Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Gardens

Make a day of it…the Desert Botanical Gardens are so close to the Phoenix Zoo.  Head to the Zoo early in the morning, enjoy the sights and sounds of the animals and then cruise on over to the incredible flora at the Botanical Gardens.  What is it about Arizona plant life?  Being in the desert the plant life is much different from anywhere else in the nation.  Our long hot summers would kill most other plant life.  Arizona plant life is displayed beautifully at the Botanical Gardens as you will see when you visit there.  You will find volunteers all around who are caring for the plants and will gladly chat with you about the different varieties of cactus and succulents which thrive in the desert climate.

Spring time is the best time to visit.  You can see the new blooms in an array of breathtaking colors on the cactus, trees and shrubs which are indigent to the Arizona desert climates.  On Sundays from Noon – 2pm on the Ullman Terrace you can enjoy live music.

You can also check out the Botanical Gardens on line at and see all the events that are available.  You can have a guided tour, plan an event or celebration, view the beautiful exhibits, or check out the current list of events.

Current events at the Desert Botanical Gardens:

Through September 24, 2011 you can enjoy nightly flashlight tours of the wonderful gardens.  See the flora and fauna react to the evening darkness.  Every Thursday and Saturday through September 24 at 7pm

September 9, 2011 – 6-8:30 pm –  BIG BUG sculptures tower above the trails of the Botanical Gardens.  This event is for garden fund and patron circle members only.  Enjoy the infestation of David Roger’s Big Bug sculptures.  There are refreshments and music.  Bring along your flashlight … you don’t want to run into one of these life size creatures unprepared.  Reservations required.  You can also purchase a picnic dinner on site while the little ones enjoy creating their own bug drawings or bug tattoos.  What a fun night

September 10, 2011– General Members Opening Night:  David Rogers’ Big Bug Member Preview

September 12, 2011 – January 1, 2012 – Grand Opening viewing of David Rogers’ Big Bugs all created from natural materials.  Come see for yourself…these are grand size creatures.

The FALL CONCERT series in incredible and you should plan in advance.

The 2011 Fall concert series is every Friday from 7pm-9pm and the doors open at 5:30pm.

October 7– Sonoran Jazz Project (jJazz – Motown

October 14— Domingo Degrazia (Flamenco – Spanish Guitar)

October 21 –Silver Thread Trio featuring the Rosano Brothers (Americana – Gypsy Jazz)

October 28 –Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta (Latin – Mambo)

November 4 —  Crossing 32nd Street Music Ensemble dives into a tribute to the Beatles

November 11— Fuerza Caribe (Salsa)

November 18 –Traveler (Violin)

Fall Festivals at the Gardens include:

October 14-16 – The Fall Plant Sale Festival

This is the time to purchase from the largest arid-adapted plants that are for sale in one location

October 20-23 – The Great Pumpkin Festival

This is the place to find that Perfect Pumpkin for Halloween – bring the kids and let them pick out that perfect Great Pumpkin

October 29-30 – Dia De Los Muertos Celebration

This is a Latin American, Mexican and American Southwest celebration for departed loved ones.  The celebration includes entertainment, story telling, dance and song.   In the Mercado you will find wonderful items for sale such as artwork, delicious pastries and wonderful food.

November 11-13 – Enjoy Chiles and Chocolate (Friday- Sunday 10am-5pm)

The Gardens will be full of spicy and chocolate delights.  Indulge yourself with wonderful treats of the southwest while enjoying your tour of the gardens.

Entertainment is provided by DJ Miguel Ivery.  Enjoy his hot Latin tempo and hot dance routines

The Menu for this wonderful event is:

Station 1: Dorrance Hall

Traditional Chili, Green Chili with Pork, Chicken Mole, Vegetarian Chili, Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownies, Sodas, Bottled water and lemonade.

Station 2: Boppart Courtyard

Fresh roasted chilies, chicken street tacos, both served with chips, red and green salsa

Station 3:  Butterfly Kiosk

Fill up with bean, rice and cheese burritos, green chili pork burritos, tortilla chips and salsa

Enjoy the wonderful music and dance, the incredible food, the amazing gardens and of course the wonderful Arizona desert weather.

Fall 2011 Avant-Garden – Thursday evenings 6pm-8:30pm

Local Arizona talent, food and music will be presented.  This season honors “David Rogers’ Big Bug” exhibit.  This is where you can learn about a different bug each week at the Discovery Station.

October 6 – Hail the Ale “Jon Schmidt” will present his knowledge of beer education.  This is an Oktoberfest inspired gathering with music from the “Bac Cactus Brass Band.

October 13 – In Bloom

Local fashion designers will present their new stylings to the tunes from local band “Covela”

October 27 – A Spirited Evening

Local Jester’z Improv Comedy will perform with local band Banana Gun

November 3 – Stop, Cook and Listen

Did anyone say HERBS, fresh from the garden.  Enjoy the cooking while relaxing under the stars and listening to bluegrass music

November 10 – Toast the Taste

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  Wei of Chocolate and Fair Trade chocolatiers will present a chocolate array, organic wine tasting, and FourWayFree will perform acoustic pop-rock.

November 17 – Have You Heard

Poetry in the garden…HB and HomeBase Poetry return for an encore performance.

Location: 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ  85008 (in the Papago Park next to the Phoenix Zoo)

480-941-1225 (Monday through Friday)  Recorded Information:  480-941-1217

Hours:  Monday through Sunday year round – 8am to 8pm (7am for members on Wednesday and Sunday)

Admission:  Adults $15, Seniors $13.50, Students (13 to 18 yrs) $7.50, Kids (3 to 12 yrs) $5.00, Kids under 3 yrs are free