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The Art of Play promises moments of joy, whimsy and enchantment as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden comes alive with art that explores how playful interactions can create connection and conversation. Six new interactive sculptures from Virginia artists will inspire you to see play in a whole new way!

 March 29, 2019 – September 30, 2019

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. With extended summer hours on Thursdays at Flowers After 5

                             You can easily spend an entire day at the Garden exploring the Art of Play, interacting with tropical butterflies in the Butterflies LIVE! exhibition,  playing in the Children’s Garden and CWDKids Tree House; splashing in Water Play, and enjoying 50 acres of blooms like you’ve never seen. Thursday evenings June- mid-September, we’re open late (’til 9 p.m.) for Flowers After 5 with live music and activities.

In 2017, the national non-profit KaBoom! named Richmond a Playful City USA Community for its array of parks, playgrounds and engaging places to play. Inspired by this award, The Art of Play aims to showcase the Garden as one of the city’s most creative places to play.

Families and kids can paint outdoors during Plein Air painting.Whether we play pick-up sticks, play the piano or play the leading lady, play brings people together in shared experiences. By focusing on the authentic interactions that happen when we play together and how play can help us become more connected as people, The Art of Play will support the Garden’s mission to connect people through plants to improve our communities.

 Look for these family-friendly activities:

  • Float in a cloud of soap from a Bubble Machine.
  • Play Giant Scrabble on the lawn.
  • Paint playful pictures on Plein Air Paint Days. 

Exhibit and related activities included with Garden admission.

$13 adults
$11 seniors 55+
$8 Children (age 3-12)
Free for Children under 3
Free for Garden Members


Moon Bounce by Mickael Broth, sponsored by Patient First  Ladies laughing on Moon Bounce by Mickael Broth at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Trial and Aeros by Keith M. Ramsey

 A Monument to the Hero Inside of You by Javier Chicho Lorenzo

PinToy Meditation Wall by J-P. Müller

Morphing Perspectives by Nico Cathcart

Kalidescopeby Matthew Leavell

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Friday, March 29, 2019
Monday, September 30, 2019
Event Details




Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will invite guests of all ages to come outside and play! The Art of Play transforms the Garden into a vibrant canvas where visitors will express themselves in a palette of playful activities. Interactive sculpture, innovative programming, multisensory activities and Pop-up Play Stations, all curated to engage imaginations and inspire flights of fancy, will awaken the artist in everyone.

Six Virginia artists have been commissioned to create whimsical installations that invite adults and children alike to engage in the creative process — and experience nature anew. Sit astride a life-size wooden horse,  play on a space-age seesaw, look through the lens of a giant kaleidoscope, or make a giant impression on a pin-toy.  This is art that’s meant to be played with!

Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks returns to Lewis Ginter June 28 – Septemeber 22, 2019, with new sculptures as part of The Art of Play. The blockbuster exhibition that transformed a tiny iconic toy into an art form will anchor an entire season of play-related events.