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    Have you seen this meme going around about getting wine drunk and hitting up the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens? While I can’t say I was wine drunk (sorry to disappoint), I can confirm that the botanical gardens are incredible, sober or not! The Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Midtown Atlanta are known for their giant topiary sculptures scattered throughout 30 acres of lush gardens where they have themed sculptures. The most recent one from 2021 was the Alice in Wonderland exhibition and a new exhibit begins May 7, 2022.

    In this ultimate guide to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I’m sharing all the details and tips (including hours, ticket prices, and events) you need to know about visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in 2022 and beyond whether you’re only here for one day in Atlanta or visiting Georgia for a longer road trip!

    The Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden's make for a great girls date in Atlanta, or a fun family thing to do with kids in Atlanta, Georgia! Read this guide for everything you need to know including hours, tickets, and popular events like the christmas lights.

    Why you should visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

    Like I said, the garden boasts larger-than-life plants that you have to see to believe! If the new origami sculptures aren’t your thing, fear not…they have permanent exhibits like the 25-ft Earth Goddess sculpture (also called Te Fiti in my mind), the dragon, and even a mermaid!

    Aside from the giant plant sculptures, check out the beautiful orchid garden in the Fuqua Orchid Center, glass blown creations by Dale Chihuly, amphibian exhibits, sculptures (not plant ones), and numerous water features. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens have many programs for kids like garden play times and a specialty children’s garden with splash pads and a finger painting wall.

    Plus, enjoy a bite to eat at Longleaf, which is the premier restaurant at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with beautiful patios (including one on the rooftop) and a dining room. Inside the Longleaf is a quick café for pre-made food selections and near the Japanese garden is the Snack Bar, another eatery with pre-made selections.

    There is alcohol served at the restaurants but you cannot bring your own in. Try the exclusive Garden Beer by Wild Heaven Beer, a craft brewery in Atlanta. With their over the top themed exhibits and a little bubbly, it sounds like a fun girls date is in order!

    Atlanta Georgia Botanical Gardens, Green Goddess, Te Fiti, waterfall in Atlanta
    Green Goddess stripped of her green as they prepare for the winter lights celebration.
    ATL Georgia things to do, botanical garden sculpture, dragon plant, georgia things to do
    Dragon plant sculpture

    Admission and hours

    Tickets for the botanical gardens cost $22 for adults, $19 for children ages 3 to 12, and it’s free for children under 3. The gardens are open from 9 am to 9 pm every day, except Monday, which are open only to garden members.

    Fuqua Orchid Center ATL Gardens Midtown

    How to get there and botanic garden parking tips

    The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located right next to Piedmont Park, which is another great Georgia bucket list item you should add to your list. If you’re visiting one, try to stop by the other! Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens share a parking lot at 1345 Piedmont Avenue. If you’re visiting the garden park on the upper levels (4, 5, and 6), and for Piedmont Park head to the lower levels (1, 2, and 3). Parking costs $15 maximum for the day. Specifically, its free for the first 30 minutes, $2 for an hour, and $1 for each additional hour.

    Alternatively, you can take Atlanta’s public transportation, MARTA, for $2.50 one way. Take bus #27 to Piedmont Avenue or the red or gold lines to the Arts Center station. The walk from there is 25 minutes.

    If you have a car, I personally would drive. I have never paid more than $7 (for 6 hours!) and considering two of us fit in the car, it’s actually more cost effective than public transportation.

    Topiary sculpture, fall gardens, Georgia

    Special events to look out for

    Alice in Wonderland at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

    While they did have an incredible Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, as of February 2022, the Alice in Wonderland gardens are no more (boo!). They’ve removed all talk of Alice from their website, because a new theme is taking the stage.

     

    Origami in the Garden: new in May 2022

    This is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ new themed set of sculptures! Origami in the Garden features 18 sculpture installations with over 70 pieces that were made from one large piece of paper each and sealed in wax via a 35 step process over the course of 12 weeks!

    Don’t miss this brand new exhibit while it runs from May 7 to October 16, 2022.

     

    Cocktails at the Garden

    Cocktails at the Garden is an evening affair where you can enjoy specialty cocktails and craft beer while enjoying the topiary sculptures all lit up. Occasionally, an orchestra will be present to set the mood with a live concert! So fun and perfect for an Atlanta date night!

     

    Culinary Experiences at the Gardens

    Try out a culinary experience event in the gardens with seasoned chefs and special guests. Plants, trees, flowers, AND food! Sign me up! This is such a unique way to experience food because being so close to the plant life is sure to remind you of farming and how the ingredients were harvested to get to you.

