Weekend Family Fun

Stop by the Learning Center on Weekends between noon and 4 p.m. for drop-in free family activities. Plant seeds, explore the greenhouse, cook a garden-fresh bite to eat, and look at plants with a microscope with your family at your own pace. Celebrate the changing seasons with new activities each month.  

 Close up of pine branches and textured bow

January: Cozy up to a Cactus
Saturdays and Sundays in January, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Escape from winter for a desert adventure in our warm greenhouse. See the spikes, spines, and inside of a cactus larger than life through a microscope. Munch on edible cactus and savor sweet agave syrup while you invent a survival adaptation. Before you go, pot up your own succulent plant to keep on your windowsill all winter long.

 Close up of pine branches and textured bow

February: Plant Partnerships
Saturdays and Sundays in February, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

How do animals survive the winter? Fly south like the migrant birds and monarch butterflies into our tropical greenhouse. Hunt for tropical flowers and fruit that help replenish these weary migrants. Create a natural seed ornament to feed the hardy non-migrants outside your window. Peer through a microscope at the colorful berries, twigs, and needles in our winter landscape that sustain winter wildlife.

 Close up of pine branches and textured bow

March: Sprouts Alive!
Saturdays and Sundays in March, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

In the plant word it is time to begin! How do seeds turn into sprouts? Let's look in a microscope at shoots with baby leaves and roots. Prepare a sprout snack in the Harvest Kitchen, design seed pictures, and plant seeds to take home and watch as they sprout and grow.

 Feet in squishy mud

April - Squish of Spring

Saturdays and Sundays in April, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Bring your family and join in the fun as we roll up our sleeves and work together to stir, scoop, and decorate mud pies with soggy spring soil and garden gleanings. Dig up some decomposers who help create great garden soil, peer through a microscope and see up close what soil is made of. Design and take home a plant experiment to discover what kind of soil grows garden plants best.

 Cotton plant

May - Blooming Baskets
Saturdays and Sundays in May, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Explore the greenhouse with your family and discover the fiber producing plants used to make clothing, paper, and rope. Feel downy soft cotton, tough coconut husks, and silky soft ramie. Weave a May basket and plant a spring flower to take home.

 Caterpillar in child's hand
June - Hungry Caterpillars

Saturdays and Sundays in June, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Drop by the Learning Center with your family for a visit with some chewing, chomping, hungry caterpillars. Play a game to see which plants are right to feed your favorite caterpillars. Volunteer to help monitor our milkweed patch and find monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars. Pot a caterpillar host plant to grow in your garden at home and create a bold and brightly colored pocket-sized caterpillar pet.

 Girl holding monarch butterfly
July - Nectar Sippers
Saturdays and Sundays in July, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Marvel at the winged world of pollinators who sip, slurp, and savor nourishing flower nectar. Check the butterfly house in the learning center to see if any new butterflies have emerged. Use a microscope to see up close inside flowers and find out where nectar comes from. Play a pollinator game and learn flower favorites for bees, bats, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Plant a nectar flower to feed the butterflies in your garden.

 Brown and orange butterfly on Prairie Cone Flower August - Prairie Pollinators
Saturdays and Sundays in August, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Search the prairie garden with your family and spot the late bloomers that flower in prairie meadows. Along the way meet the butterflies, bees, and birds that call the prairie home. Unearth the mystery of how long the roots are on prairie plants. Select seeds to start your own prairie meadow and braid a sweet grass bundle.

 Cattail in a bog September - Soggy Bog Plants
Saturdays and Sundays in September, noon - 4 p.m.
Learning Center

Join other families interested in the wondrous watery world of the water boatman bugs, cattails, and duckweed. Experiment with bog plants and view them up close with microscopes. Search for the soggy boggy water plants growing in the greenhouse and discover how they have adapted to growing in and on top of the water. Create art from cattails to take home.