Why We Love Callaway Gardens
There are so many things for kids to love about Callaway Gardens. Whether you visit for a day, or stay for a few, the beautiful surroundings, fun activities and connections to nature will be memorable! Here are some of our recommended must-dos:
Around 1,000 butterflies flutter freely in one of North America’s largest tropical butterfly conservatories. Catch them flying, napping, nibbling on fruit, or landing on your head or shoulder! Families can learn about metamorphosis in weekday Butterfly 101 mini-classes, and fans of the iridescent Blue Morpho will want to visit in September, when Callaway Gardens has the largest number that you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Swoop! Resident raptors (that live at Callaway because they can’t be released into the wild) appear at each show, demonstrating their flight skills and giving guests an up-close look while wildlife experts share how they eat, sleep and hunt prey.
You can’t miss the “gardens” part! Azaleas are the signature flower of Callaway, and there are more than 3,000 types in the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl. Hydrangea lovers will enjoy the Thornhill Garden as well. Check to see what will be in bloom during your visit.
Choose a course and zipline through the beautiful natural forest! Courses range from easy to more challenging and the height requirement is just 54 inches so kids can get a bird’s eye view of the trees as well.
Every summer, the FSU Flying Circus is in residence. Talented college students show off the skills they’ve been developing as they juggle, navigate the trapeze and high wire, and put on an exciting show.
Little known fact: Robin Lake Beach is the world’s largest inland man-made, white sand beach. Open daily through mid-August, then on weekends through Labor Day, Robin Lake provides great swimming in non-chlorinated, fresh spring-fed water and it’s surrounded by a variety of activities. The beach is a hub for mini golf, table tennis, shuffleboard, volleyball, playgrounds and picnic tables, all free with the gardens’ admission fee. Kids love Aqua Island, a large floating playground/obstacle course anchored about 75 yards off-shore to which you swim.
– Dalia Faupel
17800 U.S. Hwy. 27 Pine Mountain
Admission: Purchase tickets online prior to arrival. $19.95; ages 6-12, $14.95; ages 5 and younger, free
Hours: Attractions and indoor facilities are open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Beach activities open daily until the middle of August, then Fri.-Sun. only through Labor Day.