Children's Programs at the Arboretum

Children's Activities

The Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum have regular educational programs for children from toddlers through junior high school.

Activities are grouped by age:

“Branching Out!” – Forty-Four Seasons and still going!

“Branching Out!”, the hands-on, gardening program where young people are allowed – no, encouraged – to play in the dirt, will begin taking reservations in early January. 2016 will be the 44th gardening season for this hands-on, educational program which will run Saturdays in the spring and two days a week in the summer depending on age level. Gardeners may attend spring, summer or both but no matter what, they will learn that with a little work and a lot of patience, the food you grow yourself is usually the best! Time to get dirty and get digging.

Register by downloading the flyer at right. For more information or to request a brochure be mailed to you, call Gwen Montgomery at 973-631-5004 or email


Home Schooling

Add plant science into your home-school curriculum! These classes offer hands-on experiences that address NJ Science Standards in a unique and engaging educational setting.

Click on the flyer at right for more information.

Seasonal Scavenger Hunts

Grab a camera or phone and stop by the Haggerty Education Center to launch a nature photo scavenger hunt. These change with the season and get a new theme every month. Visitors can pick up the list, head outside and shoot away. Take a picture of every item, return to the Education Center and pick up your prize.

Scavenger lists will change every month. Look in the events listing, below, for information about the current scavenger hunt. What a great way to explore the arboretum and to get the family outside in the fresh air.

Family Discovery Backpacks!

Create and make discoveries in the gardens with one of our Family Backpacks, developed for use by families with children in preschool through 5th grade. Each pack contains materials, activities, games and suggestions to help adults and their young people find new ways of looking at all the plants and other living and non-living things that can be found in the gardens all year round.

Family Discovery Backpacks are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Advance reservations are not accepted. The fee is $5 per family but Family Members of The Friends of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum may use the backpacks at no cost. You must show your membership card. Backpacks can be checked out from 9 am daily for up to 21⁄2 hours at the Haggerty Education Center Reception Desk. The last rental time is 2:30 pm daily and all backpacks must be returned by 4:00 pm.


For information about booking field trips for schools and scout troops at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum, please contact the Horticultural Program Specialist at 973-631-5004.


Girl Scouts

Schedule a workshop to earn a badge or patch or work on an older girls’ project at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Available workshops can help scouts earn these badges:

  • Brownies -- Hiker or Senses
  • Junior -- Flowers or Gardener
  • or
  • Cadettes -- Trees

Or, Daisies can earn Watering Can patch for It's Your World -- Change It! Journey.

The staff will work with leaders to design a workshop that meets the needs of a troop. Explore the gardens, take a tour and spend some time outside. All workshop participants will plant something to take home.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts

Many Cub Scout Achievements and Awards can be earned in a workshop lead by staff at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Learn what’s a native plant and what’s not. Search for habitat, exotic plants, or big trees. All workshop participants will take home a plant to care for.

For information on any scout programs at The Frelinghuysen Arboretum call (973) 631-5004.

All Children's Programs:

Click here to get printable registration forms:
Summer 2016. Spring 2016

Click here for cancellation policy

View My Shopping Cart


Sat Oct 1, 2016

Sat / Sun in Oct/Nov
Any time from 9am - 3:30p

Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunt

Grab a camera or phone and stop by the Haggerty Education Center for a nature photo scavenger hunt. Visitors can pick up the list, head outside and shoot away. Take a picture of every item, return to the Education Center and pick up your prize.

Scavenger lists will change every month.

  • October’s theme is “Fly Away Home”;
  • November’s is “Secrets of Trees”.

What a great way to explore the Arboretum and to get the family outside in the fresh air.

Dates: Saturdays and Sundays in October and November

Time: Families welcome to participate any time between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm

$10 per family, exact change please.

Cost: (see above)

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Fri Dec 2, 2016

through Sun Dec 11
Fri till 7:30p

Celebrating 25 Years of Wonder - Gingerbread Wonderland

Gingerbread Flyer at Left

This December marks the 25th Anniversary of Gingerbread Wonderland. Guests, young and old, marvel at the creativity, skill and sense of optimism that characterizes this charming and ecumenical exhibit of hundreds of edible structures.

Vote for your personal favorite in The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Shop Rite of Morristown. An award will be given to the first place winners in each of the six categories: Adult, Family, Children, School, Scout and Special Needs.

Groups of 8 or more must make a reservation to visit by calling 973-326-7601.

$2 per person (at door), children under 2 FREE.

Exhibit Your Gingerbread Creation

Join in the fun this year by exhibiting your very own gingerbread creation.


We welcome individuals, young and old, families, scout troops, school groups and special needs individuals and groups. Learn more and enter soon to guarantee a place by downloading the form at right.

Gingerbread Recipes

Need a starting point for your creation? Click the image at left for recipes for basic gingerbread plus the gorilla-glue of gingerbread, Royal Icing.

Volunteers Needed!

The Friends could use your help again this year, making the Gingerbread Wonderland the best ever. Volunteers make this wonderful even possible.

If you can help, sign up now for one or more time slots by clicking the sign-up form at right.

We appreciate your help.

Cost: (see above)

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends