Overview:
Since the publication of the book Lost Horizon in 1933, the term “Shangri La” has represented a place of beauty, peace and enlightenment. In Orange, Texas, a modern Shangri La has been recreated with the best of both nature and gardens. Nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education. The unique ecosystem of Shangri La presents an ideal opportunity to further that mission as well as carry on the vision of H.J Lutcher Stark, the man who originally developed it more than 60 years ago. The formal Botanical Gardens contain more than 300 plant species in five formal “rooms” as well as four sculpture “rooms.” Adjacent to the Botanical Gardens is a bird blind which allows visitors to observe nesting birds in Shangri La’s heronry. The Nature Center includes a hands-on exhibit called the Nature Discovery Center, a laboratory, and three outdoor classrooms located deep in the cypress swamp. The Orientation Center includes an Exhibit Hall, Discovery Theater, Children’s Garden, Exhibition Greenhouses, Café, and Garden Store. Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. As one of the most earth-friendly projects in the world, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature. The combination of gardens and nature at Shangri La presents a serene oasis for retreat and renewal, as well as the opportunity to explore, discover and learn. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Ticket window closes at 4:00 pm. Closed Sunday & Monday. Admission: Adults, $6. Seniors (65+), Students (w/valid ID) and Youth (10-17), $5. Children (4-9), $2. Admission is for Botanical Gardens OR Outpost Tour. An All-Entry pass can be bought for a discount.
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Saturday Adventure Series: Birding on the Bayou

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Our favorite feathered friends are passing through Shangri La this month! Join us for this family friendly boat ride excursion on Adam’s Bayou as we look for our avian visitors passing through on ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: The Nature of Art

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
During this family friendly program we will use soils, leaves, and beetles to connect painting with the great outdoors. We will create homemade paints with natural ingredients and let the artists be ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Spunky Sprouts

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
What better way to celebrate the new season than learning how to plant a seed! Bring the whole family to plant seeds using several different methods. Take the seeds you planted home and watch them ...more

Shangri La Eco-Fest & Butterfly Release

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77631
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Each year in April, Shangri La celebrates Earth Day during our Eco-Fest celebration. The day is full of family fun that highlights sustainability and natural history. Local and regional organizations ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Nature's Ninjas

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Animals in the woods aren’t always seen, but we do find evidence of their visits. Scientists can learn a lot by studying the hidden signs left by animals. Hit the trails with your family as we learn ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: The Magic of Meadows

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
During this family friendly program discover what animals and insects hide among the tall meadow grasses. Try your hand with a collection net to scoop up insects and examine them more closely. You’ll ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: The Bees are Back in Town

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $10

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Buzz over to Shangri La to explore the wonderful world of bees! We will investigate our working bee hive, discover how our garden benefits from bees, and taste some honey. Fun for the whole family! ...more

Summer Camp: EcoRangers, Nature Heroes

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 - $60

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-0803
  • Visit Website
Explore the forest and meadow trails, tromp along the swamps and float down the bayou, all in search of the animals that call Shangri La home! As a Hero in training, campers explore the splendor of ...more

Summer Camp: EcoRangers, Pow-Wow with Nature

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 - $60

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-0803
  • Visit Website
Step back in time to when Native Americans lived in the area of Shangri La. Learn to live off the land by building a natural shelter, tracking animals, weaving with natural materials, working with ...more

Summer Camp: EcoRangers, Wonderful World of Wings

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 - $60

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-0803
  • Visit Website
It's a bird, it's a bat, it's a butterfly! Discover how and why things in nature use flight for migration, hunting, predator evasion or attracting a mate. Here at Shangri La we have a multitude of ...more

Summer Camp: May the Force of Nature Be with You

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

$45 - $60

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-0803
  • Visit Website
Forces of nature are always moving, from shifting tectonic plates, hot and cold air currents colliding, or the transfer of energy. Students will learn through the design and flight of a hot air ...more