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 February 1, 2018.
For more information about school group programs and to register, please contact firstname.lastname@example.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 18 – Sept 16, 2018
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. (Please note our April Flower Buds program has a one-time cancellation due to the NEW program series – Movement Workshops for Preschoolers)
Course # 60463
Monday March 11, 2019 10:30am – 12:00pm
Course # 60468
Monday May 13, 2019 10:30am – 12:00pm
Course # 60469
Monday June 10, 2019 10:30am – 12:00pm
Course # 60470
Monday July 8, 2019 10:30am – 12:00pm
Course # 60471
Monday August 12, 2018 10:30am – 12:00pm
Fee: $7.00/child(adult free);
Visitors Center Children’s Classroom
“Explore Maryland! “
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!
All ages are welcome to come explore Brookside Gardens and search for signs of spring with ecologist Dr. Stacy Small-Lorenz! Learn about plants and critters that make their homes in and around the gardens, discuss ways to take good care of the Earth, and create nature-themed arts and crafts.
Learn to create your own beautiful, handmade “seed paper” using materials found in nature, native plant seed, “upcycled” gift wrap, and other paper. We will explore the gardens to look for flower petals and other natural fibers to use in our handmade paper. Final product will be suitable for a gift card or journal cover. (Students enrolled in 2 or more Eco-Explorers workshops will receive a mini field sketch book to cover.)
Course # 62308
Sunday March 24, 2:00pm -4:00pm
Learn about the important relationship between soil, flowers and pollinators, explore the gardens to learn about how different flower shapes & colors attract different animals, and plant a mini pollinator greenhouse to take home, using organic soil, compost, and “upcycled materials.”
Course # 62391
Sunday March 31, 2:00pm -4:00pm
Bird Songs of Brookside Gardens
Learn why birds sing and try out a variety of games and journal techniques for learning bird songs. We will then explore the habitat in and around the gardens, watching and listening for birds with binoculars and field notebooks. We may even write a bird song haiku together!
Course # 62392
Sunday April 7, 2:00pm -4:00pm
Explore the aquatic gardens, then splash in the stream while surveying for aquatic creatures that tell us about water quality and observe secretive creatures that visit our streambanks. Create a unique piece of scratch art based on your stream observations. Please bring an extra pair of close-toed water shoes, old sneakers, or rubber boots that can get wet.
Course # 62393
Sunday April 14, 2:00pm -4:00pm
St. Patrick’s Day Green and Growing Scavenger Hunt
You don’t have to be Irish to like the color green! Visit the Children’s Classroom for a fun garden planting craft story and games. Afterwards make your way outside to find Leprechaun riddles and clues! Solve the riddles to find buried treasure just for you! Meet our friendly garden Leprechaun!
Friday, March 15, 10:00am – 12:00pm
Fee $7.00/child; Ages 2-6
Movement Workshops for Preschoolers
Keira Hart-Mendoza, founder of UpRooted Dance will capture your preschooler’s energy, add imagination and movement in a series of fun workshops just for little ones. Intersections between dance and other art forms will be created amongst the beautiful setting of Brookside Gardens. UpRooted Dance explores our use of trash as a means to create costumes, sets, and as an inspiration to create movement. Register for one or all workshops.
Course # 61618
Monday April 8, 10:30am-12:00pm
Visitors Center Children’s Classroom
Course # 61619
Monday April 15, 10:30am-12:00pm
Visitors Center Children’s Classroom
Course # 61620
Monday April 22, 10:30-12:00pm
Visitors Center Children’s Classroom
Garden Fairies and Gnomes
Do your children love fairy tales and flowers? This camp will spark their imagination, encourage creativity, and teach them an appreciation for nature and growing things. We will make fairy and gnome gardens, learn about flowers and fun plant lore, meet new friends, make crafts, and play fun garden games.
Course # 60656
June 24-28, 9:00am-3:30pm
Garden Fairies and Gnomes Extended Care
Need to pick up your child a little later? This course is extended care for Garden Fairies and Gnomes Summer Camp.
Course # 60657
June 24-28, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Garden Architects and Inventers
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, 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!
Course # 28659
July 15-19, 9:00am-3:30pm
Garden Architects and Inventers Extended Care
Course # 28658
July 15-19, 3:30am-5:30pm
Garden Eco Explorers Camp
Join Ecologist Stacy Small Lorenz in a fun-filled camp exploring ecology throughout 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.
Course # 60985
July 29-Aug 2, 9:00am-3:30pm
Garden Eco Explorers Extended Care
Need to pick up your child a little later? This course is extended care for Garden Eco Explorers Summer Camp.
Course # 60986
July 29- Aug 2, 3:30pm-5:30pm
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!
Course # 60654
July 22-26, 9:00am-3:30pm
Farms, Food, Fun and Sun Extended Care
Need to pick up your child a little later? This course is extended care for Farms, Food, Fun and Sun Summer Camp.
Course # 60658
July 22-26, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Botanical Art Camp
This camp will give your child the opportunity to experience nature in a 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 for one piece of artwork included.
Course # 60987
Aug 5 – 12, 9:00am-12:30pm
Hip Hop Architecture Camp is coming to Brookside Gardens!
The Hip Hop Architecture curriculum’s unprecedented design process takes Design Thinking into a new realm, one influenced by hip hop culture. The approach allows participants to generate and present ideas for making their communities better! It has five phases that help participants uses hip hop to identify design challenges and develop and present design solutions.
Course # 61014
Aug 12-16, 10:00am-3:00pm
FREE – apply online at activeMontgomery.org