Scheduled Activities & Special Events
Children's Garden Closing Weekend

Girl playing on ropes October 29 & 30, 2016
Activities 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Join us as we put the put the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden to bed with two festive fun-filled days of hands-on activities celebrating the changing of the seasons. Have an outdoor adventure exploring all of the wonders the Children’s Garden has to offer. See what’s ready to harvest in the edible garden. Spelunk in a cave and see what’s hidden inside. Explore what lives around our pond and learn about the fall critters who visit year after year. Climb to new heights in the tree house. Come investigate the Missouri ecosystems that thrive in the Children’s Garden and discover why native plants are important. Get inspired to be adventurous in the great outdoors and learn more about the nature that lives in your own neighborhood. 

With it being Halloween weekend, children are more than welcome to dress up! Celebrate fall with two fun-filled days of special family activities:

  • Pot-A-Plant: You can still have beautiful plants in your garden over the winter. Visit the potting station in the Edible Garden and select a winter-hardy plant (pansy or ornamental kale) to pot up and take home. Each plant goes home with a special tips sheet to help you add and care for the plant in your garden this winter.
  • Nighttime Superheroes: Join us in the Cave for an action-packed adventure with our nighttime superheroes—bats! Learn about how bats use their superpowers to fight crime in the dark of the night and make your neighborhood a better place.
  • Spectacular Spiders: Have you ever looked a spider straight in the eyes? Learn about the different kinds of spiders that live in the Children’s Garden and what makes spiders so special. Practice being an arachnologist (a spider scientist) with a staff member and find out why you might need to get face-to-face to really get to know the spiders around you!
  • Nature Masks: Fall is a great time for festive nature fun. Using a variety of materials, make a nature mask to celebrate the changing of the seasons. What will you be? An insect? A wildlife animal? A bird in a tree?
  • Nature Impressions (in the Brookings Exploration Center: Impressed by nature? Dig into your natural curiosities and discover the patterns, shapes, and details that are in your favorite leaf, flower, seed or rock. Using clay and natural materials found in the Children’s Garden, we’ll make nature impressions that you can take home and wear, display or dangle in your window.
  • Sensational Plants (in the PlantLab):
    • Nature Journals: Kids will be able to make their own nature journals and document the stages of a nature experiment that helps to answer the fall question of how leaves change color.
    • Chromatography: Then kids then will be able to take the experiment instructions home to continue their research on other leaves in their neighborhood.
  • Finn-tastic Face Painting: From tots to teens and those in between, who doesn’t love face painting? Visit with volunteers while getting some snazzy fall-inspired cheek art!

Don't miss:

Saturday, 11 a.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m.

Meet Finn, the Children’s Garden friendly frog mascot. 
Saturday & Sunday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get a bird’s-eye view of live native creatures from the World Bird Sanctuary. Learn from their birding experts about Missouri native birds and other fascinating creatures.
Saturday & Sunday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Enjoy live music by WildHeart, the Emmy award winning educators and entertainers Jan & George Syrigos. Visitors of all ages will be captivated by their energizing performances.

Activities are included with Children's Garden admission:

Free: ages 2 & under
Free: ages 13 & up
$3: Garden Members (ages 3–12)
$5: Non-members (ages 3–12)

In addition, join us this Saturday 10 a.m.–1 p.m. or this Sunday 1–3 p.m. in front of Tower Grove House to make pine cone bird feeders. Birds migrate every year across thousands of miles. Help them find food by making a pine cone bird feeder. Share Henry Shaw’s love of birds by making a yummy snack for them! Free with Garden admission.


Great Green Adventures: Preparing for Winter

SquirrelNovember 19, 2016
10:30–11:30 a.m. or
1:30–2:30 p.m.

Winter will soon be approaching, let’s search the Garden and discover what the plants and animals do to prepare for winter.  Learn more


Great Green Adventures: Trees with Winter Coats

Evergreen needlesDecember 17, 2016
10:30–11:30 a.m. or
1:30–2:30 p.m.

Why do some trees keep their leaves or needles over the winter and others lose them? Join us as we get to know some of the trees in the Garden by their bark, needles or berries. Learn more


Activities in the Children's Garden

Summer just got better with these fun activities for kids and families in the Children's Garden.

Girl with basket of vegetablesGermination Stations
Daily 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
in the Children's Garden (Children's Garden admission required)
Themed “Germination Stations” are located throughout the Children’s Garden and are staffed daily from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Interpreters use questions, activities, and hands-on props—plant parts, gardening tools, puppets, puzzles, head lamps, instruments, etc.—to engage visitors of all ages in interactive activities.

  • Monday: Explore Missouri History
  • Tuesday: Dive in and Navigate Waterways
  • Wednesday: Go Spelunking and Investigate Cave Life
  • Thursday: Discover the Power of Pollinators 
  • Friday: Have fun with Feathered Friends
  • Saturday: Dig in and Discover What Plants You Eat
  • Sunday: Be a Native Plant Detective and uncover why plants are important


Activities in the Brookings Exploration Center

Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
at Brookings Exploration Center (included in Garden admission)
Enjoy hands-on activities!


Activities at Tower Grove House

Visit the historic Tower Grove House through December 31, 2016 for:

Wednesdays & Saturdays at 11 a.m.
in Tower Grove House (included in Garden admission)
Relax a while and enjoy a nature-themed story in the cozy story corner of Henry Shaw’s country home.

Tower Grove House is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays, Tuesdays and the months of January through March. The House is also closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.



Be sure to check out classes and additional happenings for kids and families at the Garden, the Shaw Nature Reserve and the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House!

Children’s Garden

Girl climbing ropes in Children's Garden
The Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden (open April–October) is the perfect place to make new discoveries. Host your next birthday party, come for a drop-in program, learn at a germination station or just explore. Learn more