Cleveland Botanical Gardens
Visitors start in a glasshouse dedicated to the spiny desert of Madagascar. It’s dry in here. You’ll see alien-looking Baobab trees, spiny succulents and Sam, the free-roaming chameleon. Check out his Lobster Boy hands and googly eye sockets.
Next, the Costa Rican Rainforest house is filled with lush greenery, including a colossal strangler fig and avocado, coffee, papaya and chocolate trees. Keep an eye out for their fruit. Stand still for a bit, and one of the many butterflies floating around might rest on your head or sleeve.
Outside are 10 acres of gardens, including the Japanese, herb, rose, and topiary gardens, among others.
Kids helped design the outdoor Hershey Children’s Garden, perhaps explaining its popularity. There’s a treehouse, hidden paths winding through tall grasses, and a spurting fountain that blows mist. Many of the plants in this area attract native caterpillars, butterflies and birds, so there’s a good chance for close encounters.