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Garden Programs

Riverbanks Botanical Garden offers an array of opportunities for kids and adults with a love for learning to dig up fascinating facts about native and exotic plant life at Riverbanks and beyond. Expert horticulturists engage participants with hands-on workshops and demonstrations. Garden programs are available for ages 2 through adult. Come grow with us!

For more information on Garden Programs, please call 803.602.0803 or email us.

Backyard Buds Garden adventures for kids ages 2–5 (with an adult) 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, a general admission ticket will also be required.

  • Location :

    Waterfall Junction Learning Center.

  • Registration :

    Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    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.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

January 2018

Thursday, January 18

Deer Me!
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Deer are extremely common in South Carolina, but what do we know about them? We will take a closer look at hooves and antlers, adaptations deer have to survive and what they do in the winter.

 
Deer Me!
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Deer are extremely common in South Carolina, but what do we know about them? We will take a closer look at hooves and antlers, adaptations deer have to survive and what they do in the winter.

February 2018

Thursday, February 1

Coy Coyotes
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Coyotes are related to dogs and known for their howling. Jump into character as we pretend to be a coyote on the hunt—discovering all kinds of cool stuff along the way!

 
Coy Coyotes
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Coyotes are related to dogs and known for their howling. Jump into character as we pretend to be a coyote on the hunt—discovering all kinds of cool stuff along the way!

Thursday, February 15

Backyard Birds
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
The singing of birds in the trees is a cheerful way to start the day. We will listen to different bird calls, examine birds’ nests and create a nesting box to help the birds build their nests this spring.

 
Backyard Birds
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
The singing of birds in the trees is a cheerful way to start the day. We will listen to different bird calls, examine birds’ nests and create a nesting box to help the birds build their nests this spring.

March 2018

Thursday, March 1

Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Dinosaurs may be extinct, but their sheer size and existence still amazes us. We will play, explore and imagine a land where dinos once roamed.

 
Dynamic Dinosaurs
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Dinosaurs may be extinct, but their sheer size and existence still amazes us. We will play, explore and imagine a land where dinos once roamed.

Thursday, March 22

Bouncy Bunnies
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Bunnies may seem sweet and quiet, but they have a lot going on behind their twitching noses and long ears! Let’s take a look at what makes rabbits different from other animals.

 
Bouncy Bunnies
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Bunnies may seem sweet and quiet, but they have a lot going on behind their twitching noses and long ears! Let’s take a look at what makes rabbits different from other animals.

April 2018

Thursday, April 12

Beetle Brigade
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Beetles are an amazing group of insects. The Hercules beetle is super strong and a click beetle makes a “click” as it flips from its back to its feet. Wanna know more fascinating beetle facts? Come to the Beetle Brigade!

 
Beetle Brigade
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Beetles are an amazing group of insects. The Hercules beetle is super strong and a click beetle makes a “click” as it flips from its back to its feet. Wanna know more fascinating beetle facts? Come to the Beetle Brigade!

Thursday, April 19

Cicada Chorus
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Even if you don’t realize it, you have probably heard a cicada chorus. We will try to replicate the cicada sound as we discover how and where these insects live.

 
Cicada Chorus
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Even if you don’t realize it, you have probably heard a cicada chorus. We will try to replicate the cicada sound as we discover how and where these insects live.

May 2018

Thursday, May 3

Praying Mantis
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Praying mantises are superheroes of the bug world—saving plants from harmful pests! Join us in a celebration of these amazing bugs.

 
Praying Mantis
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Praying mantises are superheroes of the bug world—saving plants from harmful pests! Join us in a celebration of these amazing bugs.

Thursday, May 17

Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 9:45am (ages 2–5)
Fast and light, discover how hummingbirds can dart so quickly and hover in the air for feeding.

 
Hooray for Hummingbirds
@ 11:00am (ages 2–5)
Fast and light, discover how hummingbirds can dart so quickly and hover in the air for feeding.

