As you walk through the paths and over the bridges of the 4-H Children’s Garden, you will be able to explore the sight, smell, sound and feel of the natural surroundings. Everything in the environment of the children’s garden has a real-life purpose. By showcasing the plants and flowers in stimulating themes, kids can learn about nature in a way that is fun and entertaining, as well as informative. This is truly a garden designed with kids in mind. The children’s garden is organized in several sections.
Get lost in the Maze
The Alice in Wonderland themed maze is carved out of bushes with paths leading in all directions. You may occasionally catch a glimpse of a live bunny hopping around in here. It’s a great place for kids to burn off some energy. The secret garden sits at the end of the maze.
Evidence of Dinosaurs
For the dinosaur lover, there is a section of the garden that includes a set of dinosaur ribs to climb through. The rib cage opens up into a sand box. The area is filled with animal prints and the type of plants that survived from the time the dinosaurs lived.
Colors of the Rainbow
You’ve heard of “follow the yellow-brick road,” but have you walked on a road made of red, green, blue and yellow? The children’s garden has a rainbow section with a path that is painted in a rainbow pattern.
Climb the Tree House
There is a giant wooden tree house that can be seen from the garden’s parking lot. It serves as a nice shady place to hangout and a good meeting place.
Observe the Pond
The pond area is a favorite for many who visit the 4-H Children’s Gardens. It is home to the Monet Bridge, which is a good lookout place, too. A pond runs beneath the bridge has the bubble fountains as well as natural pond life, such as fish and frogs.
Playtime in the Gardens
The observation tower is another great lookout point. It is a play structure the children can climb to get a better view of the entire elaborately decorated landscape. In a nearby section sits the All Aboard Train. This is another climb-on play structure that the kids can enjoy.
Sounds of the Garden
The gardens aren’t just for seeing and smelling either. Let the sound of the garden come alive as you set your feet to music on the Dance Chimes. You can also see a play or hear music on scheduled dates at the outdoor amphitheater.
Time to Smell the Flowers
While exploring the gardens, make time to stop and smell the flowers, too. You will find a variety of scented flowers and there is even a devoted section to flowers that smell in the children’s greenhouse. Even though they aren’t meant to be eaten, some actually smell like chocolate.
To get the most out of your experience in the children’s garden, pick up a copy of their scavenger hunt flyer when you enter the gardens. The flyer contains a list of 36 things for you to locate within the children’s garden. You will look for things like a dinosaur egg, a good place to hide, a chocolate mint plant, a handprint that fits your own and a plant that starts with the first letter of your name. To accomplish the entire list, you will need to use all of your senses to deeply explore the gardens. By the time you complete the list, you will be pretty familiar with all of the areas of the children’s garden.
Special Events in the Garden
Be sure top check out the garden’s current schedule. Their Spring/Summer schedule includes quite a few special events that are either free or less than $6.00 per person, depending on the particular events.
Such events include:
Ã?Â· Butterfly Day
Ã?Â· Stories in the Garden
Ã?Â· Movie Nights
Ã?Â· Dinosaur Day
Ã?Â· Bug Day
Ã?Â· Teddy Bear Tea Party
Ã?Â· Around the World Jubilee
Ã?Â· Compost Day
Ã?Â· Camp Monet
Ã?Â· Plant Detectives
Ã?Â· Harvest Festival
Train rides are also offered on specific dates, as noted on the calendar.
With so many activities taking place at the Children’s Garden, there is bound to be something you and your children will enjoy. It also makes a great field trip for school groups, mom’s clubs, neighborhood outing, etc.
Admission to the 4-H Children’s Gardens is free. It doesn’t get any better than that for an afternoon of fun, exploration and learning. There is a nominal $3.00 parking fee. The garden is open from sunrise to sunset, April 1st to October 31st.
The children’s garden is located in Lansing, MI. It’s off Bogie Street, near the Plant and Soil Sciences Building on the southern end of Michigan State University’s campus.