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Dow Gardens: Midland Botanical Gardens Guide

Dow Gardens in Midland MI
Photo from Dow Gardens

Dow Gardens in Midland, Michigan

Address: 1809 Eastman Avenue, Midland, MI 48640
Phone: 989-631-2677
Hours: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday- Sunday; closed Monday

Michigan’s parks and gardens are breathtakingly beautiful, and you can find proof of that at Dow Gardens in Midland, MI. If you’re looking for a perfect road trip idea or just want to enjoy a beautiful, relaxed setting, plan to visit Dow Gardens soon.

The sprawling gardens are one of the Michigan’s top botanical gardens, featuring more than 100 acres of stunning floral displays and more. You’ll find hiking trails and the Dow home historical site, the Pines of Dow Gardens.

This Midland County travel destination is family-friendly, too. You’ll also find children’s gardens complete with a treehouse, bubble table and water feature. Addtionally, there’s a fun canopy walk and a large, ADA-accessible playground, too.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about planning a visit Dow Gardens Midland.

Waterfall at Dow Gardens, Midland's Botanical gardens

About Dow Gardens

In Midland Michigan, the Dow Gardens is the signature gift of the Dow Foundation, named for founder’s of Dow Chemical Company, headquartered in Midland.

The gardens were once the homesite for Dow Chemical founder Herbert Dow and family. It was originally established in 1899.

Now, one of mid-Michigan’s top destinations, Dow Gardens welcomes over 300,000 visitors from all around each year. The botanical garden space stretches for 110 acres, and visitors are welcome to to explore its many trails and individual garden spaces.

Dow Gardens in the Spring
Dow Gardens in the Spring

Dow Gardens Through the Seasons

Open year-round, it’s a beautiful space to explore any during any season. In the spring, see the bulbs and other early-bloomers like the flowering Dogwood trees and Glory of Snow. During the summer, take in the gorgeous plant beds with annuals and perennials bursting with color. Autumn, is a perfect spot to take in the fabulous Michigan fall colors, and winter bring a peaceful beauty to the landscape.

If You Go

Be sure to appreciate numerous plants and flower species or take a walk through the Whiting Forest on the nation’s longest canopy walk for a glimpse at life in the trees.

The botanical gardens are open year-round and offer different events and activities throughout the year, so grab a gardens map at the visitor centers station. Explore the gardens any time you like; there’s never a bad time to spend a day in nature here.

PRO-TIP: Midland is located just west of Bay City. It’s just a short car trip from Detroit, Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids.

Canopy Walk at Dow Gardens
Canopy Walk at Dow Gardens

Things to See at Dow Gardens

Whiting Forest

The Whiting Forest at Dow Gardens is massive, spanning across 54 acres with woodlands, ponds, meadows, a stream, and even an apple orchard. Stroll along the longest canopy walk in the U.S. spanning 1,400 feet and see the forest from the branches of its tallest trees up to 40 feet above the ground.

The canopy walk is designed to be accessible for all ages and is open all year round, meaning you can get a glimpse at Michigan’s winter birds on snowy branches, admire autumn colors all around you, or simply enjoy the great weather during spring and summer.

Views from the canopy walk are simply unbeatable, with views of a forest pond from 25 feet above, a large cargo net among spruce trees also situated 25 feet high, and a lovely orchard viewing platform with a glass floor, meaning you can see straight down 40 feet to the ground. Kids will love the ADA-accessible playground, too.

PRO-TIP: Stopping for a break in the cafe is a great way to break up the adventure.

Childrens Playground at Dow Gardens
Children’s Playground Dow Gardens

Children’s Garden

The Children’s Garden at the Dow Gardens is the perfect place to bring your kids for an experience unlike any other. Events in the Children’s Garden allow kids to design, tend to, and harvest their own tiny garden plot. With a skillful blend of award-winning curriculum, physical engagement, and plenty of fun, children will strengthen their bonds with the natural world around them.

Topics kids can learn about at the Children’s Garden range from insects to weeds and even general plant biology. The 4×4 garden plant provided to kids will be tended to after each short lesson with staff and volunteers available for assistance.

Butterflies in Bloom at Dow Gardens
Butterflies in Bloom at Dow Gardens

Butterflies in Bloom

Butterflies in Bloom is a Dow Gardens event where you can see hundreds of butterflies of all different colors and sizes in the conservatory. Get up close with nature’s most beautiful and graceful insect as you learn all about their life cycles, coloration, and behaviors. If you stand still and calm, a butterfly or two may even land on you!

While the butterflies will not be available for 2022, it will return. The conservatory is currently being renovated and expanded for the 2023 season when Butterflies in Bloom will be returning, bigger and better than ever.

Pines of Dow Gardens

Once to the home of Herbert Dow and his family, the Pines is now a National Historic Landmark. Built in 1899, visitors are invited to take a tour of the historic spot and explore the uniquely designed home. Self-guided tours are available on Saturdays.

Visit the tridge in midland michigan

More to See and Do in Midland MI

The Tridge

While in Midland, take some time to explore the city. Another great place to explore nature in Midland is at Chippewassee Park, home of “The Tridge,” a bridge split three ways across the junction of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers. The Tridge in Midland is one of only 12 in the world, four of which are pedestrian-exclusive bridges.

Dahlia Hill

Visit this eight-level, terraced garden in August through October to see more than 3,000 dahlias in bloom. There are more than 250 varieties and 19 different petal-types. The best news? Dahlia Hill is free to visitors!

Cafe Zinc

This European cafe resembling a French bistro is located in the H Hotel, one the nicest of Midland’s hotels. It’s a casual spot, though, and very comfortable. You’ll find delicoous fresh-baked pastries, breads, desserts along with a a full menu.

Emerson Park

This well-equipped park features a softball stadium & fields, an inline skating rink & beach volleyball.

Also Worth Seeing in Midland (Midland Travel Spots):

  • The Dow Museum of Science
  • Chippewa Nature Center
  • Midland Center for the Arts
  • Midlan Marmers Markets

Dow Gardens F. A. Q.

How Much Does it Cost to Get into Dow Gardens?

Dow Gardens admission is only $10 for adults, but visitors may purchase an annual admission card for $20 per person, which grants access to the gardens for one year through the month of purchase.

How Many Acres is Dow Gardens?

Dow Gardens in Midland MI spans across 110 acres that display annuals and perennials surrounded by gorgeous scenery, including distinctive bridges, towering pines, and pleasant water features.

Is Dow Gardens Open in Winter?

Yes. The Dow Gardens are open all year round and each season offers new and unique perspectives as well as seasonal events.

Can You Bring Food into Dow Gardens?

Picnics in Dow Gardens are welcome, but outside food and beverages are not permitted indoors. Concessions are also available at the Whiting Forest Cafe for those looking for a place to purchase a snack.

Are Dogs Allowed in Dow Gardens?

No dogs are allowed in Dow Gardens or Whiting Forest. If you’re looking for pet friendly places to walk, check out nearby City Forest, Barstow Woods, and Stratford Woods.

About the Author-

Bella DiMascio is a Content Editor for mymichiganbeach.com. She grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland. She later attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in English: Writing. Creative writing has been a hobby and interest of Bella’s since she was in elementary school. She is thrilled to be using her talents to highlight the Great Lakes State. Outside of writing, Bella enjoys getting outside with her two Australian Shepherds, playing video games, and binging shows on Netflix.