     

    Eco-activities

    Learn about specialized conservation efforts and gardening skills you can use at home like composting, raising bee hives, selecting bulbs for your at home garden, and even winter container gardening. The experts at the Gardens know how to teach kids and adults about living a more eco-friendly life and how to protect the environment even from home.

     

    Annual fall scarecrows

    In the fall, enjoy themed scarecrows that have been created and handcrafted by local businesses, individuals, and schools. They’re on display around the gardens so see if you can find them all!

     

    Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

    In the winter, be mesmerized at the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights celebration. November through January, when you visit the garden you’ll see amazing lights decorating the topiary sculptures, the Kendeda Canopy Walk, and throughout the garden to illuminate your path! I haven’t been to this event yet, but it looks like so much fun at night.! They even turn the beautiful Earth Goddess into an Ice Goddess!

     

    Check out the full event calendar for more choices and details.

    Cheshire Cat Alice in Wonderland garden
    Cheshire Cat sculpture
    Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Alice in Wonderland, Queen of Hearts plants, Winter christmas lights,
    Queen of Hearts display.

    Tips for Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

    When you arrive, you’ll enter a lobby building with bathrooms. As you enter, be sure to pick up a map so you don’t miss any topiary sculptures! For the themed exhibition (like the past Alice in Wonderland one), they have the sculptures specially marked so you can find the special displays!

    The Atlanta Botanical Gardens can get very crowded, especially on the weekends. If you want to visit when there are less crowds, check the event calendar and avoid events. Alternatively, get there right at opening or near closing.

    Don’t forget to head to the north side of the gardens to stroll the Kendeda Canopy Walk and visit the Green Goddess. Then continue your day singing Moana.

    Be respectful of people taking pictures. The themed exhibitions get very popular and you can’t help but take a bunch of pictures, but be kind and take turns.

    Canopy Walk Atlanta Georgia, things to do
    Kendeda Canopy Walk
    Atlanta Botanical Gardens phoenix topiary sculpture
    Phoenix topiary sculpture

    Final thoughts:

    I think the Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ topiary sculptures are incredible and should definitely be on your radar.

    However, a couple notes. If you prefer extensive gardens (rather than the plant sculptures), you might be a little disappointed. I grew up with the incredible gardens of Los Angeles, like the Huntington Botanical Gardens, and I think it genuinely spoiled me. I love Japanese gardens and the one here was small and underwhelming.

    Also, if you’re on a tight budget and don’t care too much, skip the Botanical Gardens (and it’s hefty admission price) and visit Piedmont Park around the corner for free instead.

    Other free things to do in Atlanta can be found in my one day Atlanta itinerary. Just wanted to give some other options and my true opinion of the gardens! Overall, I think it’s a must-do that doesn’t need to be repeated once you see the sculptures. There’s just too much to see and not enough time or money.

    Have you visited? Does this look like your cup of tea?

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    Read this Georgia travel guide to everything you need to know about the Atlanta Botanical Gardens including hours, admission prices, what to see, Alice in Wonderland exhibit tips, and more!
    The Alice in Wonderland exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden's make for a great girls date in Atlanta, or a fun family thing to do with kids in Atlanta, Georgia! Read this guide for everything you need to know including hours, tickets, and popular events like the christmas lights.
    Mistakes to Avoid when visiting the botanical gardens in Atlanta, Georgia and tips for avoiding the crowds, saving money on parking, and how to get there.
    Alice in Wonderland in Atlanta exhibition tips, plus hours, how much tickets cost, and more things to know before visiting the Gardens in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia.


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    Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

    Comments:

    • Ahh, I love Alice in Wonderland! What an enchanting garden; thank you for putting it on my radar!

      reply...
    • Vanessa Shields

      I had no idea Atlanta had a Botanic Garden let alone one with such awesome themes! I used to go to Atlanta 4-5 times a year for work for years and now I’m bummed I never got to visit here. I would love to go back to see this one day. Thanks for sharing such fun photos and info on it!

      reply...
    • This looks like an incredible botanic garden to visit! It’s so cool!

      reply...
    • Wow, I haven’t heard of this exhibition before but it’s definitely my cup of tea 🙂 I can’t wait to check this out once I visit Atlanta. I love going to the Botanical Garden.

      reply...
    • I love Alice in Wonderland, so I’d love to see the sculptures! But like you said, it’s kind of a hefty price for sculptures with not many other things… It’s definitely a choice I’d have to think hard about. For now, I’m content seeing your pictures 😀

      reply...

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