With less than two hours left of being a tourist in Oklahoma City, I headed over to the Myriad Gardens. The Myriad Gardens is an amazing seventeen acre garden that opened in 1988. It's right in downtown, very close to the convention center, which was right across the street from the hotel where I was staying.
I entered the Myriad Gardens through a section called Meinders Garden.
I thought that I would encounter a ticket booth, but it turned out that most of the garden is free to the public. Bonus! I'm not really sure what the boundaries of Meinders Garden were in relation to the overall Myriad Gardens, but the first things that I encountered were pretty waterfalls and streams. There were several people enjoying a sunny afternoon in shady alcoves.
Myriad Gardens has a huge man-made lake that reminded me of the Serpentine in London. The lake was full of Canadian geese that were flocking to a family who was feeding them bread. When I walked down, the geese rushed over to me in anticipation of more food and quickly realized that I had nothing.
I love the design of the gardens. The design plays with height and space; for example, the lake is at the lowest level, like a sunken living room, and to reach it you must walk down various sets of stairs or winding paths. Multiple bridges span the water, giving another height at which to view the gardens. It's possible to view the downtown skyscrapers from the garden, but there are also many areas where it is easy to forget that you're in the middle of a big city. It's magical.
I was delighted to discover a theater in the middle of the gardens.
And this colorful sculpture. It made me think of fish or butterfly scales.
The children's garden was another delight, filled with interactive and educational exhibits. Like the other gardens, there were plenty of hidden paths and discovery trails. It's whimsical in theme, perfect for both kids and adults.
My last stop in the Myriad Gardens was the Crystal Bridge. If you look at the pictures of the lake, you'll see a large enclosed bridge over the water. It's impossible to see this and not be curious, so I went inside. The Crystal Bridge houses a tropical conservatory. It was eight dollars for adults and as I was short on time, I asked the ticket attendant how long it would take to tour. She suggested about 30-45 minutes, which was just the amount of time that I had left.
I didn't last more than fifteen minutes.
Outside, it was an unseasonably hot September day. Inside the Crystal Bridge, it was sweltering. I can usually handle both heat and humidity, but the Crystal Bridge was intense. I rushed through the conservatory, trying my best to enjoy it, as I was dripping in sweat and in need of water.
I did enjoy what the Crystal Bridge had to offer. It's quite spectacular and unexpected. I saw waterfalls, tropical plants, animals like parrots and lizards, et.. The exhibit was multilevel with caves and different trails. It's much bigger than it appears.
The Myriad Gardens is a must-do on your Oklahoma City itinerary. Although it was uncomfortably hot, I highly recommend splurging on the Crystal Bridge. I'd also recommend checking the events calendar before your trip, as it looks like they have many cool events throughout the year.