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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! We welcome all children and are happy to work with you to plan appropriate accommodations for your child in our programs.

label says register here and links to registration website

Current 2023 Programs

Family Garden Walk Series:

Exploring Duke Gardens can be fun for the whole family during our monthly garden walks. Each month a naturalist will guide you through a different area of Duke Gardens with activities that engage family members of every age. These programs will involve traveling on unpaved and at-times uneven surfaces for close to an hour; not all surfaces are ideal for strollers. Service dogs are welcome but please leave family pets at home. Program will not occur during inclement weather. Capacity is limited to 10 families of four individuals; families with more than four individuals should register as two or more groups.

Dates:
Feb 11 - Explore the Historic Gardens
March 11 - Explore the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants
April 8 - Explore the Doris Duke Center Gardens
May 13 - Explore the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum

Time: 9-10 a.m.
Cost: $2 per person for a family of up to 8 individuals. Free for children under 2 years of age.
Location: Meet at the Doris Duke Center
Register via  this link.

 

Naturalist Classes for 6- to 9-year-olds

Explore gardening and how plants grow, and learn about which animals may be living in Duke Gardens and using the plants to survive. Each session will have hands-on activities and interactive lessons that inspire curiosity and encourage connections with the natural world. Children can be dropped off for the 1.5-hour lesson and will be guided by two educators while they explore the Gardens.  

Dates:  
Feb 21 - Winter Gardening
March 21 - Planting Seeds
April 18 - Plan for Pollinators
May 16 - Water and Wetlands

Time: 3-4:30 p.m.
Cost $12 per student per session
Location: Meet in the classroom of the Doris Duke Center.
Register via  this link.

 

Discovery Drop-In and Storytime

Join us to explore, experiment and grow together on Thursday mornings in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden. Read a book, plant a seed, make observation drawings and more. This is a drop-in program; come when you can and stay as long as you like! Storytimes will be at 10:30 and 11:30 each week.

Dates: Every Thursday from March 2 to May 25
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Cost: FREE; no registration
Location: Meet at the tobacco barn in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden.

 

Nature Babies (March)

Connect with plants, your baby and other adults with little ones as you explore the plant world with all five senses, learn uses of common plants and experience simple ways to introduce your babies to the natural world around us. We’ll use sight, touch, taste, feeling and smell to be present in our bodies and to move at nature’s pace. Partial scholarships can be requested by emailing GardensEducation@duke.edu.

Dates: Tuesdays from March 2 to March 28, with a rain make-up date of April 4
Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Cost: $58 for four classes
Location: Starts outside the Doris Duke Center and moves through the gardens.
Register via  this link.

 

Tot and Me Botany

Connect with a community of plants, young children and other adults as you learn basic botany through hands-on, multi-sensory, immersive activities among the plants of Duke Gardens. These sessions are designed for children ages 3-6 years old and their adult companion.

Dates: Mondays, April 3 to May 8; rain make-up date of May 15
Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Cost: $78 for all six classes
Location: Starts in the classroom inside the Doris Duke Center and moves outside into the gardens.
Register via  this link.

 

Nature Babies (May)

Connect with plants, your baby and other adults with little ones as you explore the plant world with all five senses, learn uses of common plants and experience simple ways to introduce your babies to the natural world around us. We’ll use sight, touch, taste, feeling and smell to be present in our bodies and to move at nature’s pace. Partial scholarships can be requested by emailing GardensEducation@duke.edu.

Dates: Tuesdays from May 2 to May 23, with a rain make-up date of May 30
Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Cost: $58 for four classes
Location: Starts outside the Doris Duke Center and moves through the gardens.
Register via  this link.

 

More resources

Check out our family activity videos here!

ecoEXPLORE, for children in grades K-8, combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging them to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science. Duke Gardens is an ecoEXPLORE HotSpot!

Feel free to use any of our self-guided visit resources to explore Duke Gardens with your family!

Please see more at-home learning activities, classes and links here.

If you'd like to be added to our email list for program announcements, please email gardenseducation@duke.edu.

Thank you!