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 gmontgomery@morrisparks.net.

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.

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 2019, Spring 2019

Cancellations
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Mon Apr 1, 2019

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. 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 “Water, Water Everywhere”;
  • May’s is “Big, Bigger, Biggest”; and
  • the theme for June is “What Smells?”.

Cost: $10 per family at front desk

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Tue Apr 16, 2019

& Tuesdays through June 18
1:00 - 1:45p

Garden Buds (Ages 4-5 with an adult)

Instill a love of gardening in preschoolers in this 10-week hands-on gardening series. Little gardeners with their adult helpers plant, harvest, and even taste vegetables straight from their gardens.

Cost: $70 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Apr 24, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Sounds of Spring

Use your ears and discover an entirely new side of plants. We’ll also look around to see who is making all that springtime racket.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun Apr 28, 2019

1:00p - 4:00p

Arbor Day Celebration

Celebrate Arbor Day with New Jersey’s largest living things – trees. Learn how to plant, identify, and appreciate our local trees. Take a tour of the Arboretum’s Big Trees, do a tree craft, and take home some seedlings to grow in your own yard.

Cost: Suggested donation $5/family, call 973.326.7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed May 1, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Let There Be Light

Sunny days are here! Discover how plants put sunlight to work and what happens when plants grow in shade.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu May 2, 2019

4:00p - 5:00p

Arboretum Artists (Ages 8-12) - Beautiful Bouquets

Paint, cut, and build your own mixed media bouquet fit for framing!

Cost: $10 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed May 8, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Plant Zoo

Dogwood, Pig Squeak, and Pussy Willow...why do some plants have such strange names? Take a walk to search for the plants that look like animals and guess their names.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu May 9, 2019

4:00p - 5:00p

A Bouquet for Mom Ages 6-10

Young arrangers will create a beautiful floral masterpiece and learn how to take care of it just in time for Mothers’ Day.

Cost: $15 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun May 12, 2019

through Sun May 19
Any time between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm

National Public Gardens Week Scavenger Hunt

Celebrate this event with a special free scavenger hunt all week long. Discover the beauty of the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and its gardens.

Cost: FREE

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed May 15, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Are You My Mother?

Discover how plants make new plants, and search the gardens for baby plants using a magnifying glass.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sat May 18, 2019

Anytime between 1:00 pm and 4:00pm

National Public Gardens Week Family Seed Starting Ages 5 and up

Plant spring flower seeds in honor of National Public Gardens Week.

Cost: FREE, registration not required.

Cost: Free

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed May 22, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Going Buggy

There are insects all over the garden! Go on a bug hunt around the Arboretum and find out which bugs are helpful or harmful for the plants.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed May 29, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Tree Travels

Walk the arboretum and look for plants that traveled from some- where else to be here. Where did they come from? Who planted those seeds if it wasn’t the Arboretum’s gardeners?

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sat Jun 1, 2019

2:00p - 3:30p

Fairy Friends Ages 6 and up

Using a variety of natural materials, crafters and fairy lovers of all ages will design and create elves, imps, fairies, and pixies to take home for their own gardens or to use in their fairy houses on Fairy Day, June 23.

Cost: $10 per person, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Jun 5, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Tops and Bottoms

Which parts of the plant do we eat? Read a silly story and discover the differences between the tops and bottoms of plants.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Jun 6, 2019

4:00p - 5:00p

Arboretum Artists (Ages 8-12) - Quilling Creatures

Roll and fold strips of paper using the quilling technique to create beautiful butterflies, lovely ladybugs, and your own imaginative insects to take home!

Cost: $10 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Jun 12, 2019

10-11 am OR 1-2 pm

Sprouts (Ages 2-4 with an adult): Wonderful Water

Explore the wonderful, wet world of water. How do plants and animals get their water? Go on a walk to find water all around the Arboretum.

Plant the seeds of love for nature in this preschool program! Each session features a different theme and includes an indoor activity and an outdoor exploration of the Arboretum. Dress for the weather.

Cost: $5 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Jun 13, 2019

4:00p - 5:00p

Filling Dad’s Shoes Ages 8-12

Bring in one of dad’s old shoes, and plant it with succulents. This great Father’s Day gift is cool to plant and easy for dad to maintain.

Cost: $15 per child, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun Jun 23, 2019

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. 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, 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.

Fairy houses will be on display through the end of July.

Cost: $30 per house, call 973-326-7601 to register.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC