Learning for Families & Children
Learning for Families & Children

Learning for Families & Children

Explore the garden activities for families and children offered this season by scrolling through the list below or browse by category to the right.


Weekend Activities for Children

Saturdays and Sundays, April 16-June 12
Free with Gardens Admission
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Join us for the following activities:
Storytime: 10 a.m.
Garden Puppet Theater: 11 a.m. (May-Sundays only)
Nature Investigations: 12:30 p.m.
Chicken Feeding: 1:30 p.m.


Signs of Spring Garden Walk

Saturdays in May
11 a.m.
All ages, free with Gardens Admission
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Explore the sights and sounds of the season by joining us on a springtime scavenger hunt with your little one. We’ll venture into the gardens in search of springtime blooms, bursting buds and animal life and learn the names of some of our spring beauties along the way.


Daily Activities for Children

Daily June 13-September 5
Free with admission

Join us for the following activities in the Children's Garden:

Storytime: 10 a.m.
Garden Puppet Theater: 1 p.m.
Chicken Feeding: 2 p.m.


Family Garden Quest - Life Cycles in the Garden

Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
June 20-July 31
11-11:45 a.m.
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Join us for a family-friendly guided activity full of exploration and discovery to learn more about the plants and animals that call the Children’s Garden home. Please refer to the schedule below for Garden Quest topics throughout the summer. This activity is led by a member of our Education staff team and families of any size are welcome to attend for one price - member families are $10, while nonmember families are $12. Please meet in the Story Barn of the Children’s Garden shortly before 11 am to register.
Life Cycles in the Garden - We’ll scope out the pond to investigate the various stages of our amphibian friends and learn about the unique differences between them. We’ll also explore the pond and garden to identify the life cycles of insects and learn about metamorphosis.

FAMILY GARDEN QUEST SUMMER SCHEDULE:
June 20-July 31
Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays: Life Cycles in the Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays:Unearthing Life Underground
August 1-September 5
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: The Edible Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Pollinators


Family Garden Quest - Unearthing Life Underground

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays
June 20-July 31
11-11:45 a.m.
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Join us for a family-friendly guided activity full of exploration and discovery to learn more about the plants and animals that call the Children’s Garden home. Please refer to the schedule below for Garden Quest topics throughout the summer. This activity is led by a member of our Education staff team and families of any size are welcome to attend for one price - member families are $10, while nonmember families are $12. Please meet in the Story Barn of the Children’s Garden shortly before 11 am to register.
Unearthing Life Underground - Join us as we discover who’s hiding underground in the garden and learn about the ways these little critters make our garden better. We’ll also check out our compost pile to search for worm eggs and other creepy crawlies who are putting our garden waste to good use!

FAMILY GARDEN QUEST SUMMER SCHEDULE:
June 20-July 31
Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays: Life Cycles in the Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Unearthing Life Underground
August 1-September 5
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: The Edible Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Pollinators


Little Diggers - "Let the Sun Shine"

Ages 3-5
with Erika Huber
Thursday, June 30, 2016
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Seagull Pavilion, Children’s Garden
Includes Gardens Admission for one child and one adult

Preschoolers will have fun gardening and exploring nature in this parent-and-child program. Children will learn all about seeds, flowers, vegetables and animals through stories, explorations, and planting activities in our Learning Garden.
Theme of the Day: "Let the Sun Shine” - What makes plants grow?


Fairy Fridays

Every Friday in July and August
Children’s Garden

Fridays in July and August are full of fun at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for little fairies, gnomes, elves, and wood sprites! The Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden is the perfect place for fairy music and dancing on the maze, fairy puppet shows, stories, dress-up, crafts, fairy yoga, games, the Great Bubble Machine and, of course, building fairy houses.

