Opportunities to visit New York City’s treasured cultural sites are becoming more frequent as the city settles into Phase Four of the reopening plan. Today the New York Botanical Garden reopens, joining a growing list of entertainment venues, such as the Central Park Zoo, that are accessible once again. New Yorkers are now free to roam the two-hundred-and-fifty-acre outdoor site while adhering to new health and safety protocols.
The fragrant and vibrantly colored plants of the Botanical Garden are a welcome salve to New Yorkers who have been stuck inside during lockdown. Reopened outdoor areas include the Native Plant Garden, Thain Family Forest, the Perennial and Herb Gardens, Chilton Azalea Garden, Rockefeller Rose Garden, Conservatory Courtyards and Pools, the Ross Conifer Arboretum, and more. In these gardens, meadows, and forests, visitors will see blooming hydrangeas, water lilies, lotuses, and daylilies among the one million plants that grow there.
The Botanical Garden’s reopening includes a slew of new health and safety measures that both staff and visitors must follow. In addition to opening at reduced capacity, the garden seeks to mitigate crowds and facilitate social distancing with a timed-entry system that will stagger visitor arrivals throughout the day. Guests will see new wayfinding signage and pavement markings to direct the flow of traffic and queuing. All visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing, and everyone over the age of two – staff included- is required to wear a face covering.
At this time, Tram Tours, public programs, and group tours remain suspended. You can use a self-guided audio tour available by cell phone, and the Bloomberg Connects App for images and information about the plants you see as you wander through the garden. Select locations, including the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and the Hudson Grill, remain closed as well. The Pine Tree Cafe Pop-Up and Hudson Grill Terrace are open for refreshments.
As part of an Appreciation Week initiative, New York Botanical Garden Members, Bronx health care heroes, and Bronx Neighbors were the first to enter the gardens this week in the days leading up to the public opening. Complimentary admission for those groups will continue through September 13. Members of the general public must reserve timed-entry tickets online ahead of their visit. Tickets will be available to print or download to a mobile phone.