Learning for Families & Children
At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, inspiring meaningful connections between people and nature is at the heart of everything we do. Whether you and your family are visiting for an afternoon or you’ve signed up for one of our flagship weeklong summer camps, our youth and family programs are designed to make those magical connections come alive, leaving you with an unforgettable experience.
Most of our programs are anchored in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden, one of our most beloved spaces. During the peak summer season, see the garden come to magical life during Fairy Friday, a half-day celebration with arts and crafts, a bubble machine and fairy yoga. Regular programming in the Children’s Garden also includes story time, chicken feeding and a puppet show. Several times a week we also host special programming such as Butterfly Investigations and Pond Investigations. Free with admission, these classes require no advance registration—check out our calendar and plan your visit around one of these fun drop-in programs.
While you’re here, be on the lookout for Discovery Carts stationed throughout the Gardens and filled with interactive opportunities to learn more about the world around you. Stay for a minute or an hour, chat with our docents and discover unimagined connections to plants and nature. Or opt for our self-guided Discovery Bags, toolkits filled with interactive activities designed to be carried with you while you’re here.
Our gardens are often filled with school groups or visitors from off-site summer programs here to learn, study and play in our landscape. If you have a homeschool group, Girl Scout troop, or other group that would like to attend a program here, we’re ready to make special arrangements to suit your needs. Each summer, we host seven week-long camp sessions for ages 4-14. Each camp focuses on a different theme and uses both our cultivated gardens and the surrounding Maine woods for both for learning and play. Several camps feature an art and photography focus and bring acclaimed art instructors to the Gardens for the week, giving campers a chance to learn from the pros.
Last but not least, we offer several “Camp for a Day” options in late August for visitors who want to dabble in camp life but can’t find the time for a week-long experience. Over the course of a full day, participating campers can experience every aspect of our beautiful property, from our many gardens to the tidal river that flows to the Atlantic.
Families are our favorite visitors here at the Gardens, and there’s always something scheduled to deepen your visit. Check out our offerings today.