Marvel at the beauty and variety of nature at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 300-acre destination open year-round so you can experience firsthand the lush splendor of all four seasons.
Whether you crave a quiet, reflective stroll through one of the Arboretum’s themed gardens, a brisk walk or hike on one of several gently winding walking trails, or a leisurely exploration of the growing permanent sculpture collection, the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens offers a variety of ways to experience nature.
Many of the more than 800 species of plants thrive in one of several themed gardens. One of the most popular is the Monet Garden, meticulously maintained as part of a cooperative effort between the Arboretum and Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners. The garden is modeled after Monet’s famous garden in Giverny, France, and includes a gracefully arched bridge that’s painted in the signature Monet green.
Traveling with little ones? Make time for a stop at the Children’s Discovery Garden, where kids can explore and learn by climbing to the top of Sky Watch, wander through the Shrinking Tunnel, adventure through the switchgrass maze and discover the inhabitants of Frog Pond.
Nearly five miles of paved and wood chip hiking trails are another way to experience the lush surroundings of the Arboretum. The tree-, plant- and flower-lined trails also include two 75-foot bridges that span Wolf Creek, a major tributary of the Blue River that bisects the Arboretum. The trails offer a challenging hike along limestone bluffs. For those who prefer a more easygoing exploration, a half-mile asphalt trail is also available.
Other Arboretum highlights include a permanent art collection that includes work from artists throughout the U.S., as well as a temporary location that houses sculptures obtained as a result of an exchange between the U.S. and China. The Arboretum regularly hosts art-related events, including exhibits, sketch crawls and nature photography. The Arboretum is also home to several ecosystems, a great opportunity to learn more about trees and plants, including rare species. Ecosystems change seasonally, so be sure to check out a map online or at the Visitor Center.
The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are open year-round, but hours vary depending on the time of year. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under 5. Admission is free for everyone on Tuesdays.