Hershey Children's Garden

Step inside a storybook

Big smiles come from dirty hands in Hershey Children's Garden

Activate the young explorer within your child as they search for frogs and fish, observe a honeybee hive or play within an imaginative treehouse at The Hershey Children's Garden. As your child discovers plant and animal life around them, he or she can also learn why caring for the environment is vital for everyone. The Hershey Children's Garden enables both you and your child to disconnect from technology and tune in to the sights, sounds and smells of a beautiful display garden.

Hershey Children's Garden was one of the first such gardens in the country and the first in Ohio when it opened in 1999, and still serves as a model for children's gardens around the world. With its mix of mini ecological areas, including the pond, prairie and woodland, as well as the manicured flower gardens, it is a place for guests of all ages to explore, learn and find adventure.

The Hershey Children's Garden was made possible through a generous grant from The Hershey Foundation and gifts from members of the Hershey Family. Jo Hershey Selden established The Hershey Foundation in 1986 to honor her late husband Alvin A. Hershey. Their daughter Debbie Hershey has worked closely with the Botanical Garden to create a place where children can enjoy the outdoors and have fun with plants while learning about science and the environment.

Hershey Children's Garden 

Nature-play is important for every child. Your child can become immersed in hands-on activities like the following:

  • Create mud pies at the potting bench
  • Listen to nature-inspired stories in the treehouse
  • Observe honeybees in their hive
  • Search for fish, frogs and turtles in the pond
  • Learn about veggie and herb gardens
  • Explore and play in nature's playground

Hershey Children's Garden Activities Summer 2018

Daily Drop-in Activities

Every Tuesday - Friday, 11am; Saturday and Sunday, 1pm

Join us every Tuesday through Sunday to participate in garden-based activities, including crafts, games and garden explorations. Activities are themed weekly. Drop-in activities are held in Eleanor Squire Library in the case of inclement weather.

Spot the Lucky Gardener

Every Tuesday through Sunday, with mystery time schedule

Can you spot a gardener wearing a yellow vest with the picture of a sun on the front? If so, say the magic word “Purpurea” and pot a plant to take home with you.

Story Time in the Treehouse

Every Tuesday, 11 - 11:30am

Story time is held in Eleanor Squire Library in the case of inclement weather

Hershey Children's Garden Creature Feature Extension: Turtle Thursdays

Thursdays, 2pm

Hang out with box turtles in Hershey Children’s Garden every Thursday at 2pm. This program is weather permitting.

Beekeeper Meet and Greet with Ann Cicarella

July 21, 1 - 3pm
Free for members, with admission for nonmembers

Stop by the Hershey Children’s Garden beehive to learn more about the fascinating lives of honeybees with our beekeeper Ann Cicarella. Curious people of all ages are welcome.

Listen and Learn Program: Ohio’s Fascinating Flora

Keep your eyes peeled for Listen and Learn signs throughout the garden. When you spot a sign, call the phone number on the sign to learn fun facts about Ohio’s native plants.

Citizen Science Project: Bumble Bee Watch

Be a part of Bumble Bee Watch in Hershey Children’s Garden. Garden visitors are welcome to participate during regular garden hours. Garden Explorations related to this project will be led by Hershey Children’s Garden staff and volunteers, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 - 3:30pm.

Summer Breeze Stroller Tours

Thursdays, June - Sept., 11 - 11:45am
Free for members, with admission for nonmembers

Join us for guided stroller tours which provide opportunity for curious adults to learn in a baby-friendly environment. Registration required. Meet at ticketing day of event. Click here to register.

National Pollinator Day Celebration

Sunday, June 24, Noon - 4pm
Free for members, with admission for nonmembers

Visit vendors in Clark Hall and make a pollinator-inspired craft in Hershey Children’s Garden.

Special Day for Special Needs

Sunday, Aug. 5, 10am- Noon
Free for members, with admission for nonmembers

Join us for this special morning for families of children and adults with developmental disabilities. This event takes place while the Botanical Garden is closed to the public. Registration is not required, but welcome. Click here to register.


Open March 31--October 31 during Botanical Garden hours*

*closes at sunset on Wednesdays when the Botanical Garden is open until 9pm


The Children’s Garden is often staffed by an employee and/or volunteer, but adults are responsible to actively supervise children in their care.

 Visit the Garden today and experience first-hand our rich and vibrant kids activities!