The Huntsville Botanical Gardens has a few new “residents” hiding in their foliage! Their Gardens of Myth exhibit is not only beautiful, but has a touch of magic, and my family had a great day of exploring to find them all!
As you stroll through the gardens, you will come upon a variety of Trolls, Goblins, Dragons, a Mermaid, and even a Leprechaun. (He can be found at the end of a rainbow of course!) All of the sculptures were designed and created by Kendall R. Hart and his team. I was quite impressed with the artistic detail and pure SIZE of some of the statues. Some towered over me while others were larger than my minivan! They are beautiful pieces, and my kids loved searching the Garden grounds for them.
Experiencing Gardens of Myth
When you walk in, you will be given a pamphlet with some information on the exhibit and directed towards a special map on the wall that has all of the statue locations marked. I grabbed my camera phone and snapped a photo of it (so we wouldn’t miss anything) and we were on our way!
I think one of the most impressive things about this display is the physical size of the statues. They were modeled after their “real” size as they would be if they truly existed. Bigfoot was at least 10-12 ft tall, the dragon was larger than life and the mermaid was about the same size as an average petite woman. My 10 year old loves the fantasy genre of books, and over the years there has been a lot that have passed through our library card. As much as I love having my kids use their imagination, this was so much fun to see the size and detail of the mythical creatures that we have read so much about these past few years.
About half way through our time there, my 5 year old said “Mom! Look! A baby dragon!!!” and sure enough… Tucked away in the crook of a tree was a little dragon peering down at us! From that point on we kept our eyes peeled, and found quite a few more. The trees were filled with the sounds of kids calling out “There’s another one!” and “I just found 2 more!!!”. It was like a real life “Wheres Waldo” book!
- Bring a stroller! I know I recommend this in just about all of my reviews, but I REALLY mean it this time. If you have young ones at all, even though the Botanical Gardens has wagons to borrow while you are in the park, but they are first come first serve, so often they are already being used. There is a decent amount of walking and I had my younger ones ride for a few minutes as their legs got tired a number of times.
- Bring extra clothes and a towel so the kids can get wet. I hadn’t been to The Gardens in a while and I forgot about all of the misters and water play opportunities sprinkled throughout the trails in the summertime. My kids ended up just getting their clothes wet, but if I had remembered, I would have either let them wear bathing suits or just brought a change of clothes.
- Go to the bathroom before you get started. Once you are on the trails there isn’t a good opportunity to use the bathroom unless you are visiting the Butterfly House.
- Bring a water bottle! There are a ton of shade trees creating pleasant walking environment, but our Alabama heat is, well… HOT! It is easy to overdo it when you are outside if you don’t stay hydrated. A great spot to refill those water bottles is the drinking fountains in the Butterfly House. Sunscreen is also non-negotiable.
- And of course… Be sure to bring a camera!
The Gardens of Myth will be displayed at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens now, through the end of October. Make sure you go check it out!
Gardens of Myth Details At-a-Glance
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Jenni McCarty is a wife, mom of four, l'il bit granola, jean-wearer, iced coffee drinker, home schooler, more than just a little obsessed with photography, frustrated organizer (see “mom of four”) yet ironically logical, Pinterest addict and Facebook follower, sufferer of ADCD (attention deficit crafters disorder), displaced Alaskan. She opened Jenni M Photography in 2012 and she really enjoys blogging about her personal family adventures whenever she has a chance.