A few weeks back, the temperature finally dipped below zero in Newburyport. Our otherwise lovely, charming, antique home felt like an ice box. Desperate for something to do, we packed up the family and headed to the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens. The drive was just about an hour, we arrived at 8:30 and had the place to ourselves. Visiting the gardens is FREE, and the greenhouses are so very warm inside. The Propagation House was near 80 degrees and the smell of beautiful flowers was intoxicating.
DRIVE: No pretty back roads folks, just hit the highway and put on your cruise control.
DO: Pick up the scavenger hunt directions in the Visitor Center. Admire the fish in the Hydrophyte House. Relax on a bench under the wide leaves in the Tropic House.
EAT: We grabbed some lunch at Alta Strada Restaurant. Wonderful espresso and prosciutto, that sounds like a disgusting combination as I type, but I assure you the aforementioned items never entered my mouth at the same time. There was no true kids menu, BUT my children were instructed by our server to order whatever their little hearts desired. The older child requested pasta and butter with a side of meatballs. The chef delivered. We shared a strawberry shortcake for dessert.
So there you have it, another day trip from Newburyport on the books. The greenhouses are closed in July and August, making the Wellesley Botanic Gardens a perfect cold winter day adventure.