Twenty-three acres of outstanding outdoor and indoor gardens display plants native to the desert, plains, mountain foothills, and alpine zones. There’s also a traditional Japanese garden, an herb garden, a water garden, a fragrance garden, and a garden that melds art and agriculture. Even in the cold of winter, the greenhouses house thousands of species of tropical and subtropical plants. Huge, colorful orchids and bromeliads share space with a collection of plants used for food, fibers, dyes, building materials, and medicines. There is a 3-acre kid's garden where kids can race pinecones down a stream or hunt for bugs in a small-scale grassland. The Botanic Gardens also have a gift shop, a library, and an auditorium. Special events, scheduled throughout the year, include garden concerts in summer, a spring plant sale, and a fall cornfield maze southwest of Denver. Allow 1 to 2 hours.