Plan Your Visit

Aerial view of Global Flora greenhouse

Wellesley College Botanic Gardens is free and open to the public.

Plan Your Visit


The Outdoor Gardens are open to the public every day, all day, including holidays.

WCBG Visitor Center and Global Flora greenhouse are free and open to all during Open Hours and scheduled programs:

Spring 2023 Weekday Open Hours -  spring hours are over

Tuesdays through Fridays 12-4pm (through May 5, 2023)

Spring 2023 Weekend Open Hours

Sat, March 25, 10am-2pm
Sun, April 16, 10am-2pm
Sat, May 6, 10am-2pm

Commencement 2023 Hours

Fri, May 19, 1pm-6pm

The Visitor Center and Global Flora are closed Mondays, weekends, and campus holidays. No reservation required for casual drop-in visitors and small groups.  For large groups planning to visit open hours, please email us at or leave a voicemail at 781-283-3094 to confirm availability.  We have occasional closures and may limit visitors in the case of reserved classes, events, or maintenance needs during these hours.

Holiday/Break closures:

November 2022: closed Wed, Nov. 23 - Fri Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving
December 2022: closed Tue, Dec. 20 - Fri, Dec. 30 for winter break 
January 2023: closed Tue, Jan. 3 - Fri, Jan. 13 for winter break
Feb 2023: no holiday closures
Mar 2023: closed Tue, Mar. 28 - Fri, Mar. 31 for spring break
April 2023: no holiday closures
May 2023: closed Tue, May 9 onward

Summer hours are not finalized.

Note: Wellesley students, faculty, and staff may reserve Global Flora during or outside of open hours, via 25Live. There is no access outside of open hours without a reservation. See below, "How to Reserve Global Flora".

Please be aware that construction work is ongoing, and may impact garden areas during your visit.  Thank you!

Check out our visitor maps or directions below, for getting here!

Important Visitor Policies - Read me!

Please abide by all Wellesley College and botanic gardens visitor policies during your visit. 

Botanic Gardens visitor policies

Greenhouse Guidelines

  • Please abide by all Global Flora visitor guidelines posted in the greenhouse, including no food/drinks inside the greenhouse (only allowed in the visitor center)
  • Please follow safety policies for visitors with young children posted in the greenhouse
  • Please follow photography and media guidelines described below
  • We may temporarily close facilities if we exceed maximum capacity, have reservations for class/event use, or for safety/maintenance needs


  • Registered service animals only are allowed inside the greenhouses; no other pets allowed inside. Many plants are toxic to pets if ingested.
  • Leashed dogs are welcome in the outdoor gardens. All dog waste, food, and other trash are carry-out only. 
  • Pets and their humans must always stay on garden paths- please stay out of plant beds.

Covid-19 Safety Requirements

  • Masks are encouraged, but not required, inside buildings
  • We ask all greenhouse visitors to sign in at our Visitor Center front desk
  • Please review latest College policies - visitors should attest to being vaccinated via the online form before entering buildings.

Media, Photography, Art and Commercial Use (also posted in the visitor center)

  • All professional media, photography, and art inside the greenhouses requires advanced permission - please read full guidelines here.
  • Professional media (especially use of a tripod) is NOT permitted without advanced notice and permission - sign and submit the full guidelines linked above, and contact with inquiries.
  • Faculty, staff, and students: please contact Kristina Jones (kjones) to discuss class-related usage

Groups and Special Events


Wellesley Faculty, Staff, Students - How to Reserve Global Flora

Note: You do NOT need a 25Live reservation for casual visits, including with guests, during Global Flora open hours. Please follow these steps for large groups, class visits, events, meetings, etc. in Botanic Gardens spaces.


