Frugal Florida: Free admission for Moms at botanical gardens on Mother’s Day



Hibiscus Garden (credit: Marie Selby Gardens)

Hibiscus Garden (credit: Marie Selby Gardens)

Take Mom to a botanical garden for free while on a Florida vacation

If budget is an issue, rather than buying expensive flowers, take Mom to a living bouquet and visit a botanical garden. Many offer free admission for Moms on Mother’s Day so call ahead and check.  Mom will treasure the time with you and the beauty of unique collections of flowers, trees and architecture in tranquil garden settings.The following gardens are some of our favorites:

Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota

If you can’t afford the mother’s day brunch, you can still take Mom on a stroll through the gardens. Although only 14 acres, you can view more than 20,000 greenhouse plants in the 8 greenhouses, stroll through the outdoor gardens or sit quietly on a bench in front of Sarasota Bay. Make sure you stop by the Tropical Conservatory, one of the unique spots within these gardens. The gardens are also renowned for the Bromeliad, Gesneriad, and Orchid Research Center headquarters, respected for their research and educational work.

Admission for mothers: Free


Ann Emmit Water Lily (credit: McKee Gardens)

Ann Emmit Water Lily (credit: McKee Gardens)

McKee Botanical Gardens, Vero Beach

Spread out over 18 acres, the subtropical jungle hammock of  McKee Botanical Gardens is known for its ponds and water lilies. Stroll through the royal palm grove, cross the restored stone bridge or  sit under the bamboo pavilion. Originally an 80-acre area along the Indian River, the 1929 creation known as McKee Jungle Gardens, was closed in the 70s and sold off for development, but the remainder  was preserved and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Admission for mothers: Mom gets in free with one other paid admission

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville

Close to the 250 acre Lake Kanapaha, from a rose garden to palm hammock, these gardens have a diverse collection that’s spread over 62 acres. If Mom likes water, walk over the arched bridge and spend time in the Asian Garden or stroll past the waterfalls, streams and ponds in the Water Gardens. If the day is more about contemplation, spend time among Florida largest public bamboo collection or take a meditative walk together through the labyrinth.

Admission for mothers: Free

Win a Free trip for Mom!

Cross your fingers and enter our sweepstakes - the prize is three days of family fun including a snorkelling cruise in a glass-bottom boat, admission to the Museum of Art, a room overlooking the ocean at The Atlantic Resort & Spa and much more!

Tell us…

How do you treat Mom on mother’s day?