Hawaii Mom Blog: Summer Activities for a One Year Old: Foster Botanical Gardens




July 16, 2020

Summer Activities for a One Year Old: Foster Botanical Gardens

Growing up I remember the hours I’d spend playing in, weeding, and tending to my grandmother’s expansive garden on Kauai. We’re fortunate that E shares my love for the outdoors and simple things. His favorite thing in the morning is to go outside and water our plants. At my parent’s house he can happily entertain himself for hours in their yard with nothing more than a plastic watering can. 

It’s 80 degrees outside, and we’ve been all been cooped up for over two months. So to celebrate the start of summer and nurture E’s growing love for plants and the outdoors we decided to plan a quick visit to the Foster Botanical Gardens. Reopened under the lifting stay-at-home orders and because it offers plenty of open space to safely social distance we thought it was a good pick for one E’s first outings since the quarantine shutdown. 

Located in Liliha right off Vineyard Blvd, it opens from 9am - 4pm daily. Admission $3 for adults (kamaaina and military) and children under 5 are free.

We arrived a little after 9 to a virtually empty parking lot (also free parking!) and gardens. When we left after 10 am there were more cars in the parking lot but not considerably more people (that we saw or encountered)

E didn’t actually interact with the plants much (except for the one plant he shouldn’t, a thorny cactus bush *eye roll*) but did enjoy running all over the grass, chasing birds, playing with dirt and leaves and crawling on some rocks. 

If you’re planning a trip to the gardens here are our recommendations:
  • Bring water. We were there for less than an hour but chasing after a one year old and with the humidity you’ll need it. Plus given the current pandemic I doubt you’ll want to drink from the water fountain.
  • Pack a blanket or towels to sit on. We wish we’d done this so we could sit in the grass while E ran amok chasing birds and climbing rocks. 
  • Wear sunscreen. Another thing we didn’t do but should have. Though there is ample shade thanks to all the large — including many exceptional — trees there are still large swaths of sunny areas. At least we remembered to wear hats.
  • Go early. Not only is it less crowded, it’s also much, much cooler. It was already starting to get a little too hot for E by the time we left at 10am. 
  • Bring a face mask. Though it isn’t required to wear one in the park, masks are required when entering/paying for admission. The only time I felt it was necessary to wear one inside the park was in the greenhouse, since otherwise didn’t come close to anyone.
  • Wear close-toed shoes. Todd happened to step in an ant hill of some kind when we went "off roading" down a dirt path and it really bothered him for the rest of the visit. Fortunately E and I missed that. 
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