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8 Awesome Reasons to Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park this Spring

8 Awesome Reasons to Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park by Adria Black

Vander Veer Botanical Park is a place you simply must visit when in the Quad Cities area.  Currently, Vander Veer is hosting the annual Spring show, Spring in the Conservatory, until June.  We’ve checked out the Spring show for the last three years, and it is always a delight to visit.  Atizle loves to see the different flowers and play throughout the Botanical Park.

8 Awesome Reasons to Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park this Spring

There a ton of fantastic reasons to visit Vander Veer Botanical Park.  First, it’s a beautiful area and very well-maintained.  Also, Vander Veer Botanical Park is amazing for both children and adults.  You can take in the beauty of nature, get in some fitness activities, feed the ducks, have your kids play at the park, check out the various gardens, or relax by one of the fountains on the grounds.  There is a ton to do at Vander Veer Botanical Park!

The Vander Veer Conservatory is an amazing reason to visit Vander Veer Botanical Park. The Conservatory is absolutely gorgeous and a great place to take in nature! - Photograph by Adria Black
The Vander Veer Conservatory is an amazing reason to visit Vander Veer Botanical Park. The Conservatory is absolutely gorgeous and a great place to take in nature! – Photograph by Adria Black

#1.  Admission to visit Vander Veer Botanical Park is Free!

The only area that charges admission in the Vander Veer Botanical Park is the Conservatory.  However, the cost for adults (17 and older) is only $1.00 and children are free.  The Conservatory is simply beautiful with a mix of local Midwestern plants in the current season, as well as tropical plants.  The Conservatory is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, and admission is completely free on Tuesdays.  Also, the Vander Veer Botanical Park is open daily from sunrise to a half hour after sunset.  Consequently, this makes the Vander Veer Botanical Park one of the cheapest attractions in the Quad Cities area for both children and adults to visit!

This Powder Puff plant reminded me of a Truffula Tree from Dr. Seuss. Such a cool plant to find at the Vander Veer Conservatory - Photograph by Adria Black
This Powder Puff plant reminded me of a Truffula Tree from Dr. Seuss. Such a cool plant to find at the Vander Veer Conservatory – Photograph by Adria Black

#2.  Don’t Miss the Midwest Spring Blooms and Tropical Plants in the Vander Veer Conservatory

The Vander Veer Botanical Park’s Conservatory is currently hosting the annual Spring show, Spring in the Conservatory.  These displays are a part of Vander Veer’s history for over 100 years.  These annual floral shows continue the tradition of exhibitions from the 1860s, when Vander Veer Botanical Park first started featuring tropical flowers and rare plants in the Grand Exhibition Hall.  Currently blooming in the Conservatory for March are Azaleas, Powder Puff Plants, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Genistas, Camellias, Cymbidium Orchids, and Primrose.  The annual Spring show will continue through June when the Summer Tropical Plants begin to bloom.  These gorgeous flowers make a visit to the Vander Veer Botanical Park entirely worth it!

The Vander Veer Conservatory offers a small playhouse for the kids to play in, as well as several cool topiaries (a monkey that hangs from the ceiling and a giraffe near the playhouse) that both children and adults will love! - Photograph by Adria Black
The Vander Veer Conservatory offers a small playhouse for the kids to play in, as well as several cool topiaries (a monkey that hangs from the ceiling and a giraffe near the playhouse) that both children and adults will love! – Photograph by Adria Black

#3.  Vander Veer Botanical Park is a Place for Both Kids and Adults

The Vander Veer Conservatory has several features that will draw the attention of your children.  For example, there are several really interesting topiaries that Atizle loves to check out every time we visit.  Plus, there is a small playhouse inside the tropical garden area for children to enjoy while the adults are checking out the beautiful flowers.  Also, the Vander Veer Conservatory has a small koi pond that both children and adults will love!

Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park and walk the meditation pathway to recenter yourself after a long day! - Photograph by Adria Black
Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park and walk the meditation pathway to recenter yourself after a long day! – Photograph by Adria Black

Another feature that children will love is the playground near the Vander Veer Lagoon.  Close by (and within shouting and visual range) is a meditation pathway where adults can take some me-time while the kids play.  These bright, colorful stones are the perfect place to recenter yourself as you walk the circle after a long day!

The Lagoon at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017) - Photograph by Adria Black
The Lagoon at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017) – Photograph by Adria Black

#4. Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park’s Lagoon and Feed the Ducks

Another awesome feature about Vander Veer Botanical Park is the Lagoon.  The Lagoon is nearby the children’s playground. It is the home to the a variety of water fowl.  There are vending machines that you can buy corn to feed the ducks.  And the ducks are very, very friendly.  Especially during this time of the year when the park is not getting the number of the visitors that it typically brings in during the summer months.

When we visited the Vander Veer Botanical Park the ducks were actually chasing my car!  I actually got a little nervous that they would climb into the car with me if I didn’t hurry up and give them a treat!

These ducks at Vander Veer Botanical Park were super friendly! I actually thought they might climb into my car with me just to get a treat! Photograph by Adria Black
These ducks at Vander Veer Botanical Park were super friendly! I actually thought they might climb into my car with me just to get a treat! Photograph by Adria Black

The Lagoon is also stocked by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for catch-and-release fishing.  Consequently, the Lagoon is another awesome feature that both children and adults will enjoy while visiting the Vander Veer Botanical Park!

#5.  Vander Veer Botanical Park is Perfect for Fitness Enthusiasts

Another reason to visit Vander Veer Botanical Park is the trails and pathways to walk or jog.  The outer perimeter of the Vander Veer Botanical Park has a 0.9 mile lap for those seeking a beautiful place to walk, jog, or even walk the dog.  It’s a great place to take in the beauty of nature while getting in some fitness activity.

