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:

September 2015

Thursday, September 10

Sowing Seeds
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover how seeds move from one place to another through hands-on exploration. Make jumping apple seeds and plant your own lettuce seeds to take home and watch them grow.

Thursday, September 17

Art Naturally
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Use crushed minerals to paint a picture and magic paper that turns blue in the sun. Make dragonflies out of seeds and bowls out of leaves.

Thursday, September 24

Art Naturally
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Use crushed minerals to paint a picture and magic paper that turns blue in the sun. Make dragonflies out of seeds and bowls out of leaves.

October 2015

Thursday, October 1

Environmental Superhero
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Become a superhero for the earth and make your mask out of recycled materials. Learn the importance of saving the earth and how to help through fun crafts and ideas. Earn an Environmental Superhero Badge with the completion of this class!

Thursday, October 8

Environmental Superhero
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Become a superhero for the earth and make your mask out of recycled materials. Learn the importance of saving the earth and how to help through fun crafts and ideas. Earn an Environmental Superhero Badge with the completion of this class!

Thursday, October 15

Gross Science
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Explore all that is icky, sticky, and gross in program for kids who are not afraid of getting more than a little dirty.

Thursday, October 22

Gross Science
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Explore all that is icky, sticky, and gross in program for kids who are not afraid of getting more than a little dirty.

Thursday, October 29

Pumpkin Painting
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Join us for jack-o’-lantern painting and other fun and scary fall crafts using natural materials.

November 2015

Thursday, November 5

Changing Leaves
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover the key to the mystery of why leaves change color in the fall and make a variety of changing leaves to take home.

Thursday, November 12

Changing Leaves
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Discover the key to the mystery of why leaves change color in the fall and make a variety of changing leaves to take home.

Thursday, November 19

Birds (are the word)
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Learn a little bit about flying friends — day and night. Learn about what they eat and why they sing.

Thursday, November 26

Birds (are the word)
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Learn a little bit about flying friends — day and night. Learn about what they eat and why they sing.

December 2015

Thursday, December 3

Nature’s Ornaments
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Join us as we make natural decorations for the winter season and discover the plants that give the holidays their taste, smell, and glow.

Thursday, December 10

Nature’s Ornaments
@ 10:00–10:45am (ages 2–5)
Join us as we make natural decorations for the winter season and discover the plants that give the holidays their taste, smell, and glow.

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:

October 2015

Saturday, October 3

Gross Science
@ 10:00am–12:00pm (ages 5–9)
There are many gross and disgusting things that the plants and animals do to survive. We will explore all that is icky, sticky and gross in a program for kids who are not afraid of getting more than a little dirty!

November 2015

Saturday, November 21

Harvest Time
@ 10:30am–12:00pm (ages 5–9)
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so get ready to celebrate as we harvest and use some of fall’s bounty for food and crafts.

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.

Register for class (open until August 25).

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:
September 2015

Saturday, September 19

Herbs for Home and Wellbeing
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Join us as we discuss how to use commonly grown herbs, as well as how to dry and store them. Learn how to make attractive swags for drying and displaying herbs in your home as well as products for your beauty regimen and wellbeing. Take home a calming bath soak, flavored cooking oils and your own swag of herbs. This class is bound to be the best smelling class this fall!
Cost: $30 per person per class.

October 2015

Saturday, October 3

Intro to Beekeeping
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Gardening and beekeeping naturally go together, and hobby beekeeping is increasing in popularity. During this basic overview, we will discuss the equipment needed for beekeeping, cost of keeping bees, basic care requirements and preliminary information to help you decide if this is the hobby for you. With this general overview, participants can decide if it is worth the time and investment for a more intensive beginner beekeeping course.
Cost: $10 per person per class.

Saturday, October 17

Have you ever wondered what that odd looking fungus in your front yard is or whether or not you can eat it? Learn how to identify those fabulous fungi living in your yard or along the trail at your favorite hiking spot. This class will cover the basics: what structures you need to know, where to look for common species and preparation and storage for edible bounty. Learn a little bit more about fun and fascinating world of fungi.
Cost: $15 per person per class.

November 2015

Saturday, November 7

Papermaking with Botanicals
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Participants will learn about paper and its history and will participate in the ancient art of papermaking. Students will experiment with papermaking techniques and create their own unique paper using items of their choice.
Cost: $20 per person per class.

Saturday, November 21

Living Art: Air Plants
@ 10:30am–12:00pm
Air plants are an interesting addition to the home plant collection and can be used in a variety of ways for a fun and fresh look in home d├ęcor. Participants will choose air plants to work with and make an exciting project to take with them. Learn how to care for your air plants and how they grow successfully without any soil.
Cost: $25 per person per class.

December 2015

Saturday, December 12

Natural Holiday Wreaths
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
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, and 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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