Thaw Out at the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Big Spring

The weather is finally beginning to warm up, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden welcomes the new season with its yearly Big Spring event. Big Spring allows visitors to step into an oversized enchanted garden filled with towering flowers and hulking ladybugs. The appeal is certainly there for the younger visitors, who are provided with several activities that specifically cater to them.

These include Toadstool Theatre, in which children can dress up with wings and antennae to imitate their favorite insects; the puddle bug boats, which can be purchased, decorated and sailed in a fish-filled pond; the discovery log, where kids can view their favorite creepy crawlies up close and personal and the ladybug labyrinth, a maze filled with surprises, treasures and, of course, ladybugs.

The relatively new tradition that began only three years ago, will continue its dual nature, with Big Spring covering both the indoor and outdoor gardens. Planted in autumn, 30,000 tulips and other flowers will greet guests upon their arrival.

Also outdoors, the Hershey Children’s Garden will open once more for the season. The children’s garden is filled with playful items, including a fountain and tree house, and according to the website, is fun for kids ages “three to 93.”

Big Spring also signals the return of the Plant Society Shows, which are free with the purchase of a Big Spring ticket. The first of these is the Midwest Cactus and Succulent Society Show and Sale, which is on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, March 22 from 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Additionally Bill Hendricks of Klyn Nurseries will present Cacti and Succulents Around the World at 2:30 p.m. each day. Hendricks will entertain and inform visitors on the varied succulents and cacti from across the globe.

The other Plant Society show to look out for is the African Violet Gesneriad Show and Sale, which highlights the large and diverse family of plants that includes the African Violet. The event is hosted by the North Coast Gesneriad Club on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-May 3 from noon to 5 p.m.

The members of the Northeast Gesneriad Club will also be presenting educational programs, How to Rejuvenate African Violets and Other Houseplants and Organic Garden for Growing Food and Ornamentals at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Those who are interested in learning about these unique flowers or purchasing some plants to enhance their dorms—or who simply would like to recapture their childhoods and youthful curiosity—are encouraged to attend Big Spring.

Event: Big Spring
Location: Cleveland Botanical Garden
Dates: March 21-April 26
Price: $8-$12 (free for members)