Arboretums and nature preserves offer an unparalleled adventure into the local landscape, all without the danger of living for a year amongst the roaming cactus packs of the desert. Experience nature painlessly with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get a family membership (a $60 value) to Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, about an hour east of Phoenix.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is an oasis of desert plant life spread out over 320 manicured acres at the base of Picketpost Mountain. A family membership to the arboretum includes free admission year-round for any parents, children, grandparents, and ghostly ancestors that dwell in the same household. In addition, members receive four complimentary guest passes for visiting friends or circus folk, access to exclusive members-only events, a 10% discount on all gift shop and plant purchases, member newsletters and email updates, and special discounts on arboretum classes and lectures. Bring your brood to the arboretum to reacquaint yourselves with nature, or gift this Groupon to a newly relocated family to help them acclimate to the distinctive desert climate.
Desert and arid-land plants line the paths of the arboretum, forming specialty gardens and alcoves, such as a butterfly-hummingbird garden, a cactus garden loaded with absurdly succulent succulents, an aromatic herb garden, and a man-made reservoir with scenic views of the surrounding Tonto National Forest. Additionally, the arboretum is home to more than 300 species of native animals, including slithering snakes and toddling tortoises that emerge at dusk, when humans retreat and hot-pink boas become an acceptable wardrobe choice, or spiny lizards, which bask in the sun with the abandon of an exhibitionist insurance mascot. More than 250 bird species frequent the arboretum as well, from curve-billed thrashers and black-throated sparrows to feathered winter tourists and down-on-their luck avian wanderers from across the country.
Only valid for new or non-current members. This deal will be available for redemption starting September 20.
The Examiner featured Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and Fodor’s reviewed it. Yelpers award the arboretum an average of five stars, and TripAdvisors give it an average of 4.5 owl eyes. More than 1,280 Facebookers are fans:
- At the foot of Picketpost Mountain in Superior, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is often called an oasis in the desert: the arid rocky expanse gives way to lush riparian glades home [sic] to 3,200 different desert plants and more than 230 bird and 72 terrestrial species. The arboretum offers a living album of the world's desert and semiarid region plants, including exotic species such as Canary Islands date palms and Australian eucalyptus. Trails offer breathtaking scenery in the gardens and the exhibits, especially during the spring wildflower season. – Fodor’s
- If you are a plant lover, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is for you! Spectacular mountain views with a winding trail that takes up [sic] into the hilly country to view breathtaking flora – copilotlisa, TripAdvisor
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Sprawling across 392 acres and home to thousands of unusual plant and animal species, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is far from a standard classroom. Here, people learn through exploration rather than through textbooks; they’re able to smell the plants they study and ask native squirrels for direct quotes about soil quality. Jaunts through the park cover a range of terrain. Butting up against the northern face of Picketpost Mountain, the park encompasses canyons, hills, and trails carefully landscaped to duplicate arid environments from around the globe. The cactus garden features plants both sinuous and spiny, creating a vast collection of shapes and textures nestled into the dusty red landscape. Queen Creek Canyon provides respite from the sun, its towering trees thriving in the cool shade. Visitors pick up tips on how to enhance their own yards in the demonstration garden of drought-tolerant plants, which are relatively easy to care for except for when they demand chocolate milk. Additional education can be found in classes and lectures held at the Smith Interpretive Center.