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.

Jenks Farmer Book Premiere

Join us for an informal evening at Riverbanks Botanical Garden as South Carolina horticulturist and author Jenks Farmer reads from and discusses his new book Deep-Rooted Wisdom. The book explores the evolution of gardening, from how it used to be a simple and sincere part of life to how it has become more of a style competition, shopping experience and contributor to pollution and resource waste. Building on old-school lessons Farmer weaves stories of wise gardeners with the most modern science and artful design to inspire gardening and living more gently for the earth and ourselves. Guests will be invited to enjoy complimentary refreshments, meet the author and purchase books. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

For more information, please visit jenksfarmer.com/deep-rooted/.

Cost: $10 per person.

Register for event.

Scheduled Date and Time: Thursday, April 10 at 5:30–7:30pm (reading at 6:00pm.)

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.

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

Attend any 5 preschool classes and take home a treasure! Offer good for Discovery Days and Backyard Buds programs only.

Location: Botanical Garden.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

April 2014

Thursday, April 24

Less Is More—Earth Day
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Earth Day is a time to celebrate the Earth, and to learn some good things we can do to help take care of it through activities and a craft.
Registration Closed

May 2014

Thursday, May 1

Lucky Ladybugs
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Ladybugs are considered lucky in many cultures. Discover why these spotted ladies are good to have around!

Thursday, May 8

Lucky Ladybugs
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Ladybugs are considered lucky in many cultures. Discover why these spotted ladies are good to have around!

Thursday, May 15

Crawly Caterpillars
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Caterpillars can be just as showy as their adult butterfly forms. Learn how caterpillars live and protect themselves before their triumphant change into butterflies.

Thursday, May 22

Crawly Caterpillars
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Caterpillars can be just as showy as their adult butterfly forms. Learn how caterpillars live and protect themselves before their triumphant change into butterflies.

Nature Explorers (ages 5–10)

Encourages children to explore their natural surroundings.

NEW PRICING: $10 per child per class. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will also be required.

Location: Botanical Garden.

Scheduled Dates and Times:

May 2014

Saturday, May 10

Creative Containers
@ 10:00–11:00am (ages 5–10)
Each child will make a container out of an unexpected, everyday item. We will learn how to grow plants in containers as we get dirty and creative in this hands-on program.

Wildlife Gardener Camp (ages 7–10)

This three-day camp fosters an understanding of wildlife and teaches kids to appreciate the value of the natural world in a garden habitat. Campers will enjoy fun, hands-on activities that emphasize animal habitats, food sources and gardening. Participants will play games, go on hikes, and make crafts as they learn about the wildlife in our backyards. (Wildlife Gardener is a product of National Wildlife Federation and the Junior Master Gardener Program).

Some camp highlights include:

  • Making toad abodes and lizard lairs with terra cotta pots.
  • Creating mud pies to determine soil types.
  • Identifying different habitat characteristics for native animals and creating shelter and feeders for them in the Botanical Garden.
  • Playing games to teach about echo-location for bats and how and what animals eat and sleep.
  • Determining what birds eat by using different household tools to represent different bird beak types .
  • Creating camouflage insects.
  • Planting seeds and flowers to attract insects and birds.

Cost: $100 per child. Includes a T-shirt.

Extended Stay & Play: 3:00–5:00pm, $75 per participant. Note: Children must be picked up by 5:15pm.

Location: Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

Register for camp.

Scheduled Dates and Times: April 14–16 at 9:00am–3:00pm.

Junior Master Gardeners for Homeschool (ages 8–13)

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 8–10) explores insects, plant life, fruits and vegetables, design, and more.

Level 2 (ages 11–13) 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.

Registration is closed for this session. Check back next year.

Scheduled Dates and Times: September 4 – May 28 at 10:00am–12:00pm.

Adult Garden Workshops

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

Scheduled Dates and Times:
May 2014

Saturday, May 10

Lush Containers
@ 10:00–11:30am
Bring your own 18” to 24” container and we will help you fill it with thriving tropical plants for the summer! You will learn great design tips for spectacular, year-round containers as you make a potted plant that your neighbors will envy. To help in the care of your new container, please choose sun or shade when you register.
Cost: $40 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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