Native Plant Trust

For Children + Families

Connect Your Kids with Our Natural Wonders

Take a look at these programs and activities for young visitors at Garden in the Woods

Children find our rolling, wooded landscape naturally compelling. Slivers of light break through the branches, forming patches on the forest floor. Flowers hum with bees, and leaves rustle with birds and breezes. Chipmunks skitter across the trails. At the pond, frogs plop into shaded shallows, while turtles soak up sun on a rock. 

You'll find several ways to share experiences like these with your kids at Garden in the Woods. Watch them play on their own or with other kids in the Family Activity Area, sign up for a Saturday morning of musical play, or enjoy a scavenger hunt or other self-guided adventure on the trails (see below).

Are you a Massachusetts elementary-school teacher, grades K-4? Take a look at our school programs, designed to meet the state's curriculum standards. 

Family Activities and Programs at Garden in the Woods

From spring through early fall, we offer activities for families and children, free with Garden admission. 

In spring, bring your kids to learn how to plant a tree on Arbor Day, and join us to celebrate seeds on Earth Day. 

And on these selected Saturdays, bring the little ones for nature-inspired stories, songs, and crafts at our popular Plant Play hour, 10:30-11:30 a.m.:

  • May 30
  • June 6, 13, 20, 27
  • July 11, 25
  • August 8, 22, 29

Stories are geared for children ages three to eight. Afterward, children are invited to explore the local flora and fauna in the Garden, play in the Family Activity Area, or pick up a Scavenger Hunt card and take a walk through the woods.

You can also register for family programs at various locations throughout the region. (Unlike the activities offered at Garden in the Woods, programs cost an additional fee.) Regardless of which programs and locations you choose, please register in advancethey fill quickly!

What to Do Any Old Time

Activities to delight and inspire

The Basics

The main trail (about one mile long) is wide enough for strollers and carriages. Secondary trails pass over some more-challenging, hilly terrain. Bathrooms in the Education Center have changing stations and are accessible. More bathrooms are located in the Visitor Center. 

Like all other visitors, children must stay on the paths and out of the garden beds, pond, and stream. Our native plant collections contain rare and endangered species that cannot be replaced. 

Some Things to Do

Follow the main path over hills, through deep woods, and along the edges of bogs, a brook, and a pond, where you can spot turtles, frogs, and other water creatures.  

Embark on a scavenger hunt, challenging everyone in the family to use all five senses to explore the Garden: Pick up lists for kids of different ages at the Garden Shop, which also sells snacks and drinks, plus eco-friendly games, toys, and clothing.  

Go wild in our Family Activity Area, where children can unleash their energy and imaginations. Kids can enter through the magic cottage door and create their own critter cottage under the pines, build a fort with branches, climb through our giant hollow log, and fill up a habitat box with a variety of natural materials. You never know who might move in . . . . 

Make it a Family Membership

Try on a Family Membership

You'll get discounts on Garden admission, programs, and purchases at our Garden Shops.

Family Membership
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Suggested Homework

Use this map of the Garden to plan your trip.

Download Map