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. 

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 2019: 20th Anniversary

Hershey Children's Garden 20th Anniversary

Kids Create

Tuesday - Saturday, 10am; 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.

  • June: Everything Herbs
  • July: All About Art
  • August: Kids Cook and Compost

Spot the Lucky Gardener

Tuesday - Sunday, with mystery time schedule

If you find a gardener wearing a yellow vest with a sun on it, whisper the magic word "coneflower" and the gardener will give you a seed to pot and take home. 

Story Time in the Treehouse

Tuesdays, 11 - 11:30am

Enjoy nature stories, songs and hands-on activities in the treehouse. Story time is held in Eleanor Squire Library in the case of inclement weather

Fun with Box Turtles

Saturdays and Sundays, 3 - 4pm

Hang out with box turtles in Hershey Children’s Garden. This program is weather permitting. Meet on the grassy hill close to the front entrance.

Garden Explorers

Thursdays, 11am

Bring budding young scientists to this staff-led garden exploration.

Garden with Green Corps

Fridays, 10am - Noon

Join Green Corps youth in HCG’s veggie garden to learn about urban agriculture through side-by-side gardening, demonstrations and activities. Weather permitting.


Opens April 2, 2019 during regular 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!