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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Children's Education

Children’s Programs & Workshops 2023-2024

School Field Trips

Brookside Gardens offers a variety of programs connecting science, nature, and the outdoors. Students will gain memorable experiences, fostering an appreciation for the Earth and its natural environment. Field trip programs are 90 minutes each and are offered Tuesday through Friday mornings by reservation only. Submit a Field Trip Request using the form on the right sidebar of this page.

Plants and Pollinators

Bring your curious students to a guided exploration of the gardens to learn about plants. The structure and function of plant anatomy, photosynthesis, and plant reproduction are taught in age-appropriate ways with seasonally appropriate examples in the gardens. Learners will practice using a magnifying lens and gardening with live plants during this field trip.

Suggested Grades: K – 3

NGSS: 2–LS2–1; 2–LS2–2; 2–PS1–4; K–2–ETS1–2; K–2–ETS1–3

Water Quality in the Watershed

As a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, students visiting Brookside Gardens will learn first-hand how our inland streams are connected to a wider ecoregion. Students act as citizen scientists on this field trip by conducting hands-on chemical tests in our namesake “brook.” Data collection, analysis, and using evidence to make conclusions are embedded in the lessons of the day.

Suggested Grades: 4 – 7

NGSS: 5–ESS3–1; 5–PS1–1; 3–5 ETS1–2; 3–5 ETS–3.

Native Plants and Climate Action

Students discover the role plants play in the global climate cycle and what choices humans can make in their gardens and daily lives to support the local environment. An outdoor exploration, native/invasive plant survey, and hands-on gardening practice are parts of this interactive field trip designed for learners who want to take immediate action to restore and conserve outdoor places for climate resiliency.

Suggested Grades: 5 – 9

NGSS: MS–LS2–1; MS–ESS3–3–5; MS– LS2–4

Submit a request using the form on the right sidebar of this page. For more information, please email Liz.Bullock@MontgomeryParks.org

Summer Camp Programs

All summer camps for 2024 are currently full with waitlists. Summer camps run in week-long sessions from 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. There is no after care available.

Ages 6-8 years

Garden Investigators | June 24 – 28

Garden Investigators | July 29 – August 2

Ages 9-11 years

Art Adventures | July 8 – 12

Summer Science Camp | July 15 – 19

Ages 11-14 years

Climate Action Camp | August 5 – 9


Visit ActiveMontgomery for to register for current Children’s Programs. Please note that registration for these programs begins on Feb. 12, 2024.

Garden Explorers

$7 | Ages 6 – 8

Sunday | March 3 | 10:00 – 11:00 am

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Saturday | April 6 | 10:00 – 11:00 am

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Sunday | May 19| 10:00 – 11:00 am

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Take a garden walk with one of our instructors and explore botany, nature, and all the outdoors has to offer. Curiosity, seasonal changes, and botanical variety will guide the content of the day and the route we take through the gardens. Please dress for the weather.

Storytime in the Garden

$5 | Ages 3 – 7

Join us for an interactive story time followed by an outdoor exploration or activity for children ages 3-7. We will meet in the outdoor classroom area located in the Children’s Garden, weather permitting. Adults must accompany children. Meet in the Outdoor Classroom located in the Children’s Garden area.

Saturday | March 9 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Saturday | March 16 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Sunday | April 7 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Sunday | April 14 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Saturday | May 18 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Sunday | June 9 | 10:00 – 10:45 am

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Yoga Sprouts!

Saturdays | April 27 – June 8

10:00 – 10:45 am

$7 | Ages 3 – 9 | #PBG0078

Meet at South Terrace

Bring your little ones to this series of fun, garden-related yoga movement classes. Physical exercise and mindfulness will awaken your senses, boost your energy, and give you good garden vibes to start your day. Classes are outdoors and either moved indoors or canceled in cases of inclement weather. Bring your own mat or borrow one of ours. Adults must accompany children.

Butterflies of Brookside Gardens

Saturday | August 24 | 10:00 – 11:00 am

$7 | Ages 6 – 8 | #PBG0127 200001


Sunday | August 25 |10:00 – 11:00 am

$7 | Ages 8 – 12 | #PBG0127 200002

Meet at Visitor Center Info Desk

As the summer winds down, monarchs, swallowtails, and other butterflies are busy in the gardens. Stop at the “hot spots” along the trail to identify different butterfly species, snap a few photos, and record observations in the nature journal provided. Please dress for the weather.

Children’s Garden: Explore Maryland!

Experience a unique mini-Maryland in our new children’s garden, Explore Maryland! From the mountains to the ocean, Explore Maryland! is an opportunity for children to explore a beautiful garden, pretend among mountain boulders, play in an old farm house, cook in a kitchen, boat in the sea, and gain knowledge about Maryland’s natural history, flora and fauna. Search for and learn about the state’s iconic symbols and what they stand for!