Reserving Botanic Gardens spaces for your class, event, meeting, or tour

1. Please book in 25live at least 5 days in advance (the primary host - student, faculty, or staff - should make the reservation).
You may request to reserve Global Flora and the Visitor Center any weekday - your visit is not confirmed until approved in 25Live.  We recommend reservations between 9a-5p Tue-Fri, due to staff maintenance work on Mondays. You may reserve the Visitor Center/Creighton room, Edible Ecosystem, and other garden areas, too.
2. How to make your reservation:
- Sign in to 25Live using your Wellesley credentials
- Click Event Form on top right. 
- Fill out at least the Required fields (Event name, Event Type, Your Organization, Estimated Attendance, Event Date/Time, Location
(Tip: Under Location, click Reset, then search "botanic" or "greenhouse". Uncheck "hide conflicts". To reserve any part of Global Flora, choose "Global Flora conservatory" - not "Global Flora Link".  To reserve the Visitor Center main room, find "Creighton room"). 
-  If there's anything you need us to know, write it in "Additional Comments".  For example, "We'd like to reserve the full mezzanine, with 10 chairs set up around 2 tables"). Check "I agree". Click Save.
- Add comments if you're unsure what else to add. We will take care of coordinating door unlocking, etc. or will get in touch with you.
NoteNo food/drinks are allowed in Global Flora. Food is only allowed in the Visitor Center. If your request overlaps with Global Flora open hours Tues-Fri 12-4p, and you need exclusive access (i.e. no casual visitors), write this in Additional Comments.  We have students and staff working in the greenhouse most days, and will minimize disruptions during your reservation but can't make guarantees.
3.  Wait for confirmation.  We'll review your request within 1-3 days and approve or follow up with questions.  Once you receive your confirmation email from 25Live, you're all set!  Show up at your appointed time and please follow all greenhouse guidelines.
For Botanic Gardens support for a Wellesley class trip/activity/tour, contact Kristina Jones (kjones) or Jenn Yang (jyang2).
If you can't book 5 days in advance, contact Jenn Yang (jyang2) to arrange your visit; we can't guarantee reservations on short notice.
If you run into any issues with your 25Live reservation, including technical issues, contact the Events Office (eventsoffice) for support.
Accommodations and Accessibility

Please contact for campus requests and contact us at with questions.  We are happy to assist with accommodations.

The outdoor gardens and greenhouses include both ADA-accessible and inaccessible paths.  Please be prepared for uneven terrain, a variety of path materials (grass, dirt, asphalt, metal grating), steps, and challenging conditions depending on weather, in some areas.  We recommend sturdy shoes, and to avoid metal grating in the greenhouse if wearing thin heels.

Global Flora greenhouse paths are all ADA/wheelchair accessible. (There is a ramp alternative to the stairway in the back.)

The Visitor Center has ADA/wheelchair-accessible restrooms, including a baby changing station and water fountains.


On-campus parking

Parking is free of charge on campus. Click here for a visitor parking map and directions.
Due to the very limited parking near the Visitor Center, we encourage dropping off guests with any mobility difficulties at the Visitor Center, before parking at the Davis parking garage.  There are 3 ADA/wheelchair-accessible spots near the Visitor Center.

  • Visitor parking is available at the Davis parking garage. This is the preferred all-day visitor parking area.
    If the parking gate is lowered at any time, use the buzzer at the gate to connect to Campus Safety; let them know you are visiting the Botanic Gardens, and they will let you in. Please plan for a 10-15 min walk from here to WCBG Visitor Center, with beautiful views of the campus and outdoor botanic gardens along the way!
  • There is one ADA/wheelchair accessible parking spot directly in front of the WCBG Visitor Center entrance.
  • There are 10 short-term visitor parking spots (2-hour limit) on the road leading to the Science Center North entrance, including 2 ADA/wheelchair accessible spots.  These are for temporary visitor parking only, not all day use.

Walking directions from Davis garage to WCBG Visitor Center: From the Davis garage, walk along College Road, turn onto the paved path next to Paramecium Pond into the Botanic Gardens. (1) At bamboo arch on your right, enter the Edible Ecosystem. Continue up past the Science Center North entrance, toward the east side of the Science Center, and Visitor Center/greenhouses are ahead.  (2) Or, continue on College Rd to Founders lot, cross path toward the Science Center (past Mozard Sculpture), continue up the road by Science loading dock (Global Flora is visible on the hill, to your left). Follow road to left, to the Visitor Center entrance.


Special event parking

We may reserve additional parking areas for Friends events/classes, including along the Visitor Center driveway, and in the lot next to Simpson health center (brick building on Science loading dock road).  We can provide short-term event parking passes to place on your dashboard, available at the Visitor Center. Click here for event parking map and directions.

Additional parking

Town Parking is metered during business hours, and free on Sundays/holidays.

  • There are many 2-hour metered town parking spots/lots a short walk from the garden, along Central Street and Weston Rd.
  • Wellesley Square MBTA has a metered parking lot.

Due to limited parking, we recommend carpooling when possible, or using public transit (Wellesley Square MBTA station).

Public Transit - Directions

We suggest finding "WCBG Visitor Center" on Google Maps, or "Wellesley College Science Center" on other map apps such as Bing or Apple. 

We are a short walking distance (~1 mile) from the Wellesley Square MBTA commuter rail station. 

