Discovery Programs


Over the next two years, a new, larger Discovery Garden will be created, full of exciting interactive exhibits and plant displays. But don’t worry—while it’s under construction, there’s still plenty to see and do! Stop by the Fragrance Garden for a variety of drop-in programs for families, and pick up a Kids’ Discovery Guide to inspire your exploration of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

No Results

Download the Kids' Discovery Guide

Kids' Discovery GuideWhile the Discovery Garden is growing, explore the rest of BBG as a family and learn about the plant world. Download the Discovery Guide for activities around the Garden and playful challenges for the whole family.

Download the Guide (PDF)

Trees are for Kids!

Homemade sign in a tree bed

Young gardeners learn best by doing, and street trees could use their help! Here are some tree-rific tips to get started: Prep: Scout your tree bed for anything hazardous that should first be removed by you. Dress the part: It’s dirty work, so think fashion for scarecrows—gloves and old clothes. De-trash: Together, collect garbage. See who

Read More

Market Day in the Children’s Garden

Market Day

Market Day is one of the highlights of the summer season in the Children’s Garden. The kids look forward to the event all summer, harvesting crops from their plots and creating homemade treats to trade at market stands. This year’s selection included products that were delicious (beet brownies) and practical (botanical bug repellant made from

Read More

Quiz: What Is This Plant Called?

Caterpillars

To honor 100 years of children’s nature education at BBG, Annual Border curator Wayken Shaw has filled this year’s beds with plants with plenty of kid appeal. Many were chosen for their whimsical, evocative common names. Can you guess what these plants are called? 1. A. Caterpillars B. Mermaid tails C. Serpent’s tongue Hide

Read More

The Children’s Garden at BBG (Video)

Children's Garden

Since its founding in 1914, the Children’s Garden has been the cornerstone of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's educational programming—teaching gardening and plant science, instilling healthy eating habits, and fostering a lifelong connection to the environment.

Read More

A Lasting Harvest: A Century of Children’s Education at BBG

Children's Garden Open House

Behind the white picket fence at the southern end of BBG, something is happening. In the foreground, some children are raking straw. Off to the side, others are trundling wheelbarrows full of mulch, and over there, a trio are peeking under a fabric row cover. Beyond the garden beds, groups of kids sit at picnic tables, colorful jackets and lunch

Read More

Anyone Inside?

Hornet's Nest

With the trees bare, it’s easy to spot nests like these around the Garden. There’s one good specimen on a small flowering cherry tree, just downhill from Lily Pool Terrace near the big pagoda trees. This nest was built by bald-faced hornets using a substance similar to paper pulp, made by scraping and chewing wood. Look closely and you can see

Read More

How Do Buds Survive Winter?

Magnolia Bud

Next year’s leaves and spring-blooming flowers have already formed and are hidden inside the buds of deciduous trees around the garden. So how do these tender plant parts survive sub-freezing temperatures? Many are protected by tough, weatherproof bud scales, which fall off in spring when temperatures rise and the buds get ready to burst open and

Read More

Where Did the Turtles Go?

Japanse Hill-and-Pond Garden

Visitors walking past the icy pond in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden might notice that the painted turtles and red-eared sliders are not basking on the rocks as they do in summer. Where do they hunker down for winter? Turtles actually hibernate deep in the mud at the very bottom of the pond, insulated by layers of ice, water, and muck. When

Read More

Growing the Greenest Kids in Brooklyn

waterjugs_640

As Brooklyn Botanic Garden celebrates 100 years of its groundbreaking Children’s Garden, what a great moment to pause and reflect on the impact that children have had on the greening of our borough. One wonderful example has taken place beyond the gates of BBG, right at our doorsteps: the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. After 20 years of

Read More

School Gardens: Plan(t) for Succession and Success

3stars_640

So your new school garden is beautiful. Students nurture and nibble kale, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic. Science classes observe and calculate plant growth. Young poets write odes to flowers. You have albums of gorgeous photos. The principal is 100 percent committed. Then, the dynamo volunteer—parent or teacher—leaves the school or changes

