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​Our Favorite Green Spaces to Cure the Winter Blues

Let’s face it, winter is rough for a lot of us. But don’t let this stop you from taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors. There are many studies that discuss the benefits of surrounding oneself with nature, especially benefiting one’s mental health. So if you’re experiencing some winter blues, or are in need of some relaxation and fresh air, we’ve put together a list of our favorite green spaces in Washington.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is a must-see, especially during the grayest of days. This lush botanical garden is encased in 3,426 glass panels styled in a traditional Victorian fashion. Inside, the Conservatory is divided into 5 houses displaying bromeliads, palms, ferns, cacti and succulents and seasonal plants. On cold days, we recommend spending some time in each of these rooms. It is a great way to escape the gray and spend some time with the green.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm


  • Adult (Age 18 and up ): $4.00
  • Youth (Age 13-17): $2.00
  • Child (Under Age 12): Free
  • FOC Members: Free
  • Free admission for all first Thursday and Saturday of each month!

Washington Park Arboretum

Spanning 230 acres of land, the Washington Park Arboretum is a perfect place to take a stroll or picnic. Even during the dead of winter, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush Pacific Northwest foliage, inhaling the crisp air. If you walk the trails, you’ll eventually hit the shores of Lake Washington. This arboretum features gardens, grassy fields and wetlands. In the winter, be sure to visit the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden. Surrounded by tall firs and cedars, this garden highlights beautiful winter plants such as the sweet box and fragrant daphne, dogwood, and the Northern Chinese Red Birch.

P.S. Check out the Seattle Japanese Garden that is located within the park! Unlike the rest of the arboretum, this park has an admission fee, but it is totally worth it!

Winter Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitors Center open daily9:00am – 5:00pm.

Admission: Free

Bloedel Reserve

(Photo by Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier)

Named as “one of this country’s most original and ambitious gardens.” by The New York Times, the Bloedel Reserve is a space full of tranquility and natural beauty. Located on Bainbridge Island, this reserve features 12 unique gardens including their Japanese Garden, The Glen, the Moss Garden, the Woodlands, and the Bird Marsh. If you’re feeling stressed or are in need of some major city detox, join their Strolls for Well-Being program! This program features 12 outlined self-guided strolls that allow you to go your own pace, take time to reflect and take in the natural scenery.

Winter Hours: September 4, 2017 - May 25, 2018| Tuesday - Sunday | 10 AM – 4 PM


  • Adults: $17
  • Seniors (65+): $12
  • Students (13-18 or with I.D.): $10
  • Children (5-12): $6
  • Children (4 and under): Free

Bellevue Botanical Garden

(Photo by BlueCanoe)

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is 53 acres of green, from wetlands to perennial gardens. At the end of each year, this garden hosts Garden d’Lights, a holiday celebration that turns their lush grounds into a winter wonderland!

Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitor Center is open 9am to 4pm daily

Admission: Free