Top Ten Things to Do

The 21 acres of natural and developing space at the Monk Botanical Gardens offers a little something for everyone. You’ll be amazed as you discover this hidden treasure nestled alongside the bustling streets of Wausau, WI. The Garden truly is an ever-changing, inspirational experience where you can lose yourself in the beauty of nature. We’ve put together our list of top ten things to do at the Gardens and we’re pretty sure it will become your new destination spot for family and friends.

1. Plan A Picnic.

You’ll find picnic tables under an open shelter overlooking the pond or dine in a gorgeous gazebo safeguarding you from bugs or inclement weather. Adventurers can try a picnic in our bi-level tree house or bring a blanket and pick your favorite dining terrain. A great outing with family, friends or that first date.

2. Explore our Tree House!

In 2012 the Gardens were gifted with a universally accessible two-level tree house that rises above the Pine Woods and offers a spectacular 360 view of the pond and surrounding acreage. The structure is ramp accessible with aggregate pathways from the main entrance that allow convenient and safe wheelchair access. A true treasure in our Gardens.

3. Find a Geocache.

There are four cleverly crafted geocaches hidden at the Gardens. Grab your navigational device and set the coordinates found in the Monk Garden Series atwww.geocaching.com. We’re proud to report that the geocaches are getting "favorite" votes from visitors far and wide. In the world of geocaching, that's awesome! Discover all four in one trip or find a few and come back later. It's a great experience that's both challenging and rewarding.

4. Get Fit!

We’ve created a mile loop within the Garden filled with opportunities to see new things no matter how many loops you do in one session! Take a run or a power walk during your lunch hour, bring the stroller or strap on your baby carrier—paths are cleared for safe and easy hikes. You won’t even realize you’re burning calories!

5. Meditate.

With the completion of the first phase of this public Botanical Garden, our Wildflower Woods and Memory Garden is now completed. Enjoy a quiet stroll through this serene area and breathe in the calming scents and sounds of nature. Lose your thoughts in the momentum of the memorial sculpture centering the Garden plaza. Strike a pose on one of the dramatic boulder accents or rest quietly on one of our stone benches surrounded by tranquility.

6. LetterBoxing.

An old, yet newly discovered, trend in our area perfect for schools and scouts! A cross between geocaching and nature bingo, this group scavenger hunt is a great excuse to get students out of the classroom and into the ‘natureroom’! Read more about letterboxing at www.letterboxing.org and contact us to arrange a letterboxing activity with your group. This activity can occur year round.

7. Chase a Frog; Spy a Fox.

The perfect smile-making, eye-widening activity for kids and adults alike! From Spring to Fall, chase the happily hopping frogs around the edge of the pond or try and spot the red fox that sometimes makes a sly appearance. As you walk through the Gardens, see how many critters you can spy...every visit may reveal one you hadn’t seen before. Keep a journal and take lots of photos!

8. Take the Tour.

It’s not just a tour...it’s an adventure!  You’ll not only experience the beauty of the pinery woods, the pond and the Wildflower Woods and Memory Garden—but the frogs, flowers, ducks and birds that bring life to this unique Garden. Free public tours are available from April through October, on Wednesday mornings, Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. Check the exact schedule on our events  page. Meet at the gate. 

9. Bird and Butterfly Watching. 

The Garden features many areas specially groomed to attract our fluttering and flying friends. Near the entrance is a Butterfly Garden where, in Spring and Summer, you’ll see hundreds of butterflies playfully flying about. Circling one of our meadows notice several bluebird nests, inhabited in season with beautiful bluebirds. And throughout the Gardens are a myriad of bird nests--you’ll be surprised how many different species of birds you can detect if you sit quietly and listen.

10. Volunteer!

Want to get your hands dirty? Great! We welcome the help. For those that love the Gardens as much as we do and want to make a difference, there are volunteer opportunities throughout every season. Assist with onsite events, land improvement work sessions, or just a little raking when the mood strikes. Emailvolunteer@rwmonkgardens.org to lend a helping hand.

Annual Events: Spring Egg Hunt, May Green Plant Sale & Garden Flea Market,  Bird Watching Hike, Monthly Guided Tours, Raptors in the Gardens, Summer Bus Trips, Autumn Fest in the Gardens, Medieval Adventure, Luminary Snowshoe Hikes, Story Walk, Education programs for Children and Adults, Spring & Winter Workshops, and more. Check our event calendar for upcoming activities. Email info@rwmonkgardens.org with any questions, comments or suggestions.