Read More

A Day in the Children’s Garden (Video)

childrens garden

If you've never participated in a Children's Garden class at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, you may not know the joy of biting into a tender kale leaf a moment after picking it; how to identify galinsoga, one of the most common weeds in Brooklyn; or the satisfaction of harvesting beans for dinner. Now's your chance to take a peek inside the picket

Read More

Junior Botanists Have a Hefty Harvest

Junior Botanist and Plant Investigator Reunion

Students from all over Brooklyn harvested 55 pounds of kale, peppers, okra, and other vegetables in the Children's Garden and made some delicious snacks with their bounty. Fifteen families attended the Junior Botanist and Plant Investigator reunion on September 21, the largest such reunion to date. Participants were nominated by their teachers

Read More

Good-bye to the Discovery Garden…for Now

Discovery Garden

The Discovery Garden is closing for construction at the beginning of October, so be sure to make time for one last visit. This closing will allow the construction of a new, expanded version that will be more than triple the size of the current Discovery Garden, which originally opened in 1996. When it reopens, the new Discovery Garden will include

Read More

Get to Know Your Native Plants

Summer Science Adventures

A “walkabout” is an Aboriginal term for a journey into the wilderness, along which the wanderer would reconnect with stories passed down from ancestors. In the coming weeks, we will be venturing into the wilds of BBG’s Native Flora Garden on a series of Wild Side Discovery Walkabouts for tweens. While we won’t be disappearing into the

Read More

School Cafeteria Lunch Goes Green

Harvest Lunch at BASE

Delicious fresh picked salad greens, a spicy radish relish, and garden-fresh herbed honey mustard dressing were featured in the Prospect Heights High School cafeteria on Thursday. These seasonal foods were grown and harvested by a dedicated group of 15 students from the Brooklyn Academy for Science and the Environment (BASE), which is located in

Read More

Ghouls & Gourds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Video)

Ghouls and Gourds

Spectacular stilt dancers! Victorian toy parlor! Gorgeous fall colors! Shake a tail feather, show off your costume, and carouse with colossal puppets at Brooklyn’s wackiest costume parade.

Read More

Fall in the Children’s Garden

Children's Garden Harvest

With harvest season upon us, the Children’s Garden has a bounty of vegetables and flowers just waiting to be picked—and there’s still time to sign up for fall programs. Summer participants worked to make sure the plots were filled with root veggies, beans, peas, greens, and other yummy cool weather crops. Not only that, warm weather crops are

Read More

Market Day in the Children’s Garden

Market Day in the Children's Garden

The Children's Garden was filled with handmade items and tasty, locavore treats —mint lemonade, fresh lassis, homemade salsas, chutneys, pickles, and more—on Friday. All were made by Seeds and City Farmers participants, who harvested ingredients right from the garden and took turns as buyers and sellers for Market Day. This Children's Garden

Read More

Children’s Garden Honored

Children's Garden

BBG’s Children’s Garden has won the American Horticultural Society’s Jane L. Taylor Award for its work in nurturing future horticulturalists. The Children’s Garden is the oldest such garden in the U.S. and was founded in 1914 by Ellen Eddy Shaw, a former schoolteacher. After visiting a little boy on Myrtle Avenue and seeing the pride he

Read More

Summer Children’s Garden Registration

Children's Garden

Is it really already time to think about spring and summer sessions in the Children’s Garden? Why yes, it is. And it’s not your imagination that the registration period has come early this year. We have shifted the opening date for these two popular program seasons. Registration will begin February 6th at 9 a.m., sharp. The staff is

Read More

Winter in the Children’s Garden

Winter Harvest

Have you ever harvested and eaten fresh vegetables...in the middle of winter? This time of year, we prepare portions of the Children’s Garden for the cold weather by covering cool-weather crops with row-cover fabric and plastic. This material insulates our plants, keeping the air and soil up to 20 degrees warmer than surrounding areas, so our

