Garden Programs

Children can explore Fort Mulberry, sit in a giant’s chair or explore the miniature house in the Play Garden, while kids of all ages can go on a fun-filled Garden Scavenger Hunt in search of unusual plants and decorative folk art. Garden programs offer even more opportunities to dig up fascinating facts about native and exotic plant life at Riverbanks and beyond. Expert horticulturists engage participants with hands-on learning and demonstrations. Garden programs are available for ages 2 through adult. Come grow with us!

Registration Policy:

  • Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. NO REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY PHONE.
  • Register early. Space is limited for all activities.
  • Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity. If an activity is filled, your payment will be refunded.
  • Cancellations and refunds: Written cancellations must be received at least two weeks before the scheduled program date in order to receive a refund or to reschedule your reservation. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than two weeks before the program date. Refunds will be given if the program needs to be cancelled by Riverbanks due to weather, low enrollment, etc.

For more information on Garden Programs or other educational opportunities in the Garden, please contact our Garden Staff at 803.602.0813.

Mudpie Mondays

Drop in anytime during Mudpie Mondays for a fun nature-based activity!

Cost: Free with a Riverbanks membership or paid admission.

Location: Inside the Botanical Garden Visitors Center in the Bloom Room.

Availability: Every Monday at 10:00–11:00am.

Backyard Buds (ages 2–5 with an adult)

Garden adventures for kids that includes a lesson, craft and story.

Cost: $6 for one child (with one adult) per class. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, general admission tickets will also be required.

Location: Botanical Garden.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2014

Thursday, September 4

Rocks
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Rocks are everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes. Join us as we explore a variety of rocks through games, experiments, and even art!

Thursday, September 11

Rocks
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Rocks are everywhere and they come in all shapes and sizes. Join us as we explore a variety of rocks through games, experiments, and even art!

Thursday, September 18

Amazing Ants
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Check out the incredible world beneath our feet as we peek into ant tunnels and see how they live. We will learn about their complicated houses, what makes them insects, and cool facts about these tiny creatures while we make crafts and read stories.

Thursday, September 25

Amazing Ants
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Check out the incredible world beneath our feet as we peek into ant tunnels and see how they live. We will learn about their complicated houses, what makes them insects, and cool facts about these tiny creatures while we make crafts and read stories.

October 2014

Thursday, October 2

Carnivorous Plants
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Creepy and cool—carnivorous plants are fascinating to everyone! Come check out some bug munching plants as we discover how these plants work.

Thursday, October 9

Carnivorous Plants
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Creepy and cool—carnivorous plants are fascinating to everyone! Come check out some bug munching plants as we discover how these plants work.

Thursday, October 16

Spooky Spiders
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
While spiders are known for being spooky, they are actually good to have around! We will try making our own webs as we learn how spiders spin silk, weave webs and catch bugs to eat.

Thursday, October 23

Spooky Spiders
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
While spiders are known for being spooky, they are actually good to have around! We will try making our own webs as we learn how spiders spin silk, weave webs and catch bugs to eat.

Thursday, October 30

Pumpkin Painting
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Join us for some messy holiday fun as we paint and decorate tiny pumpkins that are just the right size for little hands!

November 2014

Thursday, November 6

Lovely Leaves
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Play with leaves as we sort, pick, race and make pictures with leaves! We may even get to jump in a giant pile of this fall favorite. We will discuss why trees lose their leaves and explore the colors, shapes and textures of many leaf types.

Thursday, November 13

Lovely Leaves
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Play with leaves as we sort, pick, race and make pictures with leaves! We may even get to jump in a giant pile of this fall favorite. We will discuss why trees lose their leaves and explore the colors, shapes and textures of many leaf types.

Thursday, November 20

Gourd Crafts
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Take a look at some different gourds and see how they are used in different places around the world. Everyone will make a gourd craft to keep.

December 2014

Thursday, December 4

Stepping Stones
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Create a one-of-a-kind stepping stone to treasure forever as we get messy and creative with concrete and gems! For curing purposes, the stepping stones will have to be left for a minimum of 2 days before being picked up.

Thursday, December 11

Stepping Stones
@ 10:00am (ages 2–5)
Create a one-of-a-kind stepping stone to treasure forever as we get messy and creative with concrete and gems! For curing purposes, the stepping stones will have to be left for a minimum of 2 days before being picked up.

Nature Explorers (ages 6–10)

Every kid loves being outside and making discoveries. Nature Explorers delves into the everyday mysteries and wonders that make up our world. Participants should bring their lunch and weather appropriate clothes.

Cost: $20 per child per class. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

Location: In the Botanical Garden Visitors Center.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

September 2014

Saturday, September 6

Insect-igations
@ 9:30am–2:30pm (ages 6–10)
Explore the intricate world of insects through an up-close look at the bugs around us. We will play games, hunt for bugs and make crafts. This all-day workshop will make everyone a bug expert!

