NYBG's Newest Installation Invites Visitors to Fall Down the Rabbit Hole

The White Rabbit is a super-sized centerpiece of the NYBG's Wonderland: Curious Nature exhibition.
The White Rabbit is a super-sized centerpiece of the NYBG's Wonderland: Curious Nature exhibition.
5/16/24 - By Jody Mercier

The New York Botanical Garden is inviting visitors to fall down the rabbit hole this spring, summer, and fall. Its sprawling grounds have been transformed into a collection of curiosities in Wonderland: Curious Nature.

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the garden-wide exhibition includes contemporary art, beautiful blooms, fantastical foliage, themed sweets and treats, and some creative programming guaranteed to add a little wonder to your next visit. It runs through Sunday, October 27, 2024.


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Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG
Plants sprout from pools and hang from the skies in Wonderland: Curious Nature.

What Will You See at Wonderland: Curious Nature?

The multi-season exhibition includes beautiful botany the garden is well-known for with specialty plantings in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, plus a collection of contemporary art spread throughout the garden's landscapes.

Kids will get a kick out of popping through the moss-laced rabbit hole and exploring plantings that play with scale—from creeping oddities at ground level to whimsical hanging baskets floating overhead.

The artwork invites visitors to step inside a house made of mushrooms or play on a life-sized chess board overlooking the beautiful rose garden that's bursting with blooms. Be sure to save time for a visit to the Mertz Library, where galleries house looking glasses just the right size for a pint-sized visitor!

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 Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG
Plantings will change with the season so there's always something blooming in Wonderland. 

Foodie Fun at NYBG's Wonderland: Curious Nature

What's a wonderland story without unexpected eats? A series of food pop-ups and themed tea parties are planned for the length of the installation. Enjoy a sit-down experience in the Hudson Garden Grill, complete with weekly Tea Party Party seatings on Thursdays at 4:30pm.

If that's too stuffy for your brood, opt for an enchanting Tea to Go service from a brand new pop-up, the Looking Glass Cafe, situated next to the main entrance. Open weekends and evenings, you can order a cuppa to accompany sweet treats like Cheshire Cat-decorated macaroons, mini scones, and a peanut butter-and jelly tea sandwich that's perfect for a fussy eater. There are plenty of grown-up treats, too!

 Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG
Meet the Queen of Hearts or other characters roaming the garden on select dates. 

Seasonal Programming to Accompany Wonderland: Curious Nature

Much like Alice you're likely to run into some surprising guests as you explore the New York Botanical Garden during Wonderland: Curious Nature, with everyone from the White Rabbit to the Tweedles, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Alice herself making appearances on select dates. These cool character encounters are brought to life by talented performers from American Circus Theater, Lehman Stages, and We Players.

Enjoy garden-wide, self-guided scavenger hunts, play supersized lawn games on Daffodil Hill, and keep an eye out for special programming like adults-only Wonderland Nights, and a fungi-themed weekend in the fall.

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 Wonderland: Curious Nature at NYBG
These kinetic mushroom sculptures by FoldHaus are just one of the contemporary art installations in Wunderland: Curious Nature.

Know Before You Go to Wonderland: Curious Nature

  • The exhibit runs from Saturday, May 18-Sunday, October 27, 2024.
  • All Wonderland: Curious Nature exhibits are included in daytime all-garden passes.
  • Special events like Wonderland Nights require a special ticket.

Photos by the author

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