Fairy Friday Schedule:
10 a.m. - Fairy Stories (Story Barn)
11 a.m. - Fairy Puppet Theater (Story Barn)
11:30 a.m. - Fairy Yoga (maze)
12:15 p.m. - Fairy dancing and the Great Bubble Machine (maze)
1:30 p.m. - Flower Fairy Walk (Story Barn)
*Fairy crafts will take place throughout the day in the picnic pavilion.


iNature Photography Workshop

with Kimberly Post
Ages 10-13
Tuesday-Friday, July 5-8, 2016
9:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Calling all young photographers! Advance your digital photography skills using your iPhone or iPad in this exciting and engaging workshop. Join artist and instructor Kimberly Post on photographic explorations through the gardens and surrounding forests as you learn to capture nature in creative and unique ways. Back in the classroom, work with a variety of editing apps to enhance your photos. Each day ends with a group critique as you build your own photography portfolio. You will also journey back to the roots of modern photography by creating a pinhole camera and developing images in a darkroom. Please contact the Gardens if you do not have an iOS device, but are interested in taking this workshop.


Nature Illustration Camp

with Hillary Parker
Ages 7-11
Monday-Friday, July 11-15, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Does your child love to draw and have an appreciation for all things natural? Join us for this hands-on, skill building camp with naturalist and international award-winning botanical watercolor artist, Hillary Parker. Setting out daily to sketch and paint on location throughout the Gardens, students will become “botanical art explorers” as they spend the week discovering and illustrating some of the more ‘Weird, Wild and Wonderful’ plants that are part of this year’s theme at the Gardens: “Rare and Extraordinary Plants.” From carnivorous wonders to tropical oddities, students will enjoy creating their own ‘florilegium,’ a visual record of the week’s discoveries. All art supplies are included with this camp.


Carnivorous Plants Come Alive!

All ages
with Erika Huber
Monday, July 11
1-3 p.m.
Drop off and pick up in the Education Center

Explore to find all the different kinds of carnivorous plants we have at the Gardens this year. See what a Pitcher Plant eats for lunch and how a Sundew traps its prey. Smell how some carnivorous plants attract flies and feel the sticky enzyme that others use to grab insects. Participants will then get to feed these incredible plants and watch them in action.


Little Diggers - “Home Sweet Home”

Ages 3-5
with Erika Huber
Thursday, July 14, 2016
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Seagull Pavilion, Children’s Garden
Includes Gardens Admission for one child and one adult

Preschoolers will have fun gardening and exploring nature in this parent-and-child program. Children will learn all about seeds, flowers, vegetables and animals through stories, explorations, and planting activities in our Learning Garden.
Theme of the Day: “Home Sweet Home” - Exploring the Garden Habitat


Nature Adventure Camp (4-5)

with Karen Jones
Ages 4-5
Monday-Friday, July 18-22, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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. New, exploration-filled activities will take us on adventures throughout the gardens and surrounding forests. By the end of the week, Nature Adventurers will be well on their way to becoming young naturalists!


Weaving with Natural Materials

Ages 6+
with Erika Huber
Monday, July 18
2-4 p.m.
Drop off and pick up in the Education Center

Come add to our new giant loom in the woods with natural material we will find in the gardens. Learn weaving basics as well as different styles through color and texture of plant material. Collect flowers, grasses and other natural materials to make it look extraordinary! Then we will gather the perfect materials to make your own weaving to take home.


Nature Adventure Camp (6-8)

with Karen Jones
Ages 6-8
Monday-Friday, July 25-29, 2016
12:30-4 p.m.

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. New, exploration-filled activities will take us on adventures throughout the gardens and surrounding forests. By the end of the week, Nature Adventurers will be well on their way to becoming young naturalists!


Little Diggers - “Flower Power!”

Ages 3-5
with Erika Huber
Thursday, July 28, 2016
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Seagull Pavilion, Children’s Garden
Includes Gardens Admission for one child and one adult

Preschoolers will have fun gardening and exploring nature in this parent-and-child program. Children will learn all about seeds, flowers, vegetables and animals through stories, explorations, and planting activities in our Learning Garden.
Theme of the Day: “Flower Power!” - Investigating flowers from the inside out and their pollinator friends


Garden Explorers Camp (4-5)

with Karen Jones
Ages 4-5
Monday-Friday, August 1-5, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Budding gardeners will spend the week digging, planting, watering and harvesting, as they learn how to care for our Learning Garden. 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.


