I'd heard about the International Peace Gardens down in Salt Lake that are located right along the banks of the Jordan River (at 9th West and 10th South) when I was searching for some quick, fun things to do with my kids downtown last year. We never made it out there last year, but found ourselves with an hour to kill in Salt Lake this summer and decided to make a quick trip over to check it out.
I'm so glad we did, because it ended up being pretty awesome.
Once we got home I was able to research a little more about the gardens and was fascinated to learn that they were initially approved in 1939, but creation of the space was put on hold, ironically enough because WWII broke out that year. Crazy right?! Cultivation of the gardens was finally resumed in 1947 and today has spaces that represent 28 different nations.
The project is supposed to represent world peace, love and cultural heritage.
Mostly I loved pointing out all the different countries my kids studied this past year during their cultures of the world tour they did in school.
Each little section of the park was dedicated to a different nation and the first thing you could spot for each country was usually their flag flying high above the foliage. So we had fun playing "Name That Country" to see who could identify the next nation's flag before we got there.
The gardens comprise 11 acres and are located inside Jordan Park.
The garden area itself didn't seem to have any bathrooms, but there are some right outside the gardens within the park.
It was a lot of walking for my 3-year-old. We were there for about an hour and by the end he was getting tired of walking (we didn't have a stroller, but there were pathways that could easily accommodate one). My kids weren't always interested in staying on the path, but there was one there! There were also plenty of spots for him to stop and sit along the way.
For the most part though, the kids ran around watching all the cute chipmunks and pointing out all the cool displays and statues associated with each country.
I absolutely loved all the flowers, I was under the impression that each area would boast plant-life native to their region, but it was mostly all just the same types of flowers throughout. Each country was mostly just represented by its display, rather than the plants growing there. However, there were a few that had native plants to correlate with their display.
Overall it was a gorgeous and extremely 'Zen' and peaceful. I saw a couple of moms picnicking with their toddlers and thought they for sure had the right idea. Such a beautiful place to spend an hour with my kids.
I also discovered after our visit that they host an annual Garden Festival every year, that is coming up in just a couple weeks, that I'd love to check out sometime as well!