Read More

Book Barn Story Spinners

Ghouls and Gourds 2012

Next Saturday, October 29, children and their families will flock to Ghouls & Gourds, BBG's biggest family event, to enjoy activities ranging from ‘pretend petting zoos’ and live music to costume-making, puppetry, and parades. They’ll also have a chance to meet 14 authors and illustrators of the books they love. Over the past

Read More

Chocolate and Spice and Everything Nice

Chile Pepper Festival

These days, chiles and chocolate mingle freely in the streets of Brooklyn without provoking a second glance. However, Anita Jacobs, director of Public Programs at BBG, remembers that when she first suggested adding a chile-chocolate sidebar to BBG's annual Chile Pepper Fiesta, some staff unfamiliar with the combo responded with "Weird!" Three

Read More

Sharing the Fall with Children

Discovery Garden Fall Workshop

Fall is a fantastic season to spend outdoors—many perennials burst into bloom as the weather cools; others make fantastical seedpods, and trees put on their colorful autumn show. There’s also the flurry of animal activity as migrating birds and butterflies pass through on their way to warmer places, and squirrels and resident birds

Read More

A Children’s Garden of Wildflowers

Discovery Garden Wildflower Meadow

The meadow in BBG’s Discovery Garden has undergone an overhaul since 2009, when the central beds had to be excavated in order to remove a failing ginkgo tree. New native meadow species were selected based on their allure for kids and wildlife alike, propagated in BBG’s greenhouses, then laid out to create winding paths and intimate

Read More

Composting in the Classroom

Worm Bin

Fall is the perfect time to start a classroom compost bin! On Tuesday, August 23, the NYC Compost Project in Brooklyn is offering the workshop Worm Composting in the Classroom. Teachers will learn how to set up and maintain an indoor worm bin, and have the opportunity to purchase a pound of worms and a bin to assemble on site. Creating a

Read More

Members’ Night for Children

BBG Members' Night for Children

On Wednesday, July 27, BBG members enjoyed the second annual Members’ Night for Children. The weather was lovely, the picnics were abundant, and the young and young at heart danced and sang along with musical act Rolie Polie Guacamole, which debuted its own delightful song all about BBG! The evening was rounded out with fun activities in the

Read More

Spring Weekend Discovery Workshops

Spring Discovery Workshop

Drop in for free family workshops to soak up spring in the Discovery Garden! Children will become naturalists as they explore plant and animal life cycles, watch the garden come magically to life, and experience the springtime world through fun, hands-on activities. Saturdays: May 21, June 4 Drop in 11 a.m.–1 p.m. No registration required.

Read More

Winter Children’s Garden Classes

Discovery Workshop

There's still time to register for Children's Garden winter programs. Classes begin January 19. Participants work in the greenhouse, maintain crops in cold frames and under row covers, and explore the Garden. Sign up today for your child to experience the wonders of the winter season. Trees & Saplings For two- and three-year-olds with a

Read More

Green Horizons at BBG

Green Horizons at BBG

On October 14 BBG hosted Green Horizons, New York City’s free conference on careers in natural resources and the environment for middle schools. Over 300 students and educators spent the day at BBG working directly with noted environmental professionals to learn more about career opportunities in a wide variety of environmental fields. 19

Read More

Harvest Season in the Children’s Garden

The Children's Garden

It’s harvest season in the Children’s Garden, and if you walk by on an autumn day you'll see a bounty of veggies ready to be harvested, including kale, lettuce, broccoli, squash, tomatoes...the list goes on! Since the Children’s Garden is closed to visitors, many people wonder who benefits from all this produce. Well, it’s

Read More

Migration and Hibernation in the Discovery Garden

Discovery Garden

It’s time for the Migration and Hibernation Celebration in the Discovery Garden! As autumn approaches, animals are getting ready for winter. Some stay in Brooklyn while others, like the monarch butterfly, travel incredible distances to overwintering grounds in places like Mexico and California. On September 18 and 19, the Discovery Garden

Read More

BBG is creating a brand-new garden that will be four times size of the previous Discovery Garden and offer fresh and exciting botanical experiences for families and groups. Designed for kids from 1 to 12 years old, children will be able to explore fascinating habitats, plants, and wildlife through engaging hands-on activities and interactive exhibits.

