The ground is filled with more than just semi-cursed treasure chests and fully candied dinosaur bones—it also contains baby flowers. Give yourself a year to explore their equally adorable adult forms with today's Groupon: for $30, you get a family membership at Tucson Botanical Gardens (a $60 value). This membership is good for two adults and any children in their household aged 17 or younger, plus four one-time guest passes. Membership includes a number of benefits, including free year-round admission, various discounts, and a variety of subscriptions.
The collection of diverse gardens found at Tucson Botanical Gardens has served as the city's herbaceous haven for decades. Every acre of the grounds is budding with plants both native (cacti, desert marigolds, Parry's agave) and non-native (triffids, Truffula trees, piranha plants), the beauty of which is arranged into a backyard bird garden, shade garden, Aloe Alley, cactus and succulent garden, Zen garden, Native American crops garden, and more. Sensory patios give you a cool, shady spot to take in all the gardens at once, while sensory-overload patios let you play Call of Duty amid pounding techno music while spinning in a gyroscope.
Along with the Botanical Gardens' perennial exhibits, members will also enjoy discounted access to special events such as Mad About Orchids, an exhibit exploring orchidelirium, a ceaseless obsession with growing and talking to orchids. The popular Butterfly Magic exhibit reopens on October 11th, featuring hundreds of live tropical butterflies inside the Botanical Gardens' greenhouse. As you wander among the fecund foliage, a phantasmagoria of living artworks flutter past you like dreams, land on your hands, and occasionally moon you. If you're lucky, you might even get to watch the latest models emerge from their cocoons to get flappy-happy with their new wings on the beautiful chaos of their first flight.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Nearly a half century ago, horticulturist Harrison G. Yocum opened his backyard to the public, displaying a bounteous collection of cacti and palms. After a few relocations, expansions, and the establishment of a nonprofit charter, Tucson Botanical Gardens now spreads 17 distinct plots across more than 5 acres. A delicate rumble hearkens the arrival of the Garden Railway miniature train, which winds through gardens uniquely dedicated to birds, butterflies, wildflowers, and traditional Native American crops. Admission—which is free for garden members and children younger than 3—grants passage to five different tours, and groups of 10 or more can arrange self-guided or docent-led tours at a discounted rate. If visitors awaken their appetites by savoring aromas from the onsite herb garden or by staring at clouds shaped like canned goods, they can dig in at the Gardens' Café, where sun spills through a slatted gazebo onto iron tables loaded with roast-beef baguettes and mexican tortilla soup.