October 2014

Saturday, October 4

Garden Gross-ology
@ 9:30am–2:30pm (ages 6–10)
There are many gross and disgusting things that plants and animals do to survive. We will take a look at owl pellets, snail slime, plants that eat bugs, bugs that love blood and more as we dive into the gross world of gardening!

November 2014

Saturday, November 1

Flavors of the World
@ 9:30am–2:30pm (ages 6–10)
As Thanksgiving draws near, we will discover some traditional uses of common foods around the world. Join us as we make Apple-slop (the original applesauce) herbal biscuits, churn butter and more! This will be an unforgettable feast and celebration of food and flavors.

December 2014

Saturday, December 6

Nature Crafts
@ 9:30am–2:30pm (ages 6–10)
Bring your creativity with you as we make unique crafts and gifts from natural items. Using flower petals, seed heads, sticks and stones, we will create a variety of ornaments and crafts and also look at how some of these natural items were used by people as tools before there were manmade conveniences.

Junior Master Gardeners for Homeschool (ages 7–12)

JMG provides an opportunity for youth to interact and bond with nature through hands-on gardening, scientific experiments and arts. This session is held on Wednesdays beginning in September and meets every two weeks. Students complete certification for the entire program during this time. Participants are required to do a set number of group activities with the leaders, as well as individual activities each week on their own, in order to obtain certification.

Level 1 (ages 7–9) explores insects, plant life, fruits and vegetables, design, and more.

Level 2 (ages 10–12) focuses on plant growth and propagation methods, as well as the effects of soil and water cycles on plants.

For more information, please call 803.602.0813 or email asegura@riverbanks.org.

Cost: $175 per child. Includes handbook, T-shirt, and supplies.

Location: Inside the Botanical Garden Visitors Center in the Bloom Room.

Register for class.

Scheduled Dates and Times: September 17 – May 20 at 10:00am–12:00pm.

Adult Garden Workshops

Hands-on workshops and classes for novice gardeners and green thumbs.

Scheduled Dates and Times:
September 2014

Saturday, September 27

Rustic Hypertufa Planters
@ 10:00–11:30am
Hypertufa troughs are made from a lightweight, porous material that provides great drainage for plants like herbs, succulents and more. Participants will make their own planters and see a variety of ways to plant and use them in the garden.
Cost: $20 per person per class.

October 2014

Saturday, October 18

Garden Photography
@ 9:30–11:30am
Amateur photographers can explore the garden with their cameras and learn the tricks to make their nature photography blossom. Each participant must have a camera that he/she is familiar with using. Class will cover composition, lighting and photography basics.
Cost: $15 per person per class.

Saturday, October 25

Terrarium Workshop
@ 10:00–11:00am
Participants will create their own small terrarium and learn how to maintain a healthy environment for terrarium plants.
Cost: $25 per person per class.

November 2014

Saturday, November 15

Bulb Basics
@ 10:00–11:00am
This class will go over basic bulb care and planting, how to use bulbs in the landscape and single out great performers in the South. Everyone will take home a sampling of Riverbanks’ favorite bulbs (minimum 30 bulbs per person).
Cost: $25 per person per class.

December 2014

Saturday, December 13

Natural Holiday Wreaths
@ 10:00–11:30am
Using fresh greens, seed pods and natural accents, you can create unique decorations for the holidays. This workshop will cover the basics of how to use natural materials. Everyone will make a fresh wreath during the workshop. We recommend bringing a pair of pruners or sturdy scissors to the workshop.
Cost: $25 per person per class.

Garden Programs for Schools

Cost: A program fee of $55 is charged for each class of 25 students.

Capacity: Garden programs can accommodate any group size. These informal programs are held in the Botanical Garden amphitheater, with participants sitting on the grass.

Availability: Programs are available Monday–Friday, 9:00am–2:00pm. Each program lasts approximately one hour.

Reservations: Programs may be reserved in advance by calling 803.978.1131 or by emailing asegura@riverbanks.org.

Available Programs:

Bug Hunt (preschool–grade 2)

Children learn the importance and characteristics of insects before going out into the Garden to dig up their own creepy crawly bugs. The group will look for bugs in various habitats discovering the secret world where insects live. The tour ends with an appropriate story.

All Living Things (preschool–grade 2)

As plants grow from tiny seedlings to mature plants, they provide many different elements for other living things. Students will learn about plant life cycles and the important relationship of insects and plants. They will also discover the many vital elements plants provide for humans and animals.

Plant Adaptations (grades 3–6)

Students will see various plants from different habitats that include the desert, wetlands and rainforest. Their explorations will lead them to investigate the different adaptations that are necessary to survive in each habitat.

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