Idaho Botanical Garden offers a variety of educational classes, camps, and school field trips for children of all ages. Over 11,000 youth visit the Garden each year for exciting discoveries with nature.
Upcoming Youth Opportunities
Garden on the Road
When the plants are dormant in January & February, the Garden goes on the road to visit area daycare centers, preschools, and kindergartens.
This program engages student interest in the world of living things through lively audio/visual presentations, role-playing, and craft activities. Garden on the Road is appropriate for children 4 to 6 years of age.
The fee is $2.50/child, minimum group size is 10–24 children. For groups smaller than ten, $25 will be charged.
Contact Idaho Botanical Garden to be added to the mailing list, (208) 343-8649.
OUTDOOR PLAY DATES
Wednesdays, May 5 – Oct 20, 10a – noon
The Idaho Botanical Garden is not just for adults — Our recently updated Children’s Adventure Garden is a great place to let your kids explore the landscape, both on and off the trails.
🌱 Free to Garden Visitors, recommended for children ages 4-10
Starting this year, IBG will provide play equipment for our younger visitors during weekly Outdoor Play Dates. From jumping rope to slackline walking to hula hooping, we have an activity for you.
Please play safe and mask up; hand sanitizer will be provided.
(*Play Date times will be canceled on Outlaw Field concert days)
Youth Group Tours
These tours are designed to supplement school science curricula. They run mid-April through October and last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
To accommodate and encourage smaller group sizes during COVID-19, IBG is offering a $25 flat rate for tour groups of 16 or fewer individuals (children and adults combined).
If you have a larger group and would like to schedule a tour, please contact the Youth Education Coordinator (208-275-8612) to discuss rates and options.
Spring/Fall tour times: 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m.
Summer tour times:
Call for availability, Wendy Irwin, Youth Education Coordinator, (208) 275-8612.
Nature Camps are science programs designed for children ages 4-9 to participate in games, crafts, and nature walks at Idaho Botanical Garden during July and August.
🌱 All camps are full for the time being. Thank you for your interest and we will let you know if anything changes!
Following registration, you will receive a confirmation letter and an emergency medical form that must be returned the first day of camp.
COVID-19 Planning and Camper Safety
To keep camp participants and staff safe, we are implementing the following policies:
- Group sizes will be reduced until the pandemic situation improves
- Teachers will sign the children in and out
- At check-in, your child’s temperature will be checked with a touchless forehead thermometer, and they will wash their hands
- Campers and staff are required to wear face masks
- Hand washing or sanitizing will be practiced frequently during the day
- Camps will be fully outdoors. Campers will have access to shade and open-air shelters during the camp day
- Campers will be provided with their own supplies (scissors, crayons, tape, glue, etc.) to use during the week to minimize the sharing of items between individuals
- Please know that we as staff will also be doing daily health checks and practicing vigorous hand-washing and sanitizing
Do you want to give your child a new experience this year but can’t swing the typical summer camp pickup times? This is for you, working families! Our one-day mini-camps take the best activities from our popular week-long camps and serve them up in a sampler size.
2021 Week-long Camps
Due to high demand, each child may register for no more than two sessions. Payment is refundable up to two weeks prior to the first day of camp class, minus a $10 processing fee.
Children attending morning camps should bring a snack and water bottle each day; children attending full-day camps should additionally pack a bag lunch. We also ask that campers wear closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, and a face mask. Following registration, you will receive a confirmation letter and an emergency medical form that must be returned the first day of camp.
The Secret Gardeners Story Time
I’ve always talked to plants. It’s a totally normal thing to do, right? At least that’s what I thought, until one day the plants started talking back to me. That was the day I got initiated into the Secret Gardeners Club. I was given a special key that opens doors to secret gardens all over the city – And some of those gardens? They’re pretty wild.
From the Idaho Botanical Garden, welcome to The Secret Gardeners Story Time. It’s the podcast for people – like you! – who are tuned in to nature.
To help our youth stay active and teach them about nature!
Idaho Botanical Garden Education Trunks
Bring the natural world into your education programs with the help of the Idaho Botanical Garden. Each of our education trunks contains a selection of books, a themed activity packet, and associated supplies. Trunk contents and activities are designed to align with Idaho Content Standards.
Education trunks are FREE and may be borrowed for up to 2 weeks between the months of September – May. Borrowers can pick up and return trunks at the Garden during regular operating hours.
As a precaution during this time of COVID-19, trunks will be quarantined for 5 days between checkouts.
Contact the Youth Education Coordinator to reserve a trunk today:
Amazing Arthropods (Grades K-3)
An arthropod is an invertebrate such as a grasshopper, spider, or crab. Many arthropods serve important ecosystem functions as pollinators, predators, and detritivores. Complete a monarch butterfly migration challenge, learn about bug mouthparts with an insect picnic activity, search for camouflaged “caterpillars,” and make a ladybug metamorphosis craft.
Critter Litter (Grades K-2)
Wild animals can be shy, but we can learn about them from the “litter” they leave behind, such as scat and tracks. This trunk includes an Animal Tracks Twister Game, a Plaster Tracks activity (rubber track molds and Plaster of Paris included), rubber scat, and educational activities paired with the Gruffalo book series.
Slimy Scaly (Grades K-4)
Explore the world of slimy, scaly fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Conduct an ectotherm experiment using thermometers, make some mucous (ingredients included) and learn about slimy-skinned critters, practice the art of Gyotaku (fish printing), set up a salmon migration obstacle course, and use a compass to navigate like a salmon.