If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Des Moines, look no further. Our youth and family programming is designed to engage multiple generations in the Botanical Garden’s mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants.
Story Sprouts (recommended ages 2-5)
Join us on Fridays from 10:30-11 a.m. for a fun, interactive story time that explores nature and plants. During each program participants will enjoy stories and an activity based on the week’s theme. Story Sprouts is geared toward children ages 2-5.
$3 per child; adults and seniors pay general admission. Members FREE
Family Workshops (for ages 4-14 and an adult)
These hands-on classes offer a fun, creative experience for families. Workshops are designed for youth ages 4-14 and an adult to build a take-home project together. Please note one adult is required for every three youth participants. Registration is required.
- Plant Pressing Wednesday, July 11, 10:30-11:45 a.m.
- Terrariums Friday, Aug. 3, 1-2:15 p.m.
- Nature Weaving Saturday, Sept. 22, 1-2:15 p.m.
Members: $20 Youth/Adult pair, $15 Additional Youth
Nonmembers: $25 Youth/Adult pair, $20 Additional Youth
Our unique Summer Camps are designed for children ages 6 to 10 to explore the natural world through the lens of their favorite activities. Using the gardens as unique classrooms, children are inspired to create and explore with hands-on activities. Guest speakers from a wide range of expertise will also participate.
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Dates and Themes:
- June 18-22: Outdoor Explorers
- June 25-29: Theater Sprouts
- July 9-13: Junior Botanists
- July 16-20: Budding Chefs
- July 23-27: Garden Artists
- July 30-Aug. 3: Green Thumbs
- Aug. 6-10: Magic in the Garden
- Aug. 13-17: Young Naturalists
Potting Bench Workshops (recommended ages 5-17)
Potting Bench classes are designed for non-school groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, 4H and other youth groups to create a hands-on take-home. All supplies are included in the cost of registration. Classes require a minimum of eight people and have a maximum capacity of 20. Classes must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance.
- Terrariums: Learn about terrariums, small-scale ecosystems and the water cycle. Create your own terrarium to take home.
- Succulent Dish Gardens: Learn about desert ecosystems and succulents and then design and plant a desktop desert.
- Fairy Gardens: Celebrate gardening on a small scale and draw inspiration from fairies, gnomes and sprites to create your own miniature garden.
$20 per youth. Adults within a 1:5 ratio (ages 5-10) or 1:15 ratio (ages 11-17) are free. Additional adults pay general admission.
Add On: Guided tours are available to add on to your Potting Bench program for an additional $5 per youth.
Youth Tours (recommended ages 3-17)
Explore the beauty of the Botanical Garden with one of our tours. We offer different options for youth groups. Prices and formats vary. All tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Choose from the following:
- Guided Tour (Groups 10-20, Ages 3-17, Offered September through May): An education staff member will guide your group through the Gardens and discuss their history, special plant collections and more. $7 per youth.
- Discovery Tour (Groups 20-100, Ages 6-17, Offered June through August): Education staff will guide participants through the Gardens and engage the group with demonstrations and activities. $7 per youth.
- Sensory Tour (Groups 20-100, Ages 3-5, Offered June through August): Designed for Pre-K and Kindergarten age youth to explore the Botanical Garden in a series of activities engaging the senses. $7 per youth.
- Unguided Group Rate (Groups 10-100, Ages 3-17, Offered all year): Explore the Botanical Garden on your own for a special rate. $5 per youth.
Adults within a 1:8 ratio (ages 5-10) or 1:15 ratio (ages 11-17) are free. Additional adults pay general admission.
Field Trips & Outreach
Interested in helping your students grow their love of nature? Visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden for your next field trip. We offer a wide variety of field trip options to fit every age group and curricula. Our interdisciplinary tours and programs align with the Iowa Core, Next Generation Science Standards and local curricula for grades Pre-K through high school. Programs are offered September through May.
If you’re unable to visit the Garden, we also offer outreach programs. Let the Botanical Garden come to you for an engaging, hands-on lesson that meets state and national standards.