Because plants are jealous of our ability to live indoors, they attempt to infiltrate our finest mansions and universities by slowly climbing stony façades. Visit a place built specifically to expose these floral strivers with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a household membership (good for two adults and children up to 18 years of age) at the Adkins Arboretum, located in Ridgely (a $75 value).
Adkins Arboretum bestows visitors with 400 acres of scenic views, preserving more than 600 species of native plants and five miles of paths that wind through wildflowers, shrubs, and lush forests. Members get unlimited free admission to embark on self-guided journeys through the arboretum, or to partake in docent-guided habitat walks on Saturdays from April through November, when they can stroll down the Tuckahoe Valley Trail, the native-plant nursery, and more. Household memberships allow visitors to enjoy a biodome of benefits, including but not limited to the following:
A free subscription to the arboretum’s newsletter and weekly e-newsletter
Special rates for children’s programs
Free audio tours
Discounts on arboretum plant and gift-shop purchase
Since first opening their grounds in 1980, Adkins Arboretum’s 400-acre garden and preserve have sheltered plants native to the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. More than 600 species of them, in fact, encompassing everything from water hemlocks and flowering dogwoods to skunk cabbages. These trees, shrubs, and grasses—not to mention picturesque streams and meadows—line five miles of paths, along which visitors can walk, bike, or even ski. If five miles sounds daunting to youngsters, they can instead explore Paw Paw Playground, an assemblage of wigwams, balance beams, and other toys crafted from natural materials by a local Eagle Scout. Besides its extensive gardens, Adkins Arboretum also plays host to numerous year-round programs, including lectures, art exhibitions, and two plant sales each year.