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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.

Fall 2022 Programs

Nature Babies
Tuesdays in September, 9:30-10:30 a.m.​
In-person with parent, herbalist and nature educator, Monica Rivera from Cultivating Resistance Herbals
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. 
Fee: $56 for all 4 classes. Partial scholarships can be requested by emailing
For adults with babies that can be worn in carriers.
Location: Starts in the classroom inside the Doris Duke Center before moving outside in the Gardens.
Click here to register!

Discovery Drop-in
Thursdays in September & October, 10 a.m.-noon.​
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!
Free! No registration necessary.
Drop-in activity for adults and children together; all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Location: Meet at the tobacco barn in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden.

Harvest Festival
Sunday, October 9, 1-4 p.m.​
Celebrate the bounty of autumn with a festival of activities, music, demonstrations and more, led by Duke Gardens and other local groups.
Free drop-in celebration for everyone! Includes family activities for adults and children together.
No registration necessary. Click here to see the event page.
Location: Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden.

A Festival of Fabulous Mums
Thursday - Saturday, Oct. 27-29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 
Presented by the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society and Duke Gardens
Enjoy an explosion of color this fall during the Festival of Fabulous Mums at Duke Gardens. Show mums grown by members of the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society, including Duke Gardens staff, will create a dazzling floral display outdoors in the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.
Members of the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society will be on hand to highlight the 13 classes of mums and answer all your questions.
Free drop-In exhibit for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
No registration necessary. Click here to see the event page.
Location: Throughout Duke Gardens. Learn about specific locations at the information desk.

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

Thank you!