Map of new Discovery Garden

Design for the new Discovery Garden

Kids will be able to plant and harvest vegetables in the Hamm Children’s Learning Courtyard, scout for wetland wildlife, practice their observational skills in the native wildflower meadow, trek the woodland boardwalk trail, and investigate wonders of the forest floor. And new restroom facilities nearby will make every family’s experience comfortable. Incredible landscapes, interactive exhibits to revisit in every season, and great new visitor amenities—the new Discovery Garden is well worth waiting for!

Support the Discovery Garden Expansion project.

next slide previous slide
    • Children are invited to touch and smell plants in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.Children are invited to touch and smell plants in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
    • Families visit hands-on stations during a Discovery workshop in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Families visit hands-on stations during a Discovery workshop in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • A family visits a Discovery station in Bluebell Wood. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.A family visits a Discovery station in Bluebell Wood. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
    • A family admires the spring cherry blossoms in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.A family admires the spring cherry blossoms in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
    • Kids can meet our composting worms during Discovery programs in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Kids can meet our composting worms during Discovery programs in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Volunteers and staff teach visitors about a different garden topic each week at the Discovery table in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Volunteers and staff teach visitors about a different garden topic each week at the Discovery table in the Fragrance Garden. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Tweens explore the newly expanded Native Flora Garden on a nature walk. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Tweens explore the newly expanded Native Flora Garden on a nature walk. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • A child enjoys a garden story at a Discovery Mornings program. Photo by Ashley Gamell.A child enjoys a garden story at a Discovery Mornings program. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    next slide previous slide
      • The new, immersive Woodland Zone will provide opportunities for nature play and exploration on the forest floor. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.The new, immersive Woodland Zone will provide opportunities for nature play and exploration on the forest floor. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • Discovery programs for children of all ages will invite kids into deeper exploration of the new Discovery Garden's rich web of plant and animal life. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.Discovery programs for children of all ages will invite kids into deeper exploration of the new Discovery Garden's rich web of plant and animal life. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • In the new Hamm Family Learning Courtyard, visiting children will be able to plant and harvest vegetables. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.In the new Hamm Family Learning Courtyard, visiting children will be able to plant and harvest vegetables. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • Plantings throughout the new Discovery Garden will appeal to the senses of smell and touch. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.Plantings throughout the new Discovery Garden will appeal to the senses of smell and touch. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • Exhibits in the new Discovery Garden will allow children to use real scientific tools out in nature. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.Exhibits in the new Discovery Garden will allow children to use real scientific tools out in nature. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • Hands-on activities throughout the new space will make for active play and lend visitors a sense of stewardship. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.Hands-on activities throughout the new space will make for active play and lend visitors a sense of stewardship. Photo by Caroline Voagen Nelson.
      • Children will explore plants and pollinators in an expanded Meadow Zone. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Children will explore plants and pollinators in an expanded Meadow Zone. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
      WeddingsGarden News BlogCalendarOnline ShopPress Room

      Hours

      Tuesday–Friday:
      8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Saturday & Sunday:
      10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Closed Mondays
      (but open Columbus Day,
      10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

      More Information

      Admission

      Members Free
      Adults $10
      Seniors (65 and over) $5
      Students with a valid ID $5
      Children under 12 Free

      More Information

      Directions

      150 Eastern Parkway
      990 Washington Avenue
      Brooklyn, NY 11225

      subways

      Maps, Parking, and Directions

      Join BBG

      Become a Member

        

      BBG Member Benefits
      Free Admission, Special Events,
      Discounts, and More!