Children's activities at the Gardens, like making and decorating grass-seed heads, are fun and educational.

Children’s activities at the Gardens, like making and decorating grass seed heads, are fun and educational.

At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, children can learn about plants and wildlife in spectacular settings including the two-acre Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. We emphasize exploration and discovery and offer memorable programs for a wide range of ages.  For a variety of programs for children and families, throughout the year, see below and scroll through the calendar on our homepage. 

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Fun and learning are the centerpieces of our children's camps for various age groups. Here, Garden Explorers watch a puppet show about chlorophyll. (Erika Huber photo)

Fun and learning are the centerpieces of our
children’s camps and series for various age groups.
Above, a preschooler enjoys Little Diggers.
Below, Garden Explorers watch a puppet show
about chlorophyll. (Erika Huber photos)

Below are the exciting Little Diggers gardening sessions and several exciting day camps we’re offering for children in several age groups during 2014. Since numbers are limited, we suggest signing up as soon as possible. To register, follow the links from each title. You’ll also find information below on our new Flower Fairies of Springtime strolls.

Tuesday, April 1, and Wednesdays, April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21, June 4. 

Little Diggers Gardening and Nature Spring Series (ages 3-5)
When: 9:30-11:30 p.m. 
Where:   Start each session in the Bosarge Family Education Center
Prices:  Sign up for the series or register for classes individually. 
$70 per series members/$95 per series non-members               
OR
 individual classes: $13 for members, $17 for non-members.  
Price includes Gardens admission for one child and one adult.

Saturdays, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Flower Fairies of Springtime
Guided stroll for children and their families
Where: Meets in the Story Barn, Children’s Garden
Price: Free with admission

Every other Thursday in June, July, August
June 19; July 3, 17, 31; August 14, 28
Little Diggers Gardening and Nature Summer Series for ages 3-5
When: 9:30-11:30 a.m. each day
Where: Meets in the Seagull Pavilion, Children’s Garden
Prices:  $70 per series members/$95 per series non-members
OR sign up for individual classes: $13 for members, $17 for non-members. 
Price includes Gardens admission for one child and one adult.

Saturday, June 21
“Wings of Nature” Film Showing and Butterfly Release
When: 2-4 p.m.
Where: Education Center
Prices: $4/child member; $9/adult member; $5/child nonmember; $14 adult nonmember; ages 2 and under admitted free (price includes Gardens admission)

Monday-Friday, July 7-11
Nature Illustration Camp (ages 9-14)
When:   9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where:  Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $225 members, $270 non-members (art supplies included)

Does your child love to draw and have an appreciation for all things natural?  Join us for a week-long Nature Illustration Camp with Hillary Parker, naturalist and international award-winning botanical watercolor artist.  Hillary, who was one of our artists-in-residence last summer, will be back this summer to share her knowledge and passion with young artists.  Setting out to work on location in a different part of the Gardens each day, armed with magnifying glasses, nets, and containers, campers will become “botanical art explorers” as they spend the week investigating, discovering, and learning keen observation skills in the field.   Documenting their findings each day through sketches, notes, and selected cuttings, campers will learn and/or improve upon basic art skills while creating a naturalist’s journal using mediums that are easy to work with in the field, like watercolors, colored pencils, graphite, and pen.  On the final day, campers will bind their journals and focus on creating a single study of art.  Family and friends will be invited to an art reception at the end of the week, where our young artists will share their findings, journals, artwork and experiences as naturalists, botanists and artists! 

To learn more about Hillary Parker and to view her portfolio, visit: http://www.hillaryparkerwatercolors.com/home.html

Monday-Friday, July 14-18
Nature Explorers Camp (ages 9-13)
When:   9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $185 members, $222 non-members

Kids who love exploring the great outdoors, learning new outdoor skills, and geocaching, will LOVE Nature Explorers Camp! Explorers will expand their knowledge of the natural world through an inquiry-based week of outdoor activities utilizing both old and new methods of nature exploration, including the use of technology. We’ll put our newly learned skills to use as we branch out into new areas of the Gardens’ 248 acres, hiking to its more “wild” parts as we investigate the remnants of an old homestead and discover life on the shore of a tidal river and beyond.  We’ll even spend a morning kayaking around the Back River with an experienced guide as we explore life in and around this saltwater habitat. Campers will work together to create a series of geocaches for all visitors of the Gardens to enjoy as a culminating project of a fun-filled, skill-building week!

Monday-Friday, July 21-25
Nature Adventure Camp (ages 4-5)
When:   9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where:  Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $125 members, $150 nonmembers

Our summer nature camps provide fun and enriching opportunities for young people to learn about the natural world.  Week-long, half-day sessions fully engage children in an outdoor setting, while encouraging imagination and creativity through garden walks, stories, games, arts and crafts, and nature-related projects.  In Nature Adventure Camp, new, exploration-filled activities will take us on adventures throughout the gardens and surrounding forests as we turn over rocks and logs in the woods, scope out the pond, and look for signs of life near the river to discover just who calls these habitats home. By the end of the week, Nature Adventurers will be well on their way to becoming young naturalists! 

New for 2014: Parents-we listened to your requests and have lengthened the daily camp session by an hour.      

Monday-Friday, July 28-August 1
Nature Adventure Camp (ages 6-8)
When:   12:30-4:00 p.m.
Where:  Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $125 members, $150 nonmembers

Our summer nature camps provide fun and enriching opportunities for young people to learn about the natural world.  Week-long, half-day sessions fully engage children in an outdoor setting, while encouraging imagination and creativity through garden walks, stories, games, arts and crafts, and nature-related projects.  In Nature Adventure Camp, new, exploration-filled activities will take us on adventures throughout the gardens and surrounding forests as we turn over rocks and logs in the woods, scope out the pond, and look for signs of life near the river to discover just who calls these habitats home. By the end of the week, Nature Adventurers will be well on their way to becoming young naturalists!    

New for 2014: Parents-we listened to your requests and have lengthened the daily camp session by an hour.     

Monday-Friday, August 4-8
Garden Explorers Camp (ages 4-5)
When:   9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $125 members, $150 nonmembers

Budding gardeners will spend the week digging, planting, watering and harvesting, as they learn how to care for our Learning Garden and greenhouse. We’ll investigate the inner workings of a garden from the ground up and get the real “dirt” on plants, life cycles, composting, garden critters and more!  Join us for a week filled with new observations, experiments, taste tests, games and take-home garden projects.  In celebration of this year’s theme at the Gardens, this camp will have a special emphasis on pollinators and the important role they play in our garden.

New for 2014: Parents-we listened to your requests and have lengthened the daily camp session by an hour.     

Monday-Friday, August 11-15
Garden Explorers Camp (ages 6-8)
When:   12:30-4:00 p.m.
Where: Education Center and grounds (drop-off and pick-up children in the Education Center)
Price:    $125 members, $150 nonmembers

Budding gardeners will spend the week digging, planting, watering and harvesting, as they learn how to care for our Learning Garden and greenhouse. We’ll investigate the inner workings of a garden from the ground up and get the real “dirt” on plants and their life cycle, composting, garden critters and more!  Join us for a week filled with new observations, experiments, taste tests, games and take-home garden projects.  In celebration of this year’s theme at the Gardens, this camp will have a special emphasis on pollinators and the important role they play in our garden.

New for 2014: Parents-we listened to your requests and have lengthened the daily camp session by an hour.