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For our smallest naturalists, we offer a variety of creative, open-ended, exploratory programs for children ages 2 to 5 and their caregivers.

For more information on Little Learners, please call 803.602.0803 or email us.

Tyke Hikes

for Ages 2–5 (w/an Adult)

Children and their adult companions can join us for a story and a stroller-friendly hike around the Botanical Garden while we focus on a different nature topic each week during the summer. Come dressed for outdoor weather!

Scheduled Programs

Are you a snail?

  • Friday, July 19 @ 9:45am

Bat Loves the Night

  • Friday, July 26 @ 9:45am

Swirl by Swirl

  • Friday, August 2 @ 9:45am

Sunny Day

  • Friday, August 9 @ 9:45am

Worm Weather

  • Friday, August 16 @ 9:45am

Are you an Ant?

  • Friday, August 23 @ 9:45am

In the Forest

  • Friday, August 30 @ 9:45am

Ant’s Eye View

  • Friday, September 27 @ 9:45am

It’s Fall!

  • Friday, October 25 @ 9:45am

Our Wild Neighbors

  • Friday, November 22 @ 9:45am

I Spy in the Forest

  • Friday, December 20 @ 9:45am

Program Details

  • Cost :

    No additional cost. Note: If you are not a Riverbanks member, a general admission ticket will be required.

  • Location :

    Classes take place in the Waterfall Junction Learning Center at Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

  • 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.

Knee-high Naturalist

for Ages 2–5 (w/an Adult)

Discover amazing plants and animals through engaging activities, imaginative play, and crafts as we explore different topics in an informal learning environment.

Scheduled Programs

Digging for Dinos

  • Friday, September 6 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, September 16 @ 10:15am
  • Monday, September 23 @ 10:15am

Do you dig dinosaurs? Come discover some fascinating facts about these beasts of long ago and meet some of our living animal ambassadors with dinosaur-like traits.

Ants on the Move

  • Friday, September 20 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, September 23 @ 10:15am

Have you ever stopped to watch an ant? These tiny creatures always seem to be on the move. Let’s take a closer look to see where they could be going and why.

Birds of Prey

  • Friday, October 4 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, October 14 @ 10:15am
  • Monday, October 21 @ 10:15am

Did you know that birds can be fierce flying hunters? In this class we will explore the lives of hawks, owls, eagles, falcons and vultures and what makes them special.

Harvest Festival

  • Friday, October 18 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, October 21 @ 10:15am

It’s harvest time at the Zoo and Garden! Harvest time is often a time of celebration for people all over the world. Come celebrate with us!

Sea Turtles

  • Friday, November 1 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, November 11 @ 10:15am
  • Monday, November 18 @ 10:15am

Let’s dive into the mysterious lives of sea turtles! Did you know these majestic creatures have existed since the time of dinosaurs? They spend their whole lives in the ocean, only touching land as hatchlings running for the sea or as females returning to lay eggs.

Turkey Tales

  • Friday, November 15 @ 9:45am
  • Monday, November 18 @ 10:15am

We are talking turkey this month. For example, did you know that a turkey’s head and neck will change color with his mood? Join us to learn more about this amazing bird.

Wildlife in Winter

  • Monday, December 2 @ 10:15am
  • Monday, December 9 @ 10:15am
  • Friday, December 13 @ 9:45am

What do frogs do in winter? Where do the hummingbirds and dragonflies go? In this class we will explore the different ways animals cope with cold weather.

Program Details

  • Cost :

    $8 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 :

    Classes take place in the Waterfall Junction Learning Center at Riverbanks Botanical Garden, except for Monday programs, which are held in the Farm Classroom at Riverbanks Zoo.

  • 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.

Nature Art

for Ages 2–5 (w/an Adult)

Every month is a new theme to encourage young learners to create, explore, and play with the natural world through art and sensory experiences.

Scheduled Programs

Sand and Bubbles

  • Friday, September 13 @ 9:45am

Summer is sun, sand, bubbles and fun! We bid farewell to the hot, sunny summer days by getting creative with sand and bubble painting.

Sun Catching Wind Chimes

  • Friday, October 11 @ 9:45am

The winds of fall are blowing, and the days are getting shorter. Let’s create a work of art that captures the sun and uses the wind to make music!

Painting Leaves

  • Friday, November 8 @ 9:45am

Nature is colorful! In this class we will explore color through the changing leaves. We will use nature’s colors in our art and add some colors of our own imaginings.

Weaving with Nature

  • Friday, December 6 @ 9:45am

Join us for a wintery walk as we explore the forest. We will weave our finds together into a one of a kind work of art.

Program Details

  • Cost :

    $8 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 :

    Classes take place in the Waterfall Junction Learning Center at Riverbanks Botanical Garden.

  • 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.