Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden offers a haven from the pandemic, half-price admission in August (includes video story)

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, which offers half-price admission and weekly special nights for dogs this month, was founded by David Fairchild in 1938. He worked tirelessly with plant enthusiasts to build what we know today as Fairchild Tropical Garden. The mission of this 83-acre park is to conserve and bring awareness to people of the importance of plants.  

In 2020, Fairchild continues to work diligently during the pandemic to maintain its plant life and horticulture. The gardens were closed from mid-March through mid-May, but is now working hard to bring back guests. 

Jessica Cole, who’s in charge of visitor services at the garden, says garden staff has worked hard to make the place safe and pleasant. “The garden has implemented more hand sanitizing stations as well as temperature checkpoints.” she says. “There’s one entry and exit point to ensure the flow of traffic is one way so guests are more comfortable.” 

Gift shop employee Laura Van Proosdij adds that smaller crowds have made the place better in some ways. 

“Since there have been fewer visitors, I feel there are more animals in the garden,” she says, adding that she has seen more butterflies and iguanas and that plants have been blooming better since no one is touching them.

Laura Rodriguez, who recently visited for the first time after four months away, confirmed this.  “I’ve seen a lot of butterflies today, a lot of birds today, more flowers blooming, so I do see a difference.”

Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. It is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, when it is open for dogs during August. Visits are limited to three-hour blocks. Tickets must be purchased online.