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Family Activities


The gardens and habitats at Garden in the Woods offer wonderful experiences for the whole family. Enjoy the colors, textures, smells, and sights of our beautiful native plants and look for the many kinds of animals that make their homes here.

 Ladybug release 

The main path leads up and down hills, through deep woods, and beside bogs, a brook, and the Lily Pond, where visitors are likely to spot turtles, frogs, and other creatures. The Idea Garden has a green roof and an edible native plant garden that includes a small orchard of native fruit trees. The Coastal Sand Plain showcases the plants that are naturally found in this distinct habitat, including New England's only native cactus, while the New England Rare Plant Garden highlight plants you are unlikely to see elsewhere. 


Scavenger hunt sheets for children of different ages are available at the Garden Shop. Pick one up when you enter the Garden and challenge the whole family to use all their senses as they explore the Garden. The Garden Shop offers eco-friendly games, toys, children’s clothing, books as well as snacks and drinks.  


Story Time at Garden in the Woods

Nature-themed story time for kids is held at Garden in the Woods in the Family Activity Area on the second and fourth Saturdays in June, July, August beginning at 10 a.m. Stories are geared for children ages 2 to 6, accompanied by a caregiver. Enjoy the outdoors with a story read aloud in the Garden. Afterwards play in the Family Activity Area or pick up a Scavenger Hunt Card and take a walk through Garden in the Woods. Story time is free with admission. 

Story Time Schedule:
June 13 - Salamanders
June 27 - Bugs and Worms
July 11 - Forest Mysteries
July 25 - Gifts of the Forest
August 8 - Frogs, Toads, and Princes
August 22 - Caterpillars and Butterflies - this session of Story Time has been cancelled


Goals of Story Time:

  • Sharing the joy and pleasures of reading
  • Introducing children to learning in an outdoor classroom and in a social setting
  • Introducing children (and adults) to Garden in the Woods in order to cultivate an interest in and appreciation for nature
  • Encouraging parents and their children to venture outdoors
  • Encouraging creativity and imagination in a natural environment


The Family Activity Area

Designed especially for children to unleash their energy and their imaginations, the Family Activity Area is a place to create and play in a natural setting.  Enter through the magic cottage door to create your own critter cottage  under the pines. Build a fort with branches, climb through our giant hollow log and fill up a habitat box with your choice of natural materials. You never know who might move in after you have left for the day.

 Family Activity Area

The Family Activity Area was funded in part by Whole Foods Markets of Framingham and Wayland, and grants from the Cultural Councils of Acton-Boxborough, Ashland, Framingham, Hudson, Natick, Southborough, Sudbury, and Weston, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Family Programs

Check out our great selection of programs for children and families.


Please note:

The main trail, which is about one mile long, is wide enough for strollers and carriages; secondary trails, however, feature some hilly terrain. Bathrooms in the Education Building have changing stations and are handicapped-accessible. More bathrooms are located in the Visitor Center. Parents are asked to keep children on the paths and out of the garden beds. The Society's native plant collection contains many rare and endangered species that cannot be replaced. 


last modified August 18, 2015