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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.

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

January 2019

Saturday, January 26

Teen Cooking Class
@ 11:00am–1:00pm
With tantalizing treats and twists on typical teen favorites, this class will provide tips and techniques for creating easy masterpieces in the kitchen. Participants will prepare sweet potato fries with avocado aioli, French bread pizzas, mascarpone mousse in chocolate cups and more!
COST: $20 per participant.

February 2019

Saturday, February 2

Creating Dyes for Scarves
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Join us for an introduction on using natural materials from your garden to create rich dyes for fabric. During class, each participant will dye a silk scarf using black walnuts, while learning the basic techniques for natural dyes.
COST: $40 per participant.

Saturday, February 23

Succulent Containers
@ 10:00–11:30am
Succulents are easy to care for and fun to plant! Create unique centerpiece creations with a variety of succulents, while learning about other creative ways to use these plants.
COST: $25 per participant.

March 2019

Friday, March 1

Camping Hacks
@ 6:30–8:30pm
Join us for a campfire as we show you fun and easy ways to cook while camping, including how to use a Dutch oven and how to create a cardboard box oven. We will also share tips on leave no trace, fire starters, handwashing stations, and other tricks that make camping easier. This class is great for adults and families, so kids are welcome to join in the fun.
COST: $20 per participant.

Saturday, March 30

Spring Gardening
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
Now is the time to get your garden ready for a bountiful summer crop! This workshop will cover crops to plant and when to plant them for the best results, as well as how to prepare your beds for a successful gardening season.
COST: $20 per participant.

April 2019

Saturday, April 27

Herbal Remedies
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
The cure to what ails you might be growing in your garden! We will dive into traditional medicines, as we look at common medicinal herbs and how to use them. We will cover teas, tinctures and salves, and everyone will make something to take home.
COST: $25 per participant.

May 2019

Saturday, May 18

Container Class
@ 10:00am–12:00pm
While growing plants in a container can be easier than growing them in the ground, there are many factors to consider in creating a beautiful container. This workshop will go over container basics, how to keep them healthy, points of consideration when shopping, and design techniques to create a gorgeous arrangement. Everyone will leave with a grouping of plants for either a sun or shade container (select your preference at registration).
COST: $40 per participant.

Register for Program

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.

  • Cost :

    $50 per person (members); $60 per person (non-members).

  • Note :

    Children may not be left unattended. Individuals must be accompanied by an adult. A minimum of 25 individual registered participants is required to conduct all Family on Safari programs as scheduled.

  • Scheduled Dates and Times

June 2019

Saturday, June 1

Camping 101
@ 6:00pm until 9:00am the next day (ages 5–adult)
New to camping? Join us in Riverbanks Botanical Garden to set up a tent, roast marshmallows and sleep on the lawn at Waterfall Junction. Guests will learn some basic camping skills including Leave No Trace principles, how to create solar ovens and purify water. Four-person tents and foam mats are provided as well as pizza dinner, marshmallow roasting and water play in the Aflac Splash Zone at Waterfall Junction (weather dependent).
Capacity: Minimum 25 / Maximum 40.
Sleeping Accommodations: Tent Camping on Lawn at Waterfall Junction.

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

  • 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 5, 2018 – May 15, 2019 at 10:00am–12:00pm.

  • Register for Program

Guided Garden Tours Whether your group includes casual visitors or avid gardeners, young students or seasoned explorers, a trained horticulturist will help you develop a fun and interactive tour to fit your needs.

  • Cost :

    $5 per person (10 person minimum), plus admission fees.

  • Capacity :

    Maximum of 25. For groups of more than 25, an additional tour guide will be provided.

  • Availability :

    May be scheduled Monday–Saturday. Tours last approximately one hour.

  • Registration :

    Tours must be scheduled in advance by calling 803.602.0813.