Oklahoma City Myriad Botanical Gardens
The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 17-acre (69,000 m2) botanical garden and interactive urban park located in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on the southwest corner of Reno and Robinson. The Gardens is home to multiple tiers of densely landscaped areas that surround a sunken lake. Its primary feature is the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory – a 224-foot (68 m) living plant museum featuring towering palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, and exotic animals.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens provides multiple education opportunities for youth and adults throughout each calendar year. Special rates may apply for group education opportunities.
The Rainforest Ecology Activity Program (REAP) is geared towards second and fourth graders. It concentrates on specific themes in biology, ecology while employing a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to understanding.
Roaming the Rainforest summer education program provides a basic level of understanding of ecology, with specific focus on Rainforest education and conservation. It is held each Tuesday and Wednesday in June and July. Daycare, church and homeschool groups welcome.
Junior Master Gardener is an intensive one-week summer day program for children 7 to 12 years old. Instruction focuses on biology, horticulture and conservation. Multiple hands-on activities included.
The annual Oklahoma Gardening School is one of the Gardens’ signature events. Held typically the first Saturday in March, the Oklahoma Gardening School is an all-day seminar featuring acclaimed garden experts from Oklahoma and the South / Southwest regions of the US. Topics change annually and may range from best trees and shrubs for Oklahoma gardens, to sustainable vegetable gardening, gardening for floral arrangements, and more. Check website for speaker list.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens is home to several pieces of art. Gateway by Hans Van de Bovenkamp stands on a raised berm at the northeast corner of the Gardens. Childhood is Everlasting (1992) by Robin Orbach is installed in the southwest quadrant of the grounds. Philodendron Dome is located on the northwest side of the lake and consists of a dome-shaped framework on an 8′ x 9′ base made of iron and bronze. Iron vines support the “dome” of this bronze plant’s leaves, where visitors can enter for a view from underneath.
Flying Fish by Kenny McCage is a kinetic sculpture in the Gardens’ east lake. Land of the Brave and the Free is a kinetic wind sculpture composed of bright colors and archetypal shapes. It located on the west side of the Gardens. It was donated in 2002 to the Festival of the Arts by California artist Susan Pascal Beran. The Spirit Poles are adjacent to the north fountain plaza, and were gifts to the City of Oklahoma City from the City of Tulsa in commemoration of Oklahoma’s centennial of statehood in 2007.
Oklahoma Gardening School: All-day gardening seminar featuring various speakers educating the public on a variety of Oklahoma-related gardening topics. Suitable for gardeners of all abilities. Registration and fee required.
Crystal Bridge Bug Out: The community is invited to join staff at the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory as they release tens of thousands of ladybugs into the Crystal Bridge. The popular family event teaches children about the environment. Part of the Integrated Pest Management Program. Admission fee required.
Orchids in October: The Myriad Gardens Foundation hosts this three-day event celebrating orchids. An orchid sale and luncheon honoring the Foundation’s Crystal Award recipient are part of the festivities. Orchids in the Crystal Bridge are at their peak during this time. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Myriad Gardens Foundation.
Creepy Conservatory: The Gardens hosts an annual family fright fest complete with creepy, crawling creatures and a Trick or Treat trail. Costumes are welcome. Regular admission rates apply.
Downtown in December: The Gardens light up beginning in late November to take part in Downtown OKC, Inc’s “Downtown in December” event. Thousands of twinkling lights await visitors throughout the 17-acre (69,000 m2) outdoor gardens, and inside the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Look for free admission rates on Sundays from 6-9 p.m. through December. Due to the ice storm of 2007, the Gardens lost almost 80% of its holiday light inventory. The lights were replaced with energy-saving LED lights thanks to a donation from OG&E.