Desert Botanical Garden Provides Stunning Beauty near Scottsdale


A visit to the desert needs to include a trip to the Desert Botanical Garden as this breathtaking attraction provides an incredible selection of plant displays, trails and exhibits amongst its 55 acres that are under cultivation. Taking a walk in the midst of gorgeous cacti, trees and desert plants on unpaved and brick trails such as the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower and Desert Discover Loop Trails is an experience to remember.

One of the Garden’s most popular annual events is Las Noches de Las Luminarias. During these beautiful evenings, the trails are lined with thousands of luminaries while talented artists perform music. Many visitors enjoy dinner at Gertrude’s, Dorrance Hall or the Patio Café and drink cocoa, wine or cider while traversing the trails during this intimate time. Note that those planning to eat at Gertrude’s or Dorrance Hall are encouraged to make advance reservations.

Some of the musicians who will perform throughout Las Noches de Las Luminarias include Mariachi Pasion, The Sugar Thieves, Will Clipman, Traveler and Duncan Family. The following musicians will perform on select evenings: Arizona Folk Ensemble, Pick and Holler, Adam Roberts Jazz Ensemble, Sahnas Brothers, Dickens Carolers and Domingo DeGrazia.

This event will take place over 16 magical nights, from Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13, Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 26-30. It is open from 5:30 to 9:30 each of those evenings. Tickets cost $30 for adults while children ages 3-12 may enter for $12.50. Younger children receive free admittance. Advance reservations are encouraged.

In addition, the Mariposa Monarca Monarch Butterfly Exhibit will be held here through Nov. 23 and then from Nov. 28-30 before closing. It provides visitors with an opportunity to enjoy being surrounded by these beautiful insects. Note that there is an extra charge of $3.50 to enjoy this exhibit on top of the general Garden admission.

The Garden is also hosting the Fish out of Water exhibit, which will be open through Jan. 4. The importance of water to the area is celebrated here with gyotaku impressions of the different types of fish that call Arizona home. There is no extra charge to visit this collection of art.

The Garden is open 362 days a year; the only exceptions are Independence Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It does not close due to poor weather conditions unless they are extreme. Regular tickets for the Garden cost $22 for adults, $20 for seniors ages 60 and over, $12 for students ages 13-18 and $10 for children ages 3-12.

This attraction opens at 8 a.m. during the winter months and 7 a.m. from May to September. Its closing time remains steady at 8 p.m. throughout the year with few exceptions. However, many of those exceptions are related to Las Noches de Las Luminarias as the park closes at 3 p.m. on those days before the Garden’s focus turns to that event that evening.

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