A day at Dow Gardens and what to pack for toddlers for short day trips

Last Sunday was such a pleasant day with perfect weather conditions and we decided to spend it at Dow Gardens in Midland,MI. My daughter had just recovered from fever and cold and I dressed her up with more layers of clothes so that she is warm enough not to feel any discomfort or catch some nasty cold again.

My mom and sister are here, visiting us from India and I had a feeling that they must be really tired of staying indoors for a long time due to this extreme cold temperatures. So we thought Dow Gardens will be a nice, short getaway for a breath of fresh air for all of us.

The water falls

With toddlers, it is important to plan the locations well in prior. There are certain other crucial factors to consider while choosing the locations too. Check for the weather conditions,total travel distance, total duration of travel including the number of breaks you have to take in between, toddler/baby attractions at those places, other amenities like feeding rooms, changing rooms for them etc.

Baby Essentials – Waleda Face cream – to protect her skin from dryness, Zaebee’s Naturals- soothing chest rub, her drink, water , Little Remedies Saline Nose Spray- for blocked nose, wipes, soft cotton towel, soft pure cotton bib, in that yellow box – rice with cooked lentils for her lunch, extra diaper and most importantly, her favorite bunny!!

We reached Dow Gardens, at 12.40 pm and it was so cool to see such a large space filled with greens. My daughter was really excited to see all those other little kids happily running around and having fun in the garden. My husband and I had annual passes so we just had to purchase tickets for my mom and sister. The gardens open at 9 am and close at 4.15 pm in this season.

Such a beautiful view!! It’s called the Red Bridge Overlook

We got a slot at 3.40 pm, which was apparently the last slot available to check out the highlight of this season, the Butterfly in Blooms but they told us that we were bit late and it would have been convenient if we had booked our tickets online. Nevertheless, we had plenty of time to see the other major attractions like water falls, herb garden, secret garden, the estates, children play exploration area, color gardens and so on.

You could see the puddles are still frozen but it’s lovely in it’s own way!

The garden is basically divided in to two, The Pines and Whiting Forest each with its own attractions. Its a huge park with so many details to explore patiently and with a bouncy toddler we felt little overwhelming as soon as we saw the map and the number of places to check out. However we decided to stroll as far as possible and blend with the nature that transported us to a totally new world.

To be honest, the trees are yet to bloom and spring is still slowly arriving and we could not find many colors inside except for green. The small creeks and puddles are still frozen but they are breathtaking and beautiful just as they are. I guess the garden will be more colorful and more serene in April and May. We explored The Pines completely and we did not have time to visit Whiting Forest fully.

The place speaks for itself!!

We are hoping to visit the garden again in April and would love to see the Butterfly in Blooms in morning hours. I definitely recommend going to this place for a change of air and you could have a nice, relaxed day with your family. Just be prepared enough when you have a little baby with you. Also, I suggest you to arrive early and book online for the seasonal highlights if you are going there on a weekend.

There are so many ways to welcome spring and I guess, spending some time with nature and letting yourself merge with her is one of the best.


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