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:

Sprouts & Seedlings

Plant the seeds of love for nature in our new preschool programs! Each session features a different theme and includes an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

In Sprouts, children ages 2-3 and their adult caregivers will explore natural topics through songs, stories, movement, games, and art activities, while in Seedlings preschoolers ages 4-5 will discover the wonders of nature through experiments and projects, while building literacy and math skills.

See upcoming programs and registration instructions below.

“Branching Out!” – Forty-Six 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 January. 2018 will be the 46th 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 calling 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.


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 form:
Fall 2019

Click here for cancellation policy

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Wed Oct 2, 2019

See event text

Garden Sprouts Program

Ages: 2 – 5 with an adult


  • Hello Autumn – Wednesday, October 2
  • App-solutely Delicious! – Wednesday, October 9
  • Leaf Man – Wednesday, October 16
  • Furry Friends – Wednesday, October 23
  • Pumpkin Patch – Wednesday, October 30
  • Growing Vegetable Soup – Wednesday, November 6
  • Thanks for Trees – Wednesday, November 13
  • Gingerbread Village – Wednesday, December 4
  • Gingerbread Party – Wednesday, December 11 ($10 per child and adult pair.)

Times: 10:00 am – 11:00 am or 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Check for program descriptions Call 973.326.7601 to register.

Cost: $5 per child unless otherwise noted.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Oct 3, 2019

4:00p - 5:00p

Arboretum Artists


  • Leaf Landscapes – Ages 8 – 11, Thursday, October 3
  • Pinecone Critters – Ages 6 & Up, Thursday, November 14
Check for program descriptions Call 973.326.7601 to register.

Cost: $10 per child

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Tue Oct 15, 2019

See text for dates.
Any time between 9am + 3:30pm

Family Photo Scavenger Hunt

Grab a camera or phone and stop by the Haggerty Education Center for a nature photo scavenger hunt.

Dates: October 15 – November 24, and December 21 through December 31

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

Check for program descriptions Call 973.326.7601 to register.

Cost: $10 per family at front desk

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Oct 24, 2019

See event text

Children’s Holiday Centerpiece Workshops


  • Boo-tiful Flowers – Ages 6 & Up, Thursday, October 24, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
  • Thanks for Thanksgiving – Ages 6 & Up Sunday, November 24, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Edible Holiday Terrarium – Ages 8 – 12 Wednesday, December 4, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Always Evergreen – Ages 6 & Up, Saturday, December 21, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Check for program descriptions Call 973.326.7601 to register.

Cost: $20 per person, all materials are supplied.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC