10 Must-Dos When Visiting The Water Conservation Garden!


The Water Conservation Garden is a bit of a hidden gem in the greater San Diego area. Less than 20 minutes east of downtown, it’s a beautiful space to spend an afternoon! My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our recent visit. We think you will too.

Here is our list of 10 must-dos when visiting the Water Conservation Garden.

  1. Visit on Free Day FridayOn the second Friday of each month, admission to the Water Conservation Garden is free. This is a great opportunity to check the garden out if you have not been there before.
  2. Dress for the Occasion – When visiting the Water Conservation Garden, be sure to wear comfy shoes, gather sun protection items, and bring water! There are 6 acres of garden space to explore. It is in East County, so be prepared for sunshine and heat!
  3. Pack a Picnic Lunch – There are several inviting picnic areas to refuel and relax throughout the premises. Bring food from home or stop at one of the local restaurants on your way in. Pull up a seat and take in the surroundings in good company.
  4. Grab a Scavenger Hunt on the Way In! The free sheets are a fun way to discover the plants, exhibits, animals, and structures. Bonus: Earn a prize for participation. 

    Scavenger Hunt Fun!
    A Scavenger Hunt Will Help You Discover the Sights!
  5. Check the Calendar of Events – Find an upcoming outdoor yoga class, a workshop on landscape design for you, or one for the family. Additionally, there are so many more wonderful learning events beyond these as well, including a free tour of the garden on the first Saturday of the month. Have a look at the monthly schedule and also check this one for seasonal workshops. Pro tip: if you become a Garden Member, you’ll find that these events are often free (vs a nominal $8 fee)!                   

    Cooling Off at a Water Fountain
    Bring the Kids and the Dog Along!
  6. Take the Kids to the Children’s Trail  – Here you will find hands-on learning activities and learn fun facts. Also, be sure to check out the outdoor playhouse. If you have dinosaur fans, this area will be a hit! 
  7. Be Prepared to Learn – There are 14 inspiring demonstration garden spaces to admire and gather yard improvement intel from. I am always looking for the best plants and landscaping ideas that make sense for the local climate. So much good information here! Learn about drought-tolerant plants, container design techniques, mulch, cactus, and succulent gardens, and so much more.         

    Beautiful Garden Ideas are All Around
    Get Inspired by the Various Garden Exhibits!
  8. Bring Your Dog – I was so pleased to learn that dogs are welcome here!
  9. Visit the Gift Shop – Grab a unique, locally made keepsake or a beautiful plant at a fair price to remember the day! Don’t miss the ice cream.
  10. Becoming a Member – An annual Dual Membership is only $65. It offers free or reduced pricing for many classes and workshops. Moreover, you’ll also get free admission to the Japanese Friendship and San Diego Botanic Gardens amongst other gardens worldwide. To see full membership options and additional great perks, check here.

Enjoy Visiting The Water Conservation Garden! Happy Exploring!


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