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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Symphony at Shangri La

5:00 PM

$10 - $35

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 886-5535
  • Visit Website
The Symphony of Southeast Texas, directed by Maestro Chelsea Tipton, returns to Shangri La Botanical Gardens at the peak of Scarecrow Festival for a festive evening of seasonal nature and magnificent ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Beneath the Bayou

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Explore the hidden world of wetlands with family and take a look below the surface to discover some bottom-dwelling critters. Many insects start their lives underwater, and it's surprising what they ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: A Dig Through Time

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Help is needed to unearth ancient artifacts and explain their undiscovered uses. Practice archaeological excavation techniques and install a Cartesian grid over the area. Bring the whole family and be ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Buzz Off

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
The heat may be fading, but the mosquitoes sure aren’t! Join friends and neighbors for a family-friendly program and discover which plants can keep people bite-free this fall. Then, create a natural ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Budding Botanists

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
There are so many plants at Shangri La! How do we tell them all apart? Enjoy a family program and learn some of the key features that scientists use for identifying plants. Before “leafing,” become a ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Swamp Symphony

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Frogs, birds and bugs sing sweet songs just in time for symphony weekend. Join the critter chorus and perform a new swamp symphony using sounds found in nature, then make and take a bamboo wind chime! ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: The Dirt on Soil

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Every garden starts in the same place: the soil. Discover how soil helps plants grow and get all 10 fingers dirty during some hands-on experiments. Then use the findings to make and take a soil ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Bat Buddies

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
We’re all going batty! Creepy critters of the night. Do they give you a great fright? Come to Shangri La and see. Bats are friends to you and me! Just in time for Halloween & fun for the whole family! ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Survival Part 1

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
Bring the family to discover which plants are edible around the gardens. Then explore the art of foraging by collecting and sampling plants. Boost basic survival skills by learning which plant parts ...more

Saturday Adventure Series: Survival Part 2

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

$2 - $6

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
  • 2111 W. Park Ave
  • Orange, TX 77630
  • (409) 670-9113
  • Visit Website
There are no hospitals in the forest! What happens if someone gets hurt? Prepare family and friends for hunting season with an adventure walk on one of Shangri La’s secret trails while learning how to ...more