Officially say goodbye to Old Man Winter and welcome spring by taking in the sights and sounds at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and Shaw Nature Reserve.
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., 577-5100, mobot.org
The Orchid Show
through March 25
>> More than 800 blooming orchids on display
>> Open during normal business hours
>> Cost—$5, in addition to general admission for ages 3 and up The Samuels and Heckman Bulb Gardens through the fall
>> More than 1,000 different types of bulbous plants cycle through spring, summer and fall
>> The second week of April is the peak of the blooming cycle.
>> Cost —included in general admission
>> The narcissus collection (daffodils) features more than 650 varieties, with peak bloom in late March to early April.
Plants & People: China Interactive Exhibit
March 31-Aug. 19
>> 2012 is the year of China—the 25th and final year of China flora study.
>> Cost—included with general admission
>> Interactive, family-friendly learning environment showcasing Chinese culture
>> Open during normal business hours (closed evenings of Lantern Festival) Lantern Festival May 26-Aug. 19 (Three-day Grand Opening May 26-28)
>> An international exhibit of traditional large-scale works of art representing Chinese legends and culture comprised of silk and steel lanterns
>> Open during normal business hours, extended evening hours Thursdays–Sundays
>> Cost—9 a.m. to 5 p.m., included with general admission; 6 to 10 p.m., $22 includes entertainment and lit displays
>> Artwork by day, entertainment by night
Faust Park, 636-530-0076, mobot.org
March Mopho Mania
>> Home to 60 species of butterflies and 150 varieties of tropical plants
>> Every weekend from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. explore the Blue Morpho’s rainforest home through crafts and games for children ages 3-13
>> Cost—general admission, $6, seniors (65 and older) and children 3-12 years, $4.50.
>> Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., closed on Mondays
>> The Blue Morphos are a fan favorite! The observatory is stocked with 1,000’s more for the month-long event.
Shaw Nature Reserve
Highway 100 and I-44, 636-451-3512, mobot.org
Open year round
>> 2,400 acre nature reserve located in Gray Summit
>> Open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
>> Cost: general admission, $5, children 12 and under, free
>> Fields of extensive flowers to observe, peak bloom in spring >> Designated areas for picnics
>> Miles of hiking and walking trails for all trekking levels. Paths include a wetland area, prairie and river trails.
>> Wildflower sale—May 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Largest selection of native wildflowers in the area. Also, hundreds of varieties of annuals, perennials, ferns, trees and shrubs for sale. Cost: $3, free to members.