Lauritzen Gardens is joining its neighbor, the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, in reopening to the public Monday.
Both the botanical gardens, located at 100 Bancroft St., and the nearby zoo will open with timed entry and online advance reservations.
Lauritzen Gardens will have a timed ticketing system and limited guest services. Protective masks for patrons age 5 and older will be required in certain areas of the gardens to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to a press release.
“The health, safety and well-being of every guest and team member is our utmost priority,” said John Newman, executive director. “We are taking a phased, controlled approach to reopening and have made adjustments to our operations to continue to deliver a meaningful experience in nature, while ensuring we operate safely, responsibly and within the guidelines we have been given by state officials.”
In conjunction with the reopening, Lauritzen Gardens is debuting “Pollination Investigation,” a family-friendly scavenger hunt for bees, butterflies, beetles and other creatures that help the gardens grow.
Tickets are required for all visitors, including members, and they must be purchased in advance at lauritzengardens.org. Members may reserve their free tickets (and purchase additional tickets for their guests) now. Tickets go on sale to the general public Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for members and children younger than 3. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the last admission at 3:45 p.m.
Garden officials encourage guests to remain in their vehicles until their designated tour time and to maintain 6 feet of distance from other patrons in the visitor and education center while waiting for entry.
Guests will need to show their printed or e-ticket receipt with a barcode, along with a valid photo ID and their membership card (if applicable), to the front desk attendant to gain entry to the outdoor gardens.
In addition to reserving tickets in advance, guests age 5 and older are required to wear a mask or face covering while inside the visitor and education center. Protective face coverings are recommended in outdoor areas, but are not required.
Many guest services have been temporarily suspended or modified for the first phase of reopening.
- Visitors will not have access to the gift shop, ConAgra Café, indoor restrooms, tram service or manual wheelchairs.
- Portable restrooms will be located in the parking lot, children’s garden and Founders’ Garden.
- Water fountains are not in service, but guests may bring their own water.
- The horticulture library, floral display hall, Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory, woodland trail and Sunpu Chaya will remain closed to the public. The boardwalk to the model railroad garden also will be closed, but G-scale trains running daily on the lower tracks will be visible from the main path.
- Touchpoints for guests and staff have been reduced, hand sanitizer stations have been installed, and the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of the buildings and grounds has been ramped up.
- While most pathways are wide and allow for two-way traffic and ample space between guests, some paths have been designated as one-way.
“Our staff has worked hard during the temporary closure to maintain the garden’s living collection and create our summer scavenger hunt,” Newman said. “We can’t wait to share the beauty that we create and the many benefits of nature with the community once again.”
Full details, as well as a list of frequently asked questions, may be found at lauritzengardens.org.