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Children’s garden grand opening plans postponed at Atlanta Botanical Gardens
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A stone dragon waits for children at the top of the Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville. The garden is set for a March 21 grand opening. - photo by Nick Bowman

Update, March 13: Grand opening plans have been postponed. The garden remains open.


Previous story: A snoozing stone dragon, fountainous frogs, life-size Lincoln logs — a new children’s garden is coming alive this month in Gainesville.

The new Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville promises to ignite the imaginations of kiddos who climb and crawl their way through the new space.

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A new build-your-own-fort play area sits at the Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden on Wednesday, March 4, in Gainesville. - photo by Nick Bowman

And the community will get its first official look at the garden on March 21, when the gardens host a grand opening for the new area. The children’s garden has been in the works for years, and plans for the big reveal were announced in January.

The garden is named for New Holland native and avid gardener Ada Mae Pass Ivester, mother of former Coca-Cola Co. CEO and philanthropist Doug Ivester.

“The children’s garden really adds so much in terms of activities and a new audience,” Mildred Fockele, lead horticulturist at the Gainesville garden, told The Times in January. “We have families and children that come and enjoy being in the garden, but it adds another dimension.”

Free shuttles will be running between the gardens at 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville and Lakeview Academy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 21.

There are events and attractions scheduled throughout the day:

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Tulips woft in rainy weather on Wednesday, March 4, at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville. Mildred Fockele, lead horticulturist at the Gainesville garden, said it won’t be long until the gardens are at full color this spring. - photo by Nick Bowman

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Hula hoops, corn hole and other games in the gardens

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Georgia Chalk Artists Guild lead an interactive chalk art workshop in the amphitheater

  • 10 a.m.: Jeffini the Magician on the event lawn

  • 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Face painting in the children’s garden

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Tree Man, a stilt-walking tree, in the gardens

  • 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Mike’s on the Go Food Truck in the gardens

  • 11:30 a.m.:  Synchronicity Theatre performance of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” in the amphitheater, weather permitting

  • 1:30 p.m.: Tahino, a Latin American musical group, performance on the event lawn

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A toy train sits on tracks at the Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden on Wednesday, March 4, in Gainesville. The new section of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Gainesville has a grand opening set for March 21. - photo by Nick Bowman
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