Grow the Children’s Garden
Grow the Children's Garden: Help us reach our $5 million goal!
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia at the University of Georgia is committed to providing a family-friendly setting where children and parents can enjoy and learn from extensive plant collections, natural areas, trails and more. Our family festivals and summer camps provide visitors with unique experiences that educate and entertain while helping foster connections with nature. These programs include indoor and outdoor activities that allow children to explore the garden, encounter insects, birds and other wildlife, conduct scientific investigations, and learn the importance of safeguarding our environment.
On March 23, 2019, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia opened the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden—the ideal place for children to play and learn in an environment that will inspire their sense of adventure, wonder and love for nature. With 50,000 children expected to visit each year, the children’s garden is positioned to have a profound impact on young minds around the state.
The new 2.5-acre, accessible garden contains a variety of fun, immersive locations, including a chestnut tree house, fossil wall, giant water-misting mushrooms, vegetable garden, a replica of a North Georgia cave, and more — all designed to be learned from, crawled through and touched.
Not only does the children’s garden delight visitors of all ages, it also provides the perfect outdoor classroom for teacher-training and education research at the University of Georgia. As part of the university, the State Botanical Garden has the resources to continually improve the ways we engage children with the natural world, and develop programming to be shared statewide that emphasizes the importance of nature, healthy foods and healthy bodies.
Grow the Children’s Garden!
The Garden is a great place to bring the whole family for a day of fun, especially if it’s a day that includes one of our annual family festivals! We work with a variety of organizations throughout the year to make each festival and family event a one-of-kind experience.
In the spring, we host Exotic Birds and Reptiles on Planet Earth. Along with hands-on activities, families can expect to learn from an expert who will discuss animal adaptations and conservation concerns regarding many different animals, including parrots, lizards, anacondas and more. This event also includes live exhibits.
Our fall season is loaded with exciting family fun. A favorite of visitors, Insectival takes place in September and introduces children to the world of insects by providing interactive exhibits and activities, including a butterfly release and puppet show. Our Heritage Days Fall Festival, which takes place later in the season in the Theatre-in-the-Woods, celebrates all things autumn. Bring the family for apple cider, leaf piles, fort building and more!
For upcoming festivals and events, click here.
Each summer, we offer camps that encourage children to connect with and celebrate our natural surroundings. Children ages six to 10 can expect a full day of activities, while five year olds will attend on a half-day basis. Each child can spend up to three weeks of camp with us.
Garden camps build on children’s innate curiosity, with each week immersing them in activities such as hiking, fort-building, water games, arts and crafts, theatre performances and more. Some of this summer’s camp themes include: Forest Explorers and Early Civilization, Woodland Warrior Fun Adventure Relay, Georgia’s Critters, The Plants We Eat and Water World.
Children ages three and four can attend our Sweet Pea Club camp, which is a great way for these young nature lovers and their parents or grandparents to spend time together exploring the wonders of summer. This three-day camp takes place from 9 to 11 a.m.
We also offer Spring Break mini camps in March and junior counselor positions for teens interested in volunteering with the garden.
Treat your child and their guests to an exciting adventure at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia! Choose one of our birthday programs, designed for ages 5-12, which include hands-on activities that are sure to thrill. Themes include Fairy, Elf or Pirate Treasure; Chocolate Hunt; Critter Catchin’ and more. Each program includes one hour of educational and hands-on activities and use of the Garden’s Children’s Classroom. Select from available times Fridays—Sundays. Minimum of 14 days prior notice required.