Designed by two of America’s foremost landscape architects to pay tribute to America’s first English colonists, The Elizabethan Gardens is a rare treasure and a beloved Outer Banks attraction. It’s a haven of verdant, flourishing growth and natural prosperity. The gardens are in bloom year round with azaleas, dogwoods, roses, camellias, daphne, a variety of annuals and herbs and much more. Adding exquisite touches are ancient stone fountains, garden ornaments, a waterfront gazebo, benches, statues, an expansive lawn and some of the most amazing live oaks you’ll ever see. The large shade canopy overhead provides a cool oasis even on the sunniest summer day. The Garden Gift Shoppe sells books, gifts, herbs and plants. This is a trusted plant source for many locals, as the garden staff nurtures their plants with such care.
Elizabethan Gardens offers outstanding events almost all year round such as art classes, plant sales, gardening workshops, kids’ outdoor-oriented classes and summer programs. The Gardens’ Easter Eggstravaganza, Virginia Dare’s Birthday, Harvest Hayday (near Halloween) and WinterLights festivities are great fun.
The Gardens open at 9 a.m. seven days a week throughout most of the year and at 10 a.m. December through February. Closing time varies according to the season. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for youth ages 6 to 17 and $2 for children age 5 and younger, plus tax. Admission for groups of 20 or more is at a reduced rate of $8 per person with advance notice.
The Gardens make a beautiful setting for bridal luncheons, weddings and receptions. Choose from a variety of backdrops for an unforgettable day. The Gardens are also perfect for organizational retreats or group meetings. An on-site Reception Hall, tent and Rose Garden accommodate parties large and small. Call for more information.
The Elizabethan Gardens offers these fun events week days (free with paid admission except for Yoga) during the summer. For 2016, here’s what you can look forward to:
Minty Tuesday: Looking for a refreshing afternoon adventure? Children aged 6 to 12 years will enjoy a one-hour “minty” adventure searching for and learning all about mint in The Gardens. Young learners will make mint rubbings and plant mint to take home as well as enjoy mint cookies and mint ice cream. This event is limited to 30 participants and is indoors and outdoors, June 21–August 9, Tuesdays 2-3 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Storybook Thursdays: It’s story time in The Gardens! Children of all ages, accompanied by an adult, are invited to gather in air-conditioned Odom Hall and enjoy a garden-inspired story, snack and hands-on activity. After story time, root a plant to take home to your garden. This program is indoors and outdoors, weather permitting,on Thursdays from June 18–August 11, 10-11 a.m..
Wet and Wild Wednesdays: Come enjoy the excitement of a fun-filled water day on the Great Lawn of the Gardens. Enjoy water slides, squirt toys, a water cannon and more cool-down fun water activities. You are guaranteed to get wet, so please wear your swimsuit. This is a day for the whole family to cool off and enjoy the Gardens from a different perspective. This fun event is free with regular Garden admission and runs each Wednesday from June 22-August 17 from 2-3 p.m.
Yoga in the Gardens: Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, the Gardens will host Yoga with instructor Chelsea Quattrone on the Great Lawn. The 90-minute class is open to the general public for a fee of $15 per person for Non-Members and $10 for Members. Participants can arrive as early as 8:30 a.m. Classes run each Wednesday May 4-September 21 and are subject to weather-related cancellations.
Self-Guided Tours: Take a tour at your leisure, anytime during regular hours of operation year round.
For more information on general admission, tickets or any of these individual events, call (252) 473-3234 or visit www.elizabethangardens.org.