Review: Reiman Gardens

A perfect Fall afternoon called for the perfect family outing.  Since my wife had the day off and neither of my girls had any activities we looked for something fun to do.

We chose a trip to Ames to visit Reiman Gardens.  It’s a 17 acre garden in the shadow of Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State University in Ames. Four years ago our family toured Reiman Gardens and had a blast so we all looked forward to a return trip.


Reiman Gardens was host to a Lego exhibit back then and they’re hosting another one through October 31, 2016.  This time there are 13 over-sized Lego sculptures made with a half million Lego pieces.

The Lego Sculptures are scattered throughout Reiman Gardens among the plants and exhibits.  My youngest, a big Lego fan, said one of her favorites was the giant butterfly.


It’s amazing to see how well the Lego art and nature blend together.


Walking through Reiman Gardens is very relaxing.  It’d be a great place to go on a date.  There are plenty of places to sit and take in the scenery.  One of my favorites is near this little waterfall.  The sound of the water is very soothing.


It’s fun to see all the different plants and think about how you might incorporate some of them into your own landscape.

Reiman Gardens is also a cool place to go if you enjoy taking pictures.  My oldest is currently taking a photography class in High School and had fun putting into practice everything she’s been learning.

We always save my favorite part of Reiman Gardens for last.  I love their butterfly house.  You walk through and butterflies are everywhere.  Landing on the plants right next to you… and sometimes on you!


The butterflies come in all different colors and sizes.  There are benches so you can sit and enjoy nature’s “air show” all around you.



One might be skeptical to visit a garden in the Fall… but I’m here to say, “Don’t be!”  There is still plenty of color from Summer’s flowers, plus you get the bonus of Autumn’s colors creeping into the garden.

Plus, it’s not as hot or buggy as it would be in the middle of Summer, and the staff puts together some pretty cool looking Fall displays.


Reiman Gardens is an affordable place to spend an afternoon, too. $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 4 to 17, and free for kids 3 and under.

Depending on the ages of your kids, I’d say to plan on spending at least two hours there.  Maybe more.  I could easily spend an hour just sitting and watching the butterflies.

Young kids (and the kid in me) will enjoy the foot chimes.  As you jump on each square it puts out a different sound.  They blend together to create some pretty cool music as you hop around.

There are also plenty of places to stop, read, and learn about the different plants.

If you’d like to learn more about Reiman Gardens you can check out their website here.

Have you been to Reiman Gardens? What’s your favorite part?

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review.  All opinions are my own.  I am, however, an Iowa State fan but that didn’t factor into this review. 😉 Go Cyclones!

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7 thoughts on “Review: Reiman Gardens”

  1. Reiman Gardens is a horticultural treasure for ISU students, Ames residents and those who travel from out of town. We live in Ames and try to make at least one trip each year.

    I’ve often thought it would be fun to make monthly trips to the gardens and take pictures of the changes in seasons and the changing displays.

    I think of prime season as summer months but there are things to see year round, even if it’s indoors, like the butterfly house and the conservatory.

    I recently received a postcard that announced the coming of a special holiday train display. This seasonal display will be in the conservatory beginning mid-November. Information about all attractions can be found on the Reiman Gardens website or by subscribing to their e-newsletter.

    An individual or group membership would make a great gift for friends or family who enjoy visiting the gardens throughout the year. My parents have been purchasing a family membership each year when my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary.

    Thanks for sharing about your trip to Reiman Gardens.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoy Reiman Gardens too! I think I need to sign up for their e-newsletter so I’ll know what’s going on. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Super photos, Tony! My favorite Lego is the dragonfly on Lake Helen. Do come back for the train exhibit in the conservatory November 11-and of the year. It’s amazing, too!

  3. I love this place!!!! The little waterfall is also one of my favorite places to sit AND of course the butterfly house — great place to sit and to take pictures!!!!

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