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:

February 2016

Thursday, February 11

What Does It Eat, and When Does It Sleep
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Learn about opposites as well as carnivores, herbivores, diurnal and nocturnal animals.

Thursday, February 18

Camouflage
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover how all different kinds of animals blend into their environment, and test your skills in spotting them! Create your own camouflaged animal art to take home.

Thursday, February 25

Camouflage
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover how all different kinds of animals blend into their environment, and test your skills in spotting them! Create your own camouflaged animal art to take home.

March 2016

Thursday, March 3

Clouds
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Explore the mystery of clouds and how they cause rain. Make your own cloud and rain shower.

Thursday, March 10

Clouds
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Explore the mystery of clouds and how they cause rain. Make your own cloud and rain shower.

Thursday, March 17

Rainbow Connections
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover how a rainbow is formed and see if we can find a rainbow’s worth of colors in the garden. Make a rainbow streamer and have fun with a song and dance.

Thursday, March 24

Rainbow Connections
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover how a rainbow is formed and see if we can find a rainbow’s worth of colors in the garden. Make a rainbow streamer and have fun with a song and dance.

April 2016

Thursday, April 7

Springtime in the Garden
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
What animals will we see outside this spring? Come find out the answer and make your own springtime crafts to take home!

Thursday, April 14

Springtime in the Garden
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
What animals will we see outside this spring? Come find out the answer and make your own springtime crafts to take home!

Thursday, April 21

Insect Life Cycles
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children will learn the basic life cycles of butterflies and dragonflies as we introduce the idea of metamorphosis.

Thursday, April 28

Insect Life Cycles
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Children will learn the basic life cycles of butterflies and dragonflies as we introduce the idea of metamorphosis.

May 2016

Thursday, May 5

Painting and Stamping with Nature
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Use a variety of natural materials as paintbrushes and stamps to make your own creative natural artwork and decorate cards and envelopes.

Thursday, May 12

Painting and Stamping with Nature
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Use a variety of natural materials as paintbrushes and stamps to make your own creative natural artwork and decorate cards and envelopes.

Thursday, May 19

Nature Patterns
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Work on pattern recognition and continuation by looking at patterns found in nature. Children will see both plants and garden animals that display these traits and participate in activities that reinforce these concepts.

Thursday, May 26

Nature Patterns
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Work on pattern recognition and continuation by looking at patterns found in nature. Children will see both plants and garden animals that display these traits and participate in activities that reinforce these concepts.

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:

We currently do not have any events or programs scheduled. Please check back later.

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. The program explores the broader picture of gardening, including native wildlife, harvesting, and using fresh food from the garden. Both groups observe and learn about the trees and native plants in the area while gaining valuable gardening skills. This session meets the first three Wednesdays of each month beginning in September. Students complete certification for the entire program during this time.

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: Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

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

Scheduled Dates and Times: September 9 – May 18 at 10:00am–12:00pm.

Adult Garden Workshops

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

Scheduled Dates and Times:
February 2016

Saturday, February 27

How many things can you make with those old, burned-out incandescent light bulbs? If you have a stash of old light bulbs somewhere in your house, or are replacing all of your lights now, let us show you a few cool things you can do with them. We’ll show you how to safely take out the “innards” of those bulbs and provide you with some options of what to do with them.
Cost: $15 per person per class.

March 2016

Saturday, March 12

Vegetable Gardening 101
@ 10:00–11:30am
Learn basic principles, techniques and tips for a successful vegetable garden this summer! By incorporating good soil and space-saving techniques, a small area can provide a big bounty of home-grown produce. This class is full of fun, practical advice to maximize your time and effort on growing veggies.
Cost: $15 per person per class.

April 2016

Saturday, April 9

Vermicomposting
@ 10:00–11:30am
If you don’t have space for a full-sized compost pile, with a little help from our worm friends, we can help. Learn how to set up a small vermicomposting bin to help take care of some of that waste. Use the castings as a boost in your garden, and make “worm tea” for a beneficial drink for your plants.
Cost: $20 per person per class.

May 2016

Saturday, May 7

Succulent Wreaths
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Create a one-of-a-kind wreath for your wall or door using a sphagnum wreath base and hardy sedums. Every participant will plant a wreath to take home, as well as learn about alternative plants and forms to use for unique focal points.
Cost: $40 per person per class.

Saturday, May 21

String Gardening
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Add excitement to your garden through a creative use of vertical space as we create hanging planters. By wrapping the root ball with string and a special soil mix, the plants can grow suspended from tree branches, arbors, etc., for a one-of-a-kind garden. Everyone will string one plant to take home.
Cost: $20 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.

Connect @