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 form:
Winter 2020, Spring 2020

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Wed Jan 1, 2020

Every Day 9:00a - 3:30p through Mar 31st

Family Photo Scavenger Hunt

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

Monthly Themes:

  • January: Baby, It’s Cold Outside
  • February: You’d Better Believe It, and
  • March: Everywhere Signs

Cost: $10 per family at front desk.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Feb 26, 2020

10:00a - 11:00a OR 1:00p - 2:00p

Garden Sprouts

Ages: 2 – 5 with an adult

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

Programs:

  • Shh! We’re Sleeping! – Wednesday, January 8
  • Snowy Day – Wednesday, January 15
  • Bare Branches, Green Needles – Wednesday, January 22
  • I See Ice – Wednesday, January 29
  • Scarves, Hats and Mittens – Wednesday, February 5
  • Love Grows – Wednesday, February 12
  • We Heart Birds – Wednesday, February 19
  • Sweet as (Maple) Sugar – Wednesday, February 26
  • P is for Plant – Wednesday, March 4
  • Super Seed – Wednesday, March 11
  • Spring is Coming – Wednesday, March 18
  • Out Like a Lamb – Wednesday, March 25

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. Check the Park Commission’s website at morrisparks.net for program descriptions and more information.

Cost: $5 per child

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Mar 5, 2020

4:00p - 5:00p

Arboretum Artists

Ages: 8 – 12

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Winter Watercolor – Thursday, February 6

Printmaking – Thursday, March 5

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. Check the Park Commission’s website at morrisparks.net for program descriptions and more information.

Cost: $10 per child

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Mar 12, 2020

(see text)

Children’s Centerpiece Workshops

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

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

Programs:

  • Winter Light – Ages 6 – 10, Thursday, January 16, Cost: $10
  • Feather the Nest – Ages 7 – 12, Thursday, January 23
  • Hearts and Flowers – Ages 6 – 12, Thursday, February 13
  • Tip of the Hat – Ages 6 – 12, Thursday, March 12

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. Check the Park Commission’s website at morrisparks.net for program descriptions and more information.

Cost: See above

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Apr 1, 2020

10:00a - 11:00a OR 1:00p - 2:00p

Garden Sprouts Program

Ages 2 – 5 with an adult

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.

Dates: Select Wednesdays Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am or 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

  • Wed. April 1: Spring Beginnings
  • Wed. April 8: April Showers
  • Wed. April 15: Good Enough To Eat
  • Wed. April 22: Tree Huggers
  • Wed. April 29: Delightful Daffodils
  • Wed. May 6: Terrific Tulips
  • Wed. May 13: Gardener’s Best Friend
  • Wed. May 20: Crazy Plants
  • Wed. May 27: Bug Safari
  • Wed. June 3: A Leaf Can Be...
  • Wed. June 10: Here Comes Summer

Cost: $5 per child.

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Wed Apr 1, 2020

Daily between 9 am & 3:30 pm

Family Photo Scavenger Hunts

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 “Kinda Blue”;
  • May’s is “Going Green”;
  • and the theme for June is “Here Comes Summer”.

Families welcome to participate any time between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm; cost: $10 per family

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Tue Apr 14, 2020

1:00p - 2:00p

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.

Dates: Tuesdays, April 14 through June 16

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm; cost: $70 per child

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Apr 16, 2020

4:00p - 5:00p

Teeny Tiny Tea

Ages 6 – 12

Just in time for spring’s arrival, young designers will create a flower arrangement in a tea cup.

Thursday, April 16 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm; cost: $20 per child

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun Apr 19, 2020

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.

Sunday, April 19, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Suggested donation $5 per family

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Apr 23, 2020

4:00p - 5:00p

Arboretum Artists

Ages 8 – 12 Dates: Select Thursdays

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Cost: $10 per child

Thursday, April 23: Spring Watercolor

Practice layering different artistic media in this spring inspired watercolor class!

Thursday, May 21: Bold Blooms

Using pastels, create a magnified image of a flower in this modern art class!

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu May 7, 2020

4:00p - 5:00p

Moss Balls for Mom

Ages 6 – 12

Science meets art meets history in this hands-on workshop in the ancient, but updated, craft of kokedama or Japanese moss ball gardens. Learn the history as well as the art of this type of garden design. Create a moss ball of your own to give to mom on her day.

Thursday, May 7 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm; cost: $20 per child

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun May 17, 2020

1:00p - 3:00p

Family Edible Garden Day

Create your own edible container or herb garden. Get tips on how to plant and get the most from this small space. Tour the Barkman Garden to experience French Intensive gardening. Bring your garden home and harvest your crops all season long.

Sunday, May 17 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; cost: $30 per garden

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Thu Jun 18, 2020

4:00p - 5:00p

Welcome Tiny Friends

Ages 6 – 12

Using tiny plants, tiny decorations and big imaginations, young designers will create a fairy dish garden perfect for table top.

Thursday, June 18 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm; cost: $20 per child

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC

Sun Jun 28, 2020

1:00p - 3:00p

Fairy Day is Coming!

Fairies will once again be visiting The Frelinghuysen Arboretum. To prepare for their stay, houses need to be built. Families are invited to celebrate the 14th Annual Fairy Day on the Sylvan Terrace and build a home for these visiting wee folk.

Sunday, June 28 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm; cost: $30 per house

To register, please call 973.326.7601 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Cost: See above.

Location: Haggerty Center

Sponsor: MCPC