  • From the Wellesley Square station, walk through Wellesley Ville downtown shopping sidewalks along Central St.
  • Enter the College Gate at the four-way intersection of Central St. and Weston, and follow the wide asphalt path (Fiske path) bordering the Botanic Gardens along your right - you'll see some trees with labels on them and a sign for "Fiske Path entrance" down into the Arboretum
  • You can begin exploring the Arboretum here, or continue toward the Science Center at the end of Fiske Path, and begin either at the Kettle Entrance stairs into the Arboretum, or begin at the WCBG Visitor Center / greenhouse during open hours

Refer to our visitor map.

Driving - Directions

Driving Directions

We suggest finding "WCBG Visitor Center" on Google Maps, or "Wellesley College Science Center" on other map apps such as Bing or Apple maps. The visitor center is at the East entrance of the Science Center.  The outdoor Botanic Gardens begins at Paramecium Pond by College Road on the west side, and extends to Fiske Path on the east, with the Visitor Center and Global Flora adjacent to the Science Center building.

There are two entrances into campus:
The Route 135 entrance is just east of 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481
The Route 16 entrance is at 727 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02481

From the West:
Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to Exit 13 (Natick/Framingham/Route 30). Take Route 30 East 0.2 miles to the first set of lights. Turn right on Speen Street and drive 1.8 miles to the intersection with Route 135. Take a left onto Route 135 East and drive 3.6 miles to a traffic light, which will be at the main entrance of the College. Turn right at this light into Wellesley College. Take the first right, and then bear right to park in the parking garage.

Walk out of the garage and cross the street to the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. Turn left onto the sidewalk in front of the campus center. When you come to College Road, take a right and continue walking along the sidewalk until you see Paramecium Pond on the other side of the road. Cross the street at the crosswalk. You are now in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens.

From the East:
Take the Massachusetts Turnpike to Exit 14 (Weston).  Go south on Interstate 95 (Route 128) for 1/2 mile to Route 16, Exit 21B. Follow Route 16 West for 2.9 miles to a stoplight (5-way intersection) in the town of Wellesley.  Bear left at this light (do not take a “hard” left) proceeding up the hill with the church on your right.  Continue for about ¾ mile until the next stop light. Take a right at this light into the Rte. 16 entrance to Wellesley College – there is a “Wellesley College” sign.

Drive the full length of College Road until you see the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center on your left. Just after the campus center, take a left-hand turn and then bear right to park in the parking garage.

Walk out of the garage and cross the street to the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. Turn left onto the sidewalk in front of the campus center. When you come to College Road, take a right and continue walking along the sidewalk until you see Paramecium Pond on the other side of the road. Cross the street at the crosswalk. You are now in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens.

From Logan Airport:
Take the Ted Williams Tunnel from the airport to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90); follow directions from the east (above).

From the North or South:
Take I-95/Route 128 to Route 16 West, Exit 21. Follow Route 16 West for 2.9 miles, using directions from the east (above).

Where do I start?

Please refer to our digital map or other visitor maps for more options!

Recommended starting points

Botanic Gardens Visitor Center (including the Friends of Botanic Gardens office, and Creighton Room):

Search "WCBG Visitor Center" on Google Maps to find our visitor center, located by the East entrance of the Science Center. It is a small brick building with green doors and an arbor in front.  Visit during open hours for informational materials, and our students/staff are available to answer questions.

Global Flora greenhouse:
The Global Flora front entrance is attached to the WCBG Visitor Center, to the right of the Visitor Center main door.  Visit during our open hours, for year-round subtropical weather, water features, student exhibits, and plants from around the world!

Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden (including Betsy's Outdoor Garden Classroom sitting stones area):

Search "Edible Ecosystem" on Google Maps to find the Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden: note that walking directions to this garden are often inaccurate in Google maps. This garden is located just downslope of the Observatory building. Enter via the main gravel path (wheelchair accessible) from the sidewalk between the North entrance of the Science Center and Observatory/Whitin House, OR enter via the bamboo arch entrance using the asphalt path between Paramecium Pond and the Maple Swamp.  The sitting stones in the Garden Classroom are a popular gathering spot!

Outdoor Gardens
The 22-acre outdoor Botanic Gardens encompasses the landscape from Paramecium Pond to the Ville, bordered by the Science Center on one side, and Route 135 on the other.  It is divided into the Alexandra Botanic Garden and the Hunnewell Arboretum.  Start at Paramecium Pond (or any other garden path entrance) for a self-guided tour along our main paths!

Teaching and Research Greenhouses (including the Teaching Lab, G-105):
Looking for your lab? The Teaching and Research Greenhouses (campus access only) entrance is the first double gray doors inside the East entrance of the Science Center (i.e. the Frost Center for the Environment).  The double doors lead into the Headhouse (potting room area); the first 3 doors are research bays; the largest teaching / propagation house is on the right.  The back door leads out into the Kitchen Garden (under construction).