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.

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:

March 2015

Thursday, March 12

Messy Mud Pies
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Create unique art with natural materials as we make different kinds of mud pies, explore soil types and create a mud splatter painting. Using natural materials will encourage creativity and understanding of the environment around us. Dress for a mess!

Thursday, March 19

Fantastic Flowers
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Flowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Join us as we investigate the differences in flowers, go on a flower scavenger hunt and learn about all the parts of a flower.

Thursday, March 26

Fantastic Flowers
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Flowers come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Join us as we investigate the differences in flowers, go on a flower scavenger hunt and learn about all the parts of a flower.

April 2015

Thursday, April 2

Busy Bees
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Try your hand at being a bee as we role play all the different jobs bees have in a colony. We will delve into pollination and life inside the hive!

Thursday, April 9

Busy Bees
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Try your hand at being a bee as we role play all the different jobs bees have in a colony. We will delve into pollination and life inside the hive!

Thursday, April 16

Spectacular Seeds
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Seeds are incredible tiny magical things with baby plants just waiting to grow inside of them. We will take a look at different types of seeds and how they move about in this fun seed exploration.

Thursday, April 23

Spectacular Seeds
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Seeds are incredible tiny magical things with baby plants just waiting to grow inside of them. We will take a look at different types of seeds and how they move about in this fun seed exploration.

Thursday, April 30

Mother’s Day Craft
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children can come and make a unique gift that any special person will treasure! All materials and wrapping will be provided.

May 2015

Thursday, May 7

Mother’s Day Craft
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children can come and make a unique gift that any special person will treasure! All materials and wrapping will be provided.

Thursday, May 14

Frogs and Toads
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Time to get hopping as we dive into the difference between frogs and toads! We will do lots of jumping games as we explore the life cycles and habitats of these amphibians.

Thursday, May 21

Frogs and Toads
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Time to get hopping as we dive into the difference between frogs and toads! We will do lots of jumping games as we explore the life cycles and habitats of these amphibians.

Nature Explorers (ages 5–9)

Every kid loves being outside and making discoveries. Nature Explorers delves into the everyday mysteries and wonders that make up our world. Participants should dress for the weather and get ready for a one-of-a-kind adventure!

Cost: $10 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:

March 2015

Saturday, March 7

Garden Gross-ology
@ 10:00am–12:00pm (ages 5–9)
There are many gross and disgusting things that the 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!
Registration Closed

April 2015

Saturday, April 11

Healing Herbs
@ 10:00am–12:00pm (ages 5–9)
Many herbs have therapeutic properties and are found in common products around our homes. Discover a few common herbs that can help heal, relax, or stimulate as we look at herbs and essential oils while making some healing products to take home.

May 2015

Saturday, May 9

Wizardry and Magic in the Garden
@ 10:00am–12:00pm (ages 5–9)
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, you will love this class on gardening magic. We will explore the world of plants that are used for potions and poisons, discuss animals capable of transfiguration, and care of magical creatures!

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.

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

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:
March 2015

Saturday, March 21

Garden Propagation
@ 10:00am–12:30pm
Try your hand at propagating different types of plants through various techniques. Participants will learn how to propagate from woody cuttings, stems and leaves using common household items. This hands-on workshop will demonstrate which type of plants work best for each propagation technique, and everyone will take their cuttings home to root and grow!
Cost: $20 per person per class.

April 2015

Saturday, April 18

Kokedama Workshop
@ 10:00–11:00am
Kokedama is the Japanese art of using moss as a planter. Participants will make their own small “moss-ball” as we learn how to pot plants in sheet moss to create unique, organic containers, which can be used as centerpieces indoors or hung outside in light shade.
Cost: $20 per person per class.

May 2015

Saturday, May 2

Lush Containers
@ 10:00–11:30am
Bring your own container (18” to 24” in diameter), and we will help you fill it with great, tropical-looking plants for the summer. You will learn great design tips for great-looking containers all year long as you make a container your neighbors will envy. To help in the care for your new container, please choose sun or shade when you register.
Cost: $40 per person per class.

Saturday, May 16

Fairy Gardens
@ 10:00–11:30am
A new trend in gardening has gardeners creating all sorts of creative garden arrangements and fairy gardens out of broken pots, natural items and miniature accessories. Learn how to create these detailed masterpieces full of life and imagination, using things you have around home. Bring a saucer or broken pot with you to create your magic!
Cost: $30 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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