Without plants to generate oxygen, humans would have to retrieve it from scuba tanks and the minty breath of local supermen. Keep the air alive with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a one-year family membership (a $50 value) or $50 worth of group classes at Leila Arboretum Society in Battle Creek. Though admission to the arboretum is free to all, a family membership grants a pair of parents, their younglings, and any cheeky robot maids a 10% discount on classes, products, and the annual plant sale in May—as well as reciprocal benefits at more than 150 American Horticultural Society gardens and two free general-admission tickets to reciprocal area museums.
Founded by Post cereal magnate spouse Leila Post Montgomery in 1922, Leila Arboretum boasts 85 acres of gardens teeming with more than 3,000 varieties of aesthetically pleasing carbon-dioxide scrubbers. Contemplative horticulturalists can ponder the meaning of life and the unfathomable evil of the soprano saxophone while taking a meditative turn or 20 through the Peace Labyrinth. Otherwise, promenade through the various triffids and piranha plants in the perennial and native plant gardens. The one-acre Children’s Garden—replete with tin-can robots, a fairy house, and a landlocked hot air balloon—gives imaginations a place to run amok, as well as a plant-based way to learn one's ABCs from asparagus fern to zinnia.
Leila Arboretum Society also teaches gardener apprentices how to build their own at-home arboretum with group classes ($15 each for nonmembers, $10 for members) once or twice a month. Pruning 101 fills you in on the most fashionable floral hairstyles, and Disease and Pest Management covers what to do when a tree is beset by Dutch elm disease, invasive insects, and sap-heavy sneezes. Leila Arboretum Society is open 365 days a year.
928 W Michigan Ave.
Battle Creek, Michigan 49037