Get Away to the Garden
Autumn brings cool breezes and scarecrows to the Idaho Botanical Garden located on Old Penitentiary Road. Throughout the garden in October, scarecrows created by local families, schools, artists, community organizations, non-profits and businesses, welcome garden visitors during the 8th annual Scarecrow Stroll presented by Icon Credit Union. Anyone can submit a scarecrow to celebrate the harvest season and everyone can vote for their favorite. The theme for 2015 is “HEROES” – from cartoon super heroes to extraordinary every day heroes like firefighters, teachers, doctors and moms! The 2014 winners were 1st Place: Dr. Mike Veterinarian – by Elaine Banbury, 2nd Place: Scale Craft – by Ustick Y Kids, and 3rd Place: Breaking Bad – by East Boise CRC.
Idaho Botanical Garden’s Fall Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4, from noon – 6 p.m. Celebrate the changing season at the family friendly event with live music and free children’s activities which include face painting, wagon rides, mini-straw maze, and cornhusk people craft. An artfully arranged pumpkin, haystack and corn husk backdrop is a perfect spot for a family photo.
Like Linus in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schultz, you may yearn for an encounter with the Great Pumpkin. But unlike Linus, you can wander through the pumpkin patch in the upper Vegetable Garden and discover a great pumpkin to paint and take home. If you’re wondering, like Linus, if pumpkins can fly the answer is yes, they do. They sail through the air propelled with some help from the Discovery Center of Idaho who test the laws of physics with their pumpkin trebuchet. (A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses counter weights.)
Guests can shop in the market which features a variety of art from local artisans, or purchase decorative pumpkins and gourds grown in the Garden for home decorations and displays.
If you are searching for sparkle this holiday season, you can walk in a winter wonderland at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Now in its 19th year, the annual Winter Garden aGlow, presented by Mountain West Bank, is a holiday tradition that many Treasure Valley residents treasure. A dazzling display of over 300,000 sparkling lights illuminate the garden. Santa and Prancer, one of his reindeer, visit the garden on weekends. Visits with Santa are free with admission. (Prancer will join Santa Friday-Sundays in December unless she is busy running Mrs. Claus’ errands!) Professional photos are available for purchase.
The Holiday Express Train, authentic G-scale replicas of steam and diesel engines, winds its way through December in the English Garden, provided by the Southern Idaho Garden Railway Society.
Local choirs will serenade visitors with tales of the three wise kings, angels and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. If you feel your nose turning red, head to the Garden Store for one-of-a-kind gifts. Warm up with hot cocoa, cider and cookies and visit vendors including Dippin Donuts and Old West Concessions for goodies like hot donuts and kettle corn in the Garden.