Explore and Learn in the Children's Garden
The Children’s Garden is designed so youngsters can experience the great outdoors by observing wildlife; digging in the dirt; climbing a one-hundred-year-old mulberry tree; or simply doing nothing at all. You can also “climb” the universally accessible CWDKids Tree House. It’s 13 feet off the ground, but a series of sloping ramps make climbing easy, even for those in wheelchairs. All can enjoy a wonderful bird’s-eye view of the lake and surrounding gardens.
The area’s permanent features include:
- International Village
- Adventure Pathway & Leafy Overlook
- Weird and Contrasting Plants
- The Jane Quinn Saunders Farm Garden
- Activity Center
- The Garden Keeper’s Cottage
- The Garden Cart, Investigation Station, and Kids Quest — plus student workshops, camps, and family events!
International Village & Adventure Pathway
The International Village in the Children’s Garden brings the world home through globally inspired architectures, cultures, and indigenous plants.
The Adventure Pathway winds among prairie, butterfly meadow, and evergreen environs, while the universally accessible Leafy Overlook and CWDKids Tree House reveal the world from a birds-eye view.
Spend a day at Water Play in the Children’s Garden. Open during warm months, the area refreshes with cooling fountains and carefree sprays.
The Jane Quinn Saunders Farm Garden
At the Farm Garden, children are invited to plant and nurture wholesome fruits and vegetables, with several hundred pounds annually donated to the feeding of central Virginia’s hungry children.
The Activity Center encourages exploration of animals, weather, and natural materials in the property’s original Carriage House during summer months, as the Central Plaza hosts special programs and performances.
The Garden Keeper’s Cottage
Children are introduced to gardening concepts at the Garden Keeper’s Cottage. It is staged for playtime any time and sometimes the Garden Keeper herself makes a visit.
The Investigation Stations in the Children’s Garden combine educational learning opportunities with a fun family atmosphere.
Experience year-round fun in the Children’s Garden with our Kids Quest program. Families use clever clues and mapping skills to find their way to trees in the Garden. Along the way, children and their adults are encouraged to record the names of trees they encounter. Once the quest is completed, children receive a collectible button.
Mulberry Tree & Other Interesting Plants
There is a wide array of plant species in the Children’s Garden– including a 100-year-old Mulberry Tree that’s perfect for climbing. Our Weird and Contrasting Plants area illustrates nature’s amazing diversities and adaptions to environment, while the greenhouse demonstrates propagation and planting techniques.
Fun in the Children's Garden
Check out children’s programming and events in this interactive garden area.