Photos of Tammy Jones's family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby
Photos of Tammy Jones's Family enjoying Splashin' Selby

Our Splashin' Selby Saturday

Selby Gardens has summer fun for the whole family. Learn more about this attraction's family-friendly activities.

I love gardens. Flower gardens, butterfly gardens, rock gardens, fruit and vegetable gardens. I love a plant's unique texture, their colors and endless variety of shapes and sizes. I am captivated in the fragrance of roses, daffodils, lilies and lavender. In my opinion, plants and flowers are the perfect balance of beauty and provision of food, shelter, oxygen, medicine and protection. When I'm strolling through the lush flora pathways of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, it seems, at least to me, that all is right in the world. That's the reason I became a member of The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Splashin' Saturday

On a Saturday in July, I was lured to the paradise again.  Together with my husband, Greg, and grandchildren in tow we ventured our way to the Water Zone to enjoy a Splashin' Selby Saturday. 

Splashin' Selby Saturdays is a fun filled experience that can be enjoyed every every summer.  It's right on site at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and is free to members. Children under 12 are complimentary, reciprocal benefits for memberships are $10.00 and non-members can get in for regular daily admission and join in the fun plus take full advantage of all the gardens have to offer. Make a day of it.

Waterfall at Selby Gardens Water Zone
Waterfall at Selby Gardens Water Zone

Activities Galore

Next to the Ann Goldstein Rain Forest, sprawled across the lawn was an array of activities that promised not to disappoint and beckoned each one of us to come and play. The grandkids giggled with expectation and wiggled their toes into their water shoes then rushed off to join the festivities.

Their first stop was at a 10 foot yellow, blue and red water slide that stood like an Alpine. Unintimidated children waited in line and kept cool in a wading pool at the bottom.  A patient volunteer could be overheard repeating a series of gentle commands.

"Wait right here, No, not yet. Okay, you can go up now".

Levi, my three year old grandson, slowly ascended the rubber mountain. Kaylynn scaled it with more ease but waited patiently for her younger cousin to reach the top.

"Sit down. Feet in front". I could hear her command.

In almost an instant I could see them both sliding sideways down the watery slope.

Next Kaylynn, became a welcomed team mate jumping in the middle of an active volleyball game. I watched a blue and pink beach ball bounced off her eager hand as she leaped to make her shot; whacking the ball back over the volley ball net. 

A green butterfly net nestled in the grass caught Levi's attention.  I pitched animal scrubbies to him and he caught them as he ran towards me with an outstretched net.

Butterfly net games at Selby Gardens
Butterfly net games at Selby Gardens

Several yards away Greg amused himself with a glider he discovered. It was a Frisbee the size of a hoola hoop with a Soft beige fabric wrapped around it. I watched him snap the hoop forward and watched it roll back to him. I should have been ready for what would happen next. But alas I was in my own zone.

I dragged my chair under a large tree and relaxed under its shade.  Kaylynn and Levi discovered a small canopied pool packed with colorful plastic balls. A perfect place to hide from the sun and begin a friendly game of catch. A few other children grabbed pink, blue and yellow spray bottles filled with water. Chasing each other they sprayed anyone in their path. I was one of the lucky ones refreshed by their mischievous antics.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw this whirling wheel coming straight for me. 

"Tam, lookout," Greg yelled.

"Grandma," shouted Kaylynn.

Fortunately, in that moment I was nimble enough to break out of my chair. Reaching to catch the object, I lost my balance and plopped to the ground. I managed to scramble back on my feet.

The Christy Payne Mansion

Hoping no-one noticed, I wiped my dirty knees and grabbed that whirling wheel and whipped it right back at him.  The only problem was that I twirled my whole body at the time of release, and sent the Frisbee off into the foliage. I don't have to tell you the game was over but there was one more place we wanted to visit before heading home; the mansion.

The Christy Payne Mansion is a favorite stop for my granddaughter and me.  We sat and rocked a bit on in the old rocking chairs on the front porch and enjoyed watching an array of butterflies, including monarchs, chase after one another and sip nectar from the Pentas plant.

Once I found in my own yard a Monarch chrysalis hanging from my Aloe plant. It looked like a light green leaf with a thin gold ring encircling the top of it. What a thrill it was to observe partial metamorphose; the change between the green chrysalis to a translucent protective skin that the butterfly would soon emerge from. I was actually able to see the color of the Monarch Butterfly during this final stage. Within a few days, I spied the orange and black creature warming in the sun beside the Aloe plant. It gracefully fanned its wings dry to prepare for flight.


Apr 17, 2017
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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a wonderful oasis on Sarasota Bay. On any typical day, visitors can stroll through several gardens including a tropical conservatory, a fern garden...