In my humble opinion, the Botanical Gardens are a hidden jewel that I visit when I really do not want to travel far. Its nestled near downtown and close to the University of North Carolina, Asheville Campus on W.T. Weaver Blvd. This is a great place to take young children for a days adventure.
The gardens are FREE, which also makes it very appealing to me, lol! To paraphrase Carl Sagan, “There are Billioms and Billioms of flowers to be seen” and this is the place to see Southern Appalachian wildflowers, mostly all native, with a few exotics thrown in that you would see normally along the roadsides.
As you approach the visitors center and gift shop, you can go either right or left to explore the Gardens. To the left takes you to what I call the Gardeners Center (not the official name) and during the right time of year, if you look in the pond you will see a lotus blossom and a ton of dragon flies all over the place.
If you choose to start by going right, and have children with you, try the bird watch and feeder. I have taken a ton of pictures from here of Cardinals, Blue Jays and others. Children, if they love birds, will love it. So will adults.
Following the trail to the right, and by the way, there are maps available and online at their website, you will cross Demmons Bridge over the beginning of Reeds Creek. At the end of the bridge, if you are quiet and sneak up on it, your children might catch the resident groundhog (gopher, woodchuck) living in the root system on the bank. He/she comes out to feed on the grasses and flowers during the summer.
Following Reeds Creek, you will have ample opportunity to see more flowers and rock formations. There are also paths leading down to the creek with many, many small pools for the children to “catch” salamanders or tadpoles. The flow of the creek is small and shallow but caution is always wise.
Incidently, please feel free to add a comment or ask a question on here about any activities you would like for me to mention. If you are coming to Asheville for a vacation, let me know, I will tailor something on here specifically for you.