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 plant 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 Plant Play at Garden in the Woods

Mark your calendar for Saturday morning activities for families and children

Click on Plant Play on our Events calendar to see the dates of selected Saturdays on which we offer an hour of nature-inspired stories, songs, and crafts at Garden in the Woods.

Stories are geared for children ages three to eight years old. 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 sheet at the Visitor Center and take a walk through the woods.

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 Visitor Center, 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