Register for Program

Junior Master Gardeners for Homeschool An opportunity for youth ages 7–12 to interact and bond with nature through hands-on gardening, scientific experiments and arts.

The JMG 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. After the completion of the entire program, students will receive their Junior Master Gardener certification.

Level 1 (ages 7–9) Explores insects, plant life, fruits and vegetables, garden 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 :

    $200 per child. Includes handbook, T-shirt, and supplies.

  • Location :

    Riverbanks Botanical Garden. Drop-off at the Garden Ticket Booth (1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia) at 9:45am.

  • Availability :

    September 6 – May 9 at 10:00am–12:00pm.

Family Programs at Waterfall Junction Weekday activities geared for the whole family.

Tantalizing Taste Bud Thursday at 2:00pm

From our garden to our table, learn how to grow, harvest and prepare some favorite foods.

Family on Safari—Garden Overnight themed events in the Botanical Garden for ages 5 and up.

Looking for a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family ages 5 and up? On select nights, participants will enjoy a pizza dinner at the Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold Learning Center at Waterfall Junction followed by an interactive program featuring games, nocturnal scavenger hunts, marshmallow roasting, crafts and more! Settle down in the children’s garden in a family-size tent for the night, then wake up to a continental breakfast and a Zoo visit the following day! *Each family of up to 4 will be provided with a 4-person tent and foam camping mats. Families over 4 participants will receive a second tent.

  • Note :

    Children may not be left unattended. Individuals must be accompanied by an adult. A minimum of 15 individual registered participants is required to conduct all Family on Safari programs as scheduled.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

March 2018

Friday, March 16

Going Green
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
With winter almost over, green is in again at Riverbanks Botanical Garden! Discover the importance of being green in the natural world and explore easy ways to be green-minded at home in an effort to protect the environment. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

April 2018

Friday, April 20

Stories of the Stars
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Make stargazing a new family adventure! Come explore the skies with us as we learn about some of the famous constellations that can be seen from Waterfall Junction. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

May 2018

Saturday, May 19

Noises of the Night
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
Open up your senses to a whole new nighttime adventure! Have a “hoot” of a good time identifying different frog songs, insect chatter, coyote howls and local owl calls. Admission for the park on the day following the event is included in ticket price. Dinner, snack and breakfast are also included.

Register for Program

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

  • Cost :

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

  • Registration :

    Pre-registration is required for all activities. Available programs may be registered for via the eTickets Store. Upon receipt of your registration, a confirmation will be sent when you are placed in the activity.

  • Cancellation Policy :

    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.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

February 2018

Saturday, February 24

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, you can compost kitchen waste. Learn how to set up a small vermicomposting bin to help take care of organic waste. Use the castings as a boost in your garden, and make “worm tea” for a beneficial drink for your plants.
COST: $20 per participant.

March 2018

Saturday, March 10

Pallet Gardens
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Create unique gardens using reclaimed pallets. This not only gives pallets a new purpose, it also provides an original approach to your planting space. We will demonstrate a variety of ways to use pallets in gardening, and all participants will prepare a pallet for a vertical garden. We will provide pallets, materials and tools. Soil and plants can be added on your own at home.
COST: $25 per participant.

April 2018

Saturday, April 14

Rustic Hypertufa
@ 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 participant.

Saturday, April 28

Natural Pest Control
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
As we look for more ways to be natural and healthy, it is important to remember our garden, too. We will discuss natural remedies for many garden enemies, and everyone will make a natural pest repellent to take home.
COST: $15 per participant.

May 2018

Saturday, May 12

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 participant.

Saturday, May 19

Cooking Fresh
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Get a few new ideas on how to incorporate fresh herbs from the garden into your cooking. We will also share some of our favorite recipes for cooking a healthy crop of summer vegetables. Everyone will make a tasty treat to keep.
COST: $15 per participant.

Register for Program
Interested in garden programs for schools?