Spring has sprung! Although we may still have some chilly weather before we slip into our brightly colored summer clothing, winter is officially over. And, this means it’s time to enjoy nature being reborn again in lovely spring gardens and more. Here are some options for enjoying spring and remaining active in Northeast Ohio.
Cleveland Botanical Garden
We first recommend a visit to the Cleveland Botanical Garden. If it’s too soon to enjoy the floral beauties found in the 10-acre outdoor gardens, you can stroll through the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, where you’ll see a “Costa Rican rainforest full of lush plants, butterflies and birds, as well as . . . the spiny desert of Madagascar, where prickly plants, out-of-the-ordinary blooms and wonderfully weird plants and animals welcome you.”
The Cleveland Botanical Garden also offers adult education programs on “gardening and the botanical world, as well as conservation and sustainability issues.” Although there were no program dates listed yet on the site at the time of this writing, you can call 216-721-1600 for up-to-date information.
Hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Members get into the garden for free. Non-members (adults) pay $11 and, with senior groups of 15 or more, tickets cost $9.50 each. (We recommend that you call before you go, as hours and rates can change.)
Strolling through Parks
Northeast Ohio is blessed with numerous parks, many of which are part of the Lorain County Metro Parks system or the Cleveland Metroparks system. Here are just three of the many locations to choose from.
In Lorain County, one beautiful park to visit is Schoepfle Garden and, on March 14, the “much delayed sighting” of their first spring flower was celebrated. Normally, park personnel see the most daring of bulbs showing their colors shortly after Valentine’s Day but this year’s snow made that impossible.
As of March 14, “winter aconite, a member of the buttercup family, and snow drops have emerged” along with the tops of “tulips, crocus, and other spring bulbs.” Later in spring, you can enjoy “daffodils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth” and more. Schoepfle Garden is located at 11106 Market Street in Birmingham, Ohio. Call 440-965-7237.
If you’d like to enjoy a picnic while you also drink in nature’s splendor, consider Lakeview Park. You can typically find plenty of seating in smaller shelters without making a reservation or you can reserve the gazebo and/or main picnic shelter for planned events. To reserve a shelter, call 440-458-5121 or 800-LCM-PARK.
The park runs along Lake Erie and, in late spring and summer, is well known for its rose garden with approximately 2,500 exquisite roses planted in 48 beds. The garden is in the shape of the Rotary wheel with connecting walkways. Lakeview Park is located at 1800 West Erie Avenue in Lorain; for more information, call 440-245-1193.
Brecksville Nature Center
If you’d like to “discover deep forested ravines, walk through a restored Ohio prairie with grasses over eight feet tall, or explore glacial river valleys carved over 10,000 years ago” then Brecksville Nature Center is a must. “Excellent examples of chestnut carpentry with curved walnut leaves, wrought iron work and native stones grace the building inside and out” and animals and birds are there for the watching, year round.
The center is located at 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive in Brecksville and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for major holidays (only Easter applies in the spring season!). You can call 440-526-1012 for more information and you can download a guide to the center here.
Looking for more spring activities for older adults? RealSimple.com provides an extensive list.
Spring is a great time to begin a regular exercise routine. Get tips on how to get started with this free guide.