As the early days of fall arrive, the weather in Southeast Texas is perfect for outdoor activities. Not too hot. Not too cold. It’s juuust right! A great option for a few hours or a full day surrounded by natural beauty is the Mercer Botanic Gardens, located in Humble, around 20 minutes’ drive from Olympus Auburn Lakes. So grab your sunglasses, a pair of comfy shoes, and maybe some picnic supplies, and let’s go.
About the Gardens
Spanning 400 acres along Cypress Creek, Mercer Botanic Gardens is an outdoor oasis, horticultural masterpiece, and living museum showcasing the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s a gorgeous combination of formal, manicured gardens and natural areas, with lots of informational signage and learning opportunities throughout. On the east side of Aldine Westfield Road, you’ll find the botanic research and display gardens, while the western portion of the garden contains walking trails, picnic areas, and playground facilities.
Things to Do
You can spend a wonderful hour or two just meandering around the gardens and viewing the beautiful flowering plants, lush foliage, and serene nooks. The 2.5-mile Mercer Arboretum Loop is also a great trail for jogging with pretty lake views. The gardens attract lots of wildlife and are a wonderful spot for bird watching and nature photography. And selfies. So. Many. Selfies. Various public events take place here throughout the year, ranging from festivals and plant sales to educational tours, lectures, tai chi sessions, children’s events, holiday camps, and more. Check out the event calendar on the website to see what’s coming up.
Planning Your Visit
Mercer Botanic Gardens is open March through October from 8 AM to 8 PM and November through February from 8 AM to 5 PM. The gardens are closed on some public holidays, so be sure to check the website or Facebook page if you’re planning a holiday visit. Leashed dogs are welcome in the west side arboretum but are only allowed on the east side of the gardens for pet portraits with prior permission from the director. Oh – and just in case you need one more reason to love the Mercer Botanic Gardens, admission is free.
Enjoy exploring the Mercer Botanic Gardens and find your favorite shady spot to relax and find a moment of zen. For lots more to see and do in Spring, Texas, and the greater Houston area, check out the Olympus Auburn Lakes blog.