Children and Family Programs

We offer a range of fun, imaginative and challenging programs for children and families. Learn and discover together in beautiful and biodiverse Duke Gardens!

Please see our Nature Adventures Camp page for information about our week-long themed day camps for grades K-8.

Want to bring your group to Duke Gardens? Choose from our offerings of age-appropriate programs on a variety of topics or request your own customized program. Please see our School and Group Programs page.

Join us this Spring and Summer 2018

We have an exciting season planned in Children and Family Programs. Please see all our Spring/Summer 2018 classes below. See our Spring-Summer 2018 Children and Family Programs PDF for a printable reference guide.

Check the “Sign me up!” box for each program you'd like to register for, then fill in your contact information at the bottom and click "submit." We'll get in touch to finalize your registration. Registration is not complete until payment is received either in person or over the phone. You can reach us at 919-668-1707 or gardenseducation@duke.edu.

Classes with this symbol * qualify for Nature Navigators Certificate credit

Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m. (drop-in), January 16-February 27, for adults and children together; ages 3 and up
Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. (drop-in), April 12-May 17, for adults and children together; ages 3 and up
Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. (drop-in), March 1-June 7; recommended for children ages 3-5, adult chaperone required.
Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m., March 20-April 24; ages 3-5, adult chaperone required.
NATURALIST CLASSES
Join other homeschool students at Duke Gardens in a small group setting with classes designed to maximize exploration in nature. This spring, learn methods scientists use to safely catch and study living things in different habitats. We’ll use a range of different techniques each class, depending on the area we’re investigating and the animals we’re expecting to find, and submit our findings to a citizen science database.
Monday, February 26, for ages 5-6 from 10:30-11:30 and ages 7-9 from 10:30-noon
Monday, March 19, for ages 5-6 from 10:30-11:30 and ages 7-9 from 10:30-noon
Monday, April 16, for ages 5-6 from 10:30-11:30 and ages 7-9 from 10:30-noon
Monday, May 14, for ages 5-6 from 10:30-11:30 and ages 7-9 from 10:30-noon
Artists in the Gardens workshops *
Mondays, 10 a.m.-noon, March 5 and 26, April 23, and May 21; for children ages 9-12

Use art to hone your observation skills and express yourself! Art can communicate everything from how you are feeling to the close relationship between a caterpillar and its host plant. We’ll explore habitats, uncover wildlife and identify plants while learning about art and making our own. Each workshop will use photography and other media, including drawing, painting and collage. Classes will include time to investigate the garden, make connections, create art and share work with the group. Join us for the full series or sign up for individual workshops. Bring your own digital camera; any kind is great, from cell phones to DSLRs. All other materials provided.

Monday, March 5, from 10 a.m. until noon
Monday, March 26, from 10 a.m. until noon
Monday, April 23, from 10 a.m. until noon
Monday, May 21, from 10 a.m. until noon

GROWING ARTIST EXHIBIT

See and celebrate art created by children during our spring homeschool workshops. Join us for an opening reception on Monday, May 21, from 12:30-2 p.m., or drop in to see the exhibit any time during building hours through May 23.

Location: Doris Duke Center

Monday, April 30, 10:00 a.m.-noon; for children ages 9 and up
Explore the natural world with our certificate program for young naturalists!

The registrar will contact you using the information submitted below. Registration is not complete until payment is received either in person or over the phone.

Other ways for your family to learn at Duke Gardens

Use our self-guided activities to explore with your family!

Participate in Project BudBurst

Plants tell a story about our changing climate. Phenology is the science of tracking a plant. The timing of a plant leafing, flowering and fruiting is affected by temperature, rainfall and day length.

A worldwide network of "citizen scientists" is being created to track the changes in plant seasons, and you can join through Duke Gardens. The data will go into an international resource, the Plant Phenology Network, to assist scientists studying climate.

Please click the logo above to help collect information for plants in North Carolina.