#6. Vander Veer is the Quad Cities Area’s Version of Central Park

Originally, in 1885, when the City of Davenport purchased the land to be used as a park it was named Central Park.  Thus, the design of Vander Veer Botanical Park was modeled after Central Park in New York City.  Also, the park featured one of the first conservatories west of the Mississippi with the building of a Lord and Burnham palm house in 1897.

The Grand Allee at Vander Veer Botanical Park offers a great place to walk from the Rose Garden to the Old World Gardens and Stone Fountain - Photograph by Adria Black
The Grand Allee at Vander Veer Botanical Park offers a great place to walk from the Rose Garden to the Old World Gardens and Stone Fountain – Photograph by Adria Black

The park was later renamed in 1912 in honor of A. W. Vander Veer, who was the first secretary of the Davenport Park Board of Commissioners.  Additional features and expansions have kept the Vander Veer Botanical Park current and interesting for visitors.  In 1910, the Vander Veer Botanical Park added heated greenhouses to house flowers and plants throughout the year.  The Grand Allee was also built, creating a pathway to the Main Street entrance fountain from the Conservatory and Garden areas.  The current Conservatory at Vander Veer Botanical Park was built in 1954.

The Rose Garden at Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa is one of many gardens to visit at Vander Veer Botanical Park. Photograph by Adria Black
The Rose Garden at Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa is one of many gardens to visit at Vander Veer Botanical Park. Photograph by Adria Black

#7. Numerous Gorgeous Gardens to Experience

The park itself has numerous garden areas like the Rose Garden (established in 1948), the Hosta Glade (established in 1998), and the Children’s Sculpture Garden (established in 1999).  The Rose Garden features a fountain area, a cool walkway, and over 60 varieties of roses.  The Hosta Glade hosts a collection of over 600 varieties.  The Hosta Glade has been designated as one of the first National display Gardens of the American Hosta Society.  The Children’s Sculpture Garden is home to Amber, Adam, and Cole: Grammy’s Flower Children by Ted McElhiney, a set of bronze sculptures along with some of Vander Veer’s dwarf conifers.  There is also a giant Praying Mantis sculpture that was donated by Dick Southwick, which Atizle loved (even though she hates anything that might be a bug..).

This set of bronze sculptures in the Children's Sculpture Garden at Vander Veer Botanical Park is by called Amber, Adam, and Cole: Grammy's Flower Children by Ted McElhiney - Photograph by Adria Black
This set of bronze sculptures in the Children’s Sculpture Garden at Vander Veer Botanical Park is by called Amber, Adam, and Cole: Grammy’s Flower Children by Ted McElhiney – Photograph by Adria Black

#8. Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park and You Will Always Find Something Fresh and New

Finally, there is always something new at Vander Veer Botanical Park.  This 33.8 acre park has so many features that it is incredibly difficult to take it all in on one visit!  From the Grand Allee to the Lagoon and various Gardens, Vander Veer Botanical Park will take several visits to fully appreciate this beautiful spot in the Davenport, Iowa.  Plus with the Conservatory’s rotating seasonal flower shows, there is always something new blooming at the Vander Veer Botanical Park!

Additional Photographs from Vander Veer Botanical Park

Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park and don't miss the gorgeous Conservatory. Photograph by Adria Black
Visit Vander Veer Botanical Park and don’t miss the gorgeous Conservatory. Photograph by Adria Black
The Vander Veer Conservatory hosts tropical plants, as well as current Spring blooms from around the Midwestern region. Photograph by Adria Black
The Vander Veer Conservatory hosts tropical plants, as well as current Spring blooms from around the Midwestern region. Photograph by Adria Black
Also, the Vander Veer Conservatory has a really cool windmill and koi pond inside. Photograph by Adria Black
Also, the Vander Veer Conservatory has a really cool windmill and koi pond inside. Photograph by Adria Black
An arch made from climbing plants and greenery at the Vander Veer Botanical Garden in Davenport, Iowa.  Photograph by Adria Black
An arch made from climbing plants and greenery at the Vander Veer Botanical Garden in Davenport, Iowa. Photograph by Adria Black
A close look at a palm frond found at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa. Photograph by Adria Black
A close look at a palm frond found at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa. Photograph by Adria Black
The Tropical Garden area of the Spring Show at Vander Veer Botanical Park's Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017).  Photograph by Adria Black
The Tropical Garden area of the Spring Show at Vander Veer Botanical Park’s Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017). Photograph by Adria Black

The heart in the center of this tree grabbed my attention! And I thought it was the perfect touch for this view of the Lagoon at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa.  Photograph by Adria Black
The heart in the center of this tree grabbed my attention! And I thought it was the perfect touch for this view of the Lagoon at the Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa. Photograph by Adria Black
The Koi Pond at Vander Veer Botanical Park's Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017) has wonderful greenery and plants surrounding it that are a mix of ferns and tropical plants.  Photograph by Adria Black
The Koi Pond at Vander Veer Botanical Park’s Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017) has wonderful greenery and plants surrounding it that are a mix of ferns and tropical plants. Photograph by Adria Black
The Tropical Garden area of the Spring Show at Vander Veer Botanical Park's Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017).  Photograph by Adria Black.
The Tropical Garden area of the Spring Show at Vander Veer Botanical Park’s Conservatory in Davenport, Iowa (Spring, 2017). Photograph by Adria Black.

I’d love to hear what your favorite spots to visit in Vander Veer Botanical Park are.  Let me know in the comments below!  All of these prints are available on Society 6, simply click on the photo of the piece you like and it will take you directly to the shop!

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