Brookside Gardens offers a variety of programs that are designed to provide students with memorable experiences that connect them to nature and encourage an appreciation for science. Students will enjoy a 30-minute interactive presentation, 15-minute hands-on activity, and a 45-minute outdoor exploration of Brookside Gardens. School programs are free for Montgomery County schools and $5.00 per student for non-county schools. The Wings of Fancy self-guided exhibit is $5.00 per student and $8.00 per adult chaperone/teacher. Title I schools (50% discount), $2.50 per student and $4.00 per adult chaperone/teacher. Reservations for Spring and Summer programs are being accepted beginning September 30, 2019.
For more information about school group programs and to register, please contact Lynn.Richard@montgomeryparks.org or call 301-962-1408.
How Seeds Travel – Grade level: 1 Spring/Fall
Plants may not have feet, but they do move! Plants travel by dispersing seeds and fruit that fall on the ground and begin growing. In this program students will take a closer look at specific methods of seed dispersal and learn the value seeds hold in nature. They will learn how and why seeds travel, environmental conditions required for seeds to germinate, and how to care for a plant. Students will collect seeds and pot a plant to take home.
Sunflower Sally – Grade level: 1 – Fall
Come meet Sunflower Sally! Sally, our flower friend introduces students to plant parts and their functions. We will take a journey through the gardens and make observations of plant features, discuss how plants survive, compare plants in different habitats, and make a collection of plant parts. Students will pot a plant to take home.
Growing with Butterflies – Grade level: 2 – Spring
Students will explore the butterfly life cycle, tracking their growth from tiny eggs to leaf-munching caterpillars to soaring Lepidoptera. Students will learn while having fun outdoors identifying butterflies, playing a monarch migration game and creating a ready-to-plant pollinator seed ball.
Seeds – Grade level: 2-3 – Spring
Students will learn the importance of fruits and seeds in the life cycle of flowering plants. We will discuss the difference between fruits and vegetables, pollination, seed dispersal mechanisms, and the basic needs of plant growth. Students pot a plant to take home and make a seed collection.
Every Plant Has A Habitat – Grade level: 3 – Spring
Students will learn how plants survive in different habitats, the features of plant adaptations, and gain knowledge of plant-animal interdependence in ecosystems and biomes. We will discuss how plants adapt to temperate change in the environment and its effect of different species. Students pot a plant to take home and make seed/plant part collection.
Trees – a Treasure Hunt – Grade level: 3/4/5 – Spring/Fall
Students will learn to use a tree key and identify 5-10 native tree species. Discuss tree characteristics such as form, leaves, bark, and fruit, as well as tree products and natural history. Students gain knowledge of a forest environment, plant and animal habitats, plus learn why trees are one of nature’s most valuable resources.
Self-guided tours: Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit – April- Sept. 2020
The Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Students will get an up-close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role they play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to attract these beautiful insects in our own gardens.
On the second Monday of every month treat your 3-5 year old to gardening activities, stories, crafts and garden walks. Younger siblings are welcome, but the crafts are designed for older kids. Adults must accompany children.
Monday December 9, 2019 10:30am – 12:00pm; Course # 71387
Monday January 13, 2020 10:30am – 12:00pm; Course # 71389
Monday February 10, 2020 10:30am – 12:00pm; Course # 71390
Fee: $7.00/child(adult free);
Visitors Center Children’s Classroom
Experience a unique mini-Maryland in our new children’s garden, Explore Maryland! From the mountains to the ocean, Explore Maryland! is an opportunity for children to explore a beautiful garden, pretend among mountain boulders, play in an old farm house, cook in a kitchen, boat in the sea, and gain knowledge about Maryland’s natural history, flora and fauna. Search for and learn about the state’s iconic symbols and what they stand for!
Parent and child enjoy a sit-down tea, delectable treats, and afterwards, a fun, hands on craft planting a mini Gnome or Fairy garden
in your teacup!
$22 per person | Ages 6 and up
All tea parties held from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Magical Plants and Mythical Creatures
Be amazed and mesmerized! Use your imagination and creativity designing a garden for your favorite mythical creature – could it be a gnome, fairy, unicorn, dragon or troll? Learn about fascinating bug-eating plants and take home your own carnivorous plant terrarium too. We will also visit the United States Botanical Garden exploring interesting plant habitats. Meet new friends and play fun garden games!
Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26 | 9 am – 3:30 pm | $300 | Ages 6-10 | #76603
Magical Plants and Mythical Creatures: After Care
Monday, June 22 – Friday, June 26 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | $80| Ages 6-10 | #76604
Garden Architects and Inventors
Plan, build and invent structures or homes for garden wildlife and critters. Using natural materials, garden items, and wood kits to create fun and imaginative habitat homes including a toad abode, wildlife hotel, and birdhouse or fairy house that you can take home! Every day we will also explore Brookside Gardens many beautiful habitats, discover plants and animals, plus play fun games. Bring your excitement and enthusiasm!
Monday, June 29 – Thursday, July 2 | 9 am – 3:30 pm | $250| Ages 7-12 | #76588
Garden Architects and Inventors: After Care
Monday, June 29 – Thursday, July 2 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | $70| Ages 7-12 | #76589
Garden Eco Explorers
Join Ecologist Stacy Small Lorenz in a fun-filled camp exploring ecology through out the gardens. Through stories, songs, walks, and nature discovery be fascinated each day learning about garden science, ecology, plants and critters! Explore different habitats, conduct science experiments, and gain an appreciation for citizen science.
Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10 | 9 am – 3:30 pm | $315| Ages 7-12 | #76575
Garden Eco Explorers: After Care
Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | $80| Ages 7-12 | #76580
Farms, Food, Fun and Sun
Give your child a taste of the simpler, more natural (and delicious) time with this camp. We’ll visit working farms, a farmer’s market, take a cooking class, and plant our own container herb garden to take home. Bonus: We’ll tour the Herr’s snack factory in Nottingham, Pennsylvania and see how potatoes become chips!
Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24 | 9 am – 3:30 pm | $315| Ages 7-12 | #76605
Farms, Food, Fun and Sun: After Care
Monday, July 20 – Friday, July 24 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm | $80| Ages 7-12 | #76606
Botanical Art Camp
Join artist Rita Pazelli for this week of super fun young artist creativity. Experience nature and the gardens in your own creative way. Campers will learn different techniques of observations and fieldwork. They will collect and make pressed plant specimens, then sketch, draw and paint what they’ve found. Sketchbook, media choices, and matting and framing for one piece of artwork included.
Monday, July 27 – Friday, July 31 | 9 am – 12:30 pm | $185| Ages 7-12 | #76680