Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio

If you are seeking something free & relaxing to do while visiting Cleveland, consider taking a stroll around Rockefeller Park Greenhouse & Botanical Garden. The park is named in honor of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, who. lived in the Cleveland metro at several points in his life. In 1870, Rockefeller & Andrews founded Standard Oil, thereby making Cleveland the center of the refining industry. Although he died in Ormond Beach, Florida, he is buried in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery beneath a 70 foot obelisk.

History of the “City Garden”

Originally called the “City Garden,” Rockefeller donated the now 200+ acre space to the city in 1905. The Greenhouse was initially used solely to grow plants for landscaping city parks, but eventually expanded to include seasonal floral displays and themed gardens. The gardens hosts a number of special events including a festive Christmas display.

Read more about the history of Rockefeller Gardens

Greenhouse Gardens

Rockefeller Greenhouse Gardens in Cleveland, Ohio

The indoor greenhouse gardens are great for strolling around anytime of the year due to the comfortable mild temperature. A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to visit as you can enjoy nature without getting wet. There are many beautiful plants to enjoy as well as seasonal flowers and small ponds. A great place to enjoy nature amidst urban surroundings.

List of the Gardens

  • Tropicals
  • Main Showcase
  • Indoor Water Garden
  • Ferns
  • Themed showcase
  • Cacti
  • Orchids

More pics from the gardens…

Beautiful garden and pond at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
Cacti at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
Cacti at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
Ferns at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
Palms at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
Tropical gardens at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland

Outdoor Gardens

Betty Ott Talking Garden at Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland, Ohio

The outdoor gardens are perfect for taking a stroll during the warmer months. Great place to relax, rejuvenate, and birdwatch. Many special events are held here and the gardens are a hotspot for photography. Weddings and wedding photography available by permit only.

Highlights

  • Betty Ott Talking Gardens – Designed for the visually impaired with plants that invoke the senses of touch, sound, and smell.
  • Latin American Garden – Features tropical fruit, succulents, cacti, and and flowering plants.
  • Japanese Garden – Features a Dawn Redwood Tree.
  • All American Selections Garden – View flowers tested by the AAS.
  • Williot Iris Garden – Features award winning irises. Also, a memorial brick walkway.
  • The Mall – Features elegant statues representing the 4 seasons.

Also, you will come across a rose, peace, and vegetable garden.

Admission

There is no fee (and also free parking) to enjoy the gardens, which are open 365 days of the year, from 10am-4pm. It should only take about 15 minutes to explore in entirety.

Best time to visit

While the gardens are open all year, it can get pretty hot and humid during the summer months. The best time to visit is on a cold, rainy, overcast, or snowy day. Walking around the greenhouse is a great pick me up on a cold, overcast day. Viewing the beautiful lush tropical gardens and exotic cacti when it is 20 degree outside works as a mini vacation.

What to do nearby

Little Italy – Enjoy an authentic Italian dessert, pastry, or pasta dish in this authentic, historic neighborhood.

Italian bench in Cleveland's Little Italy
Pizza at Mama Santas in Cleveland's Little Italy

Lake View cemetery – View the grave of John D. Rockefeller.

Cleveland Museum of Art – This wonderful free art museum ranks as one of the best in the country.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Also check out my guide to the best of Cleveland.