Quad City Botanical Center

Helping take Flat Stanley around the area
for a cousin's school project.

Visiting the Quad Cities (Moline and Rock Island, IL and Davenport and Bettendorf, IA) in March can feel limited. The zoo is closed, the snow has melted and it's still pretty chilly outdoors. However, if you have access to a library card you have the option to check out family passes to some of the local museums as well as the Quad City Botanical Center. The outside gardens are pretty bare in the winter, but the indoor sun garden is a wonderful tropical oasis in the northern city of Rock Island, IL. As a resident of Houston, Texas, it felt like home.

The kids had fun feeding the Koi fish in the indoor ponds. They sell fish food in small containers for $0.25 at the front desk.

Not only did we enjoy all the plants and water, but we also enjoyed spotting a small tortoise wandering around as well as a small frog. Outside we saw more fish in a pond and spotted a rabbit, robins and lots of morning doves. (My 9-year old daughter is an amateur ornithologist.)

The kids and I enjoyed exploring the indoor and outdoor spaces and agreed that it would be fun to visit in the summer. A good way to teach children about the different seasons is to take them to the same place during each season, so they can see how it changes. I also enjoy taking my children to botanical gardens because I am not good at gardening, so this way they are able to see beautiful plants and flowers grown by professionals. They also sell plants and gardening kits, as well as various lawn decorations.

This plant is called, Crown of Thorns.

Since we were the only ones there for most of our visit,
I was able to relax on a bench while the kids kept an eye on the
roaming tortoise. It would be a great place to read a book.

Can you spot the turtle?


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