Family Garden Quest - The Edible Garden

Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
August 1- September 5
11-11:45 a.m.
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Join us for a family-friendly guided activity full of exploration and discovery to learn more about the plants and animals that call the Children’s Garden home. Please refer to the schedule below for Garden Quest topics throughout the summer. This activity is led by a member of our Education staff team and families of any size are welcome to attend for one price - member families are $10, while nonmember families are $12. Please meet in the Story Barn of the Children’s Garden shortly before 11 am to register.
The Edible Garden - What better way to learn about plant parts than by eating them! We’ll sample our way through the vegetable garden as we learn about the important job of the different parts of a plant and explore the life cycle of a plant from seed to fruit.

FAMILY GARDEN QUEST SUMMER SCHEDULE:
June 20-July 31
Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays: Life Cycles in the Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Unearthing Life Underground
August 1-September 5
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: The Edible Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Pollinators


Family Garden Quest - Pollinators

Tuesdays,Thursdays and Sundays
August 1- September 5
11-11:45 a.m.
Story Barn, Children’s Garden

Join us for a family-friendly guided activity full of exploration and discovery to learn more about the plants and animals that call the Children’s Garden home. Please refer to the schedule below for Garden Quest topics throughout the summer. This activity is led by a member of our Education staff team and families of any size are welcome to attend for one price - member families are $10, while nonmember families are $12. Please meet in the Story Barn of the Children’s Garden shortly before 11 am to register.
Pollinators - Did you know that different pollinators prefer flowers of different colors, shapes and smells? We’ll get up close and personal with pollinators as we observe them in action, play a game to learn about their preferences and dissect a flower to see just how pollination takes place.

FAMILY GARDEN QUEST SUMMER SCHEDULE:
June 20-July 31
Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays: Life Cycles in the Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Unearthing Life Underground
August 1-September 5
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays: The Edible Garden
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: Pollinators


Garden Explorers Camp (6-8)

with Karen Jones
Ages 6-8
Monday-Friday, August 8-12, 2016
12:30-4 p.m.

Budding gardeners will spend the week digging, planting, watering and harvesting, as they learn how to care for our Learning Garden. 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.


Little Diggers - “Garden Harvest”

Ages 3-5
with Erika Huber
Thursday, August 11, 2016
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Seagull Pavilion, Children’s Garden
Includes Gardens Admission for one child and one adult

Preschoolers will have fun gardening and exploring nature in this parent-and-child program. Children will learn all about seeds, flowers, vegetables and animals through stories, explorations, and planting activities in our Learning Garden.
Theme of the Day: “Garden Harvest” – Learning plant parts in the veggie garden


For the Love of Monarchs!

Ages 5-9
with Erika Huber
Monday, August 22, 2016
1-3 p.m.
Drop off and pick up in the Education Center

Learn all about the amazing Monarch Butterfly… its life cycle, habitat, migration, and how you can help them at home by planting butterfly friendly plants or a whole butterfly garden. Go on a monarch caterpillar safari, learn what they eat and see the Monarch Butterflies as they get ready to head to their winter home. Each child will learn what plants a Monarch needs during its life and be able to take home a plant that they will love.


The Great Pumpkin Hunt

Saturday, October 22, 2016
1 - 3:30 p.m.
Free for everyone

Enjoy a fun-filled fall day at the Gardens during this free family event filled with games, contests, activities and prizes! Kids can hunt for the "golden pumpkins" – the lucky finders win gift certificates to purchase their family's Thanksgiving meal! Each child will find and choose a free pumpkin to enjoy for Halloween. Don't forget to submit your pie into the best pumpkin pie contest! Admission to the Gardens is free during this event. Donations to the Boothbay Region Food Pantry at the door will be gratefully accepted.
Rain date: Sunday, October 23