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-Five 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. 2017 will be the 45th 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 gmontgomery@morrisparks.net.

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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.

FIELD TRIPS FOR SCHOOLS & SCOUTS

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.

ATTENTION SCOUT LEADERS

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:
Winter 2017, Spring 2017

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Sun Jan 1, 2017

Sat/Sun in Jan Feb & Mar
9:00a - 3:30p

Winter 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 change every month.

  • January’s theme is “Black and White”,
  • February’s is “A Pop of Color” and
  • the theme for March is “Stick to the Trails”.

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

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

Cost: $10 per family (exact change please).

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Wed Mar 8, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: The Shape of Things

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 - 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum in winter. Dress for the weather!

Now that the trees are bare you can see their shapes and their structures. Why are they shaped the way they are and what shapes are found in the garden?

Cost: $5 per session

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



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Sat Mar 11, 2017

2:00p - 4:00p

Matilda’s Tea: Fascinating Fascinators!

Mark your calendars for the return of the Matilda’s Tea on Saturday, March 11.

Bring your favorite young person and explore the art of millinery, or hat-making and learn about the fashion of proper young ladies at the turn of the previous century. How did Matilda Frelinghuysen dress to play in the gardens of Whippany Farm, now The Frelinghuysen Arboretum? Travel back in time and find out. You’ll also learn how the bigger-is-better hat craze of the early 20th century launched the environmental movement of today.

Tea takers will begin the day by making a hat. Come hatless and leave with a fabulous fascinator, just like the ones that Princess Kate Middleton wears today. Will you choose feathers, beads, tulle, sparkles or all of them? Adults and children alike leave with a custom made fascinator they can enjoy forever. Then all will enjoy a light tea and an illustrated talk about the history of women’s head dressings. This program is designed for young and old.

Space is limited so pre-registration is required. The cost is $25 per person. Appropriate for adults and children ages 6 and up.

Cost: $25 per person

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$25.00



Non-members

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$25.00



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Wed Mar 22, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Shake it Up!

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 - 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum in winter. Dress for the weather!

Seeds travel in a number of ways all year long. Now’s the time to think about sowing seeds for spring.

Cost: $5 per session

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



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Sat Apr 1, 2017

Sat & Sun in Apr, May & June
9:00a - 3:00p

Spring 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.

  • April’s theme is “Mellow Yellow”;
  • May’s is “That’s Cool”; and
  • the theme for June is “Mid-Summer’s Dream”.

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

 

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

Cost: $10 per family, exact change, please.

Cost: $10/family at door

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Wed Apr 5, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Get Up, Get Growing

Spring is de nitely here and we’ll take a long walk around the arboretum and look for plants that traveled from someplace else to be here. Who planted those seeds if it wasn’t the arboretum’s gardeners?

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Register for the series by March 30

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Sat Apr 8, 2017

through Sun Apr 23
9:00a - 3:00p

A Special Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt

Head over to the arboretum for this special spring break scavenger hunt designed to “Take it Outside.” Bring your camera or cell phone as well as a good set of observant eyes. Find most of the items on the list and take home a prize for the entire family. There’s a lot going on in the gardens all year round – you just have to look for it.

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

Cost: $10 per family, exact change, please.

Cost: $10/family at door

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Wed Apr 12, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: This Is For The Birds

Birds are returning from their winter trips and looking around for places to nest and lay eggs. We’ll look for nests all over the arboretum and help the birds nd the right kind of natural things for perfect nest building.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Register for the series by March 30

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

Be sure to bring it with you.

Wed Apr 19, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Let There Be Light

Days are growing longer and there’s more sunlight every day. Plants need sun just like people and animals. Discover how plants put sunlight to work and discover what happens when plants grow in shade.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Register for the series by March 30

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



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Sat Apr 22, 2017

2:00p - 3:00p

Family Nature Crafts: Wormy Wonders

Ages 5 and up

Worms! Love or hate them, there’s a lot to learn about these creatures and all they do for us. At this program, build your own worm bin to start composting kitchen waste at home. You’ll end up with rich, organic compost to boost growth in your garden.

Register by April 15

$15 per worm bin

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$15.00



Non-members

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$15.00



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Wed Apr 26, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Sounds of Spring

Use your ears and discover a whole new side of plants. We’ll also look around to see who is making all that spring time racket.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Register for the series by March 30

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Wed May 3, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Plant Zoo

Dogwood, Pig Squeak and Pussy Willow. Plants are named for all sort of things. We’ll take a walk around and look for all the plants that look like animals and try to guess their names.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Wed May 10, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Are You My Mother?

Where do all those new tiny plants come from and how do they get here? Discover how plants make new plants and search the gardens for tiny baby plants using a magnifying glass.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Wed May 17, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: What Smells?

Most plants have an aroma of some sort, but is it nice or awful? Put your nose to work and smell how plants attract and repel insects and animals.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

(not a member?
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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Sat May 20, 2017

2:00p - 3:00p

Family Nature Crafts: Mason Bee Houses

Ages 6 and up

Like to eat? Thank a pollinator! Get the buzz on these tiny bees and how beneficial they are to your yard, garden, and the food we eat. make a mason bee house to take home and learn how to care for it.

Register by May 13

$15 per house

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$15.00



Non-members

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$15.00



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Wed May 24, 2017

11:00a - 12N

Seedlings: Tops and Bottoms

Which part of a plant is the best, the top or the bottom? Which part do you eat, the top or the bottom? Which part is the most useful? Take a look and decide for yourself.

Plant the seeds for a love of nature in Seedlings. In this program, preschoolers ages 3 – 5 and their adult caregivers will discover the wonders of nature. Each session features a different theme based on what is growing in the gardens. We begin with story time and complete the class with an outdoor exploration of the arboretum. Dress for the weather!

Register for the series by March 30

Cost: $5 per program

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

Register with PayPal

Members

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$5.00



Non-members

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$5.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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Sat Jun 3, 2017

2:00p - 3:00p

Family Nature Crafts: Fairy Doors

Ages 6 and up

If you build it, Fairies will come! Fairy doors are portals to the magical part of the garden and in this workshop, crafty builders will design and decorate a door through which to welcome visitors to their own gardens.

Register by May 26

$10 per door

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$10.00



Non-members

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$10.00



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Sun Jun 25, 2017

1:00p - 3:00p

Fairy Day

This is a day for fairies, magic, and wishes to come true.

For one day, put aside the cynicism of the modern world, embrace the possibilities of the unknown, and believe in fairies. For centuries, fairies have been an important part of culture and legend, and in many ancient legends, these beings are described as intelligent, mischievous, and magical. We mortals don’t often see fairies but creating special fairy houses can bring them here.

Families are invited to Sylvan Terrace to build homes for these visitors. All supplies – bark, branches, lichens, mosses, feathers,stones and leaves – will be provided, or bring your own as long as they are natural – fairies shun man-made materials.

We’ll summon the fairies with music and fairy snacks and learn which plants and trees attract fairies. All fairy houses will be on display through the end of July. To see photos of previous Fairy Houses or to get ideas for your own house visit arboretumfriends.org/fairy-day-2014.

Register by June 14

Cost: Cost: $30 per house

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: Friends

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Members

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$30.00



Non-members

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$30.00



Your confirmation email from PayPal is your ticket!

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