidity.  Wander through the narrow paths, enjoying orchids, hydrangeas, tropical plants, bromeliads, pitcher plants, and other exotic species.

Jeweled Beauty
Art and Foliage

Visit the Cactus room, a drier section, and marvel at the variety of shapes and textures.  We enjoy seeing the symmetrical designs of so many types and natural forms.

Succulent
Grey
Tangle
Spiky Spokes

At the other end is a room with lots of bromeliads and other rain forest plants, reinforcing what we had learned a few months ago in our rain forest unit study.

Bromeliad
Tillandsia

 

There is also a small gift shop in the building.  There is a suggested donation of $3, though they are also trying to raise money to keep up with repairs and maintenance.

Fuzzy
Eyes
Happy Plant Lovers

After we had our fill of plants, we walked over to the water tower, where we climbed the spiral stairs up the side of the building, and enjoyed the view through the windows at the top.

Entrance to Water Tower
Up the Stairs
Water Tower
On Top

We could see over Seattle, to the Olympics, east to the Cascades, and north.

Seattle and Olympics

Back down the other set of stairs, and then we wondered at the misshapen bricks that were used to build the tower.  Many were deformed and charred, and we wondered if that was a result of how they were made, or if they deteriorated due to another reason.

Interesting Bricks

All in all, this is a really nice family outing.  We are so fortunate to have areas like this nearby.  If you want more to do, Volunteer Park also has a playground, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum is right there, as well.  Bring a picnic and make a day of it!

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