One thing I did not explore on previous visits to the MSV were the acres of gardens on the property - something visitors can check out that's included with the cost of admission to the museum itself. I really thought this would be more of something that Kris would enjoy, but I found myself equally, if not more excited by the gardens, which are also part of the property of the Glen Burnie House, which is also open to the public and included as part of the ten dollar per adult admission.
One can literally spend an entire day at the MSV, as there is more than enough to see and do, and it's a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes. Of course, visit on a day calling for good weather, if seeing the Glen Burnie Gardens are part of the plan. The museum itself once had a cafe, but that has since closed down about two years ago. They do however, sell some very satisfying food and drink items at the gift shop, and there are designated areas to eat near the entrance of the gardens. One can also eat and picnic throughout the grounds, as long as trash is properly disposed of.
While I enjoyed all of the different types of gardens, my favorites by far were the Chinese and Water Gardens. When Kris and I visited, a portion of the Chinese Garden was temporarily closed for repairs, but there was still plenty to explore. It was difficult to capture the magic of being there through photographs, but still, hopefully you get a sense of what it was like to visit on a warm, sunny day. I found that much of the time the temperatures remained a lot cooler under the shade of the many trees throughout the gardens, especially the Chinese portion, making it the perfect place to cool down, relax and reflect.
As a young boy, I always had an affinity for nature, or at least the more tranquil aspects of the natural world, and often times you could find me hanging out near a creek or pond, usually under some types of trees. As a very young child, I'd imagine dinosaurs, and prehistoric life appearing throughout the woods, and later, as I grew older, the forest itself became fascinating enough. I truly believe that if we are to survive as a species, children (and adults) absolutely must learn to appreciate the natural world, spend more time in it, minus any gimmicks and frills, and learn to reflect, look and listen beyond the electronic devices. Places like this are perfect for fostering this type of thing.
While I'm no expert on flowers, gardens and all things botanical (that's more of Kris' area of expertise), I found a great deal of artistic inspiration at the Glen Burnie Gardens. In fact, there was a woman who was just getting into art there, doing some drawing. Still, one doesn't have to be an artist or even a botanist to enjoy this place. Until then, we can't wait to come back again soon, as well as experience the grounds throughout the year. In the meantime, admission is free on Wednesdays until the end of July, and the MSV will also have extended hours until 8pm on those days as well!