Children in the Garden

The Gardens at HCP is a magical place for people to visit with the children in their lives. With ancient bonsai trees, fruit and veggies growing, special playhouses and fairy house to climb into, and frogs, quail, cats and birds to watch for, it is easy to engage children of all ages and create special memories. For a self-guided visit we suggest picking up a scavenger hunt at the front desk, packing a picnic for the many grassy spots and benches through the Garden, and allow the children to lead you down small pathways, over bridges and into the forest. A simple way to connect your children with plants and nature. An affordable option for families of all sizes – children under 16 are free of charge.
For an activity and directed visit of the Gardens check out our summer event calendar for different programs. Gardening is such a great way to build a child’s confidence and awareness of their natural world. Nothing better for a kid than fresh air, dirt and some home grown fruits and veggies to munch on. There are some highlights at the bottom of this blog post of some of our meaningful and fun programs this summer! For drop-in programs we appreciate pre-registration as it allows our programmer, Paula, to best prepare for how many children may attend but drop-ins are always welcome. Call 250-479-6162 to register for any of these programs. Birthday parties are very popular as well and can be customized. As we are always adding new programs and our best pro-tip is to check our events on Facebook regularly. We are releasing new ones on regular basis right now. If you have any particular questions or would like to create a customizable program with your group please e-mail Paula at [email protected]
Last thing before the list of awesome summer programs! We are running a contest this summer – have your child draw or paint a picture of their garden, even if it is simply a window plant. We will post them on Facebook at the end of the summer and pick a winner in the 3 -5, 6 – 8 and 8 – 11 age categories! You could win a prize pack from the gift shop and a couple’s membership (remember, kids are free!). Just drop off your picture or e-mail it to [email protected] Don’t forget to include your child’s name, age and an e-mail address on the back.

Summer 2017 Programs
STORIES IN THE SHADE is a bi-weekly story time designed around a theme that explores subjects such as gardens, bugs, and nature through stories and a related craft. This program is designed for the younger ages (2+), although older children are welcome to attend with their younger siblings. Children under 5 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Date Tuesday, July 4, July 18th, August 1st, August 15th
Time: 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Please reserve your spot by calling the Office at HCP 250-479-6162
Cost: Free with admission or membership.
This session begins with an enchanted walk through the Gardens at HCP. Participants will collect natural materials on the walk to use towards the creation of their own take home Fairy Garden. They will have a chance to explore a variety of materials such as clay, moss, and twigs. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and participate.
Date: Thursday, July 6
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Cost: $15/person
Ages: 5+ years
Explore the amazing world of plants, how they grow and what you need to know to build and maintain your own miniature indoor garden. Participants are invited to bring along a glass container to transform (a great upcycle activity with an open glass container 20cm or less). Plants and other materials will be provided.
Date: Thursday, July 20
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Cost: $15/person
Ages: 5+ years
These are very durable and a great way to create a garden path and add art to your home garden. Concrete, stones, gems, shells, and hands will be used to create a lasting impression!
Date: Thursday, August 3
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Cost: $15/person
Ages: 5+ years
This is an introduction to the art of making tea for children, including plant identification, growing, harvesting, and preparing flowers, leaves, and fruit to brew. Participants will host their own tea party to explore the various tastes and scents of herbal tea. Then we will finish by packaging up our own sample tea brews to take home.
Date: Thursday, August 17
Time:  10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Cost: $15/person
Ages: 5+ years
Looking for a quick drop in activity to get your child’s creativity flowing? Making tiny gardens and furnishings are lots of fun and these 1 hour sessions will be filled with ideas that your child can take home and add to each session or on their own. Start with the first session and create a mini garden to take home. Then each visit you can add a couple more features to enhance the Fairy Garden or add to the surrounding area in the home garden. We will be using natural materials with a bit of bling (everyone knows that fairies like gemstones????). If you have something to share (beach glass, acorn caps, etc) bring them along to contribute to the materials. The sessions will be stand alone, so drop in when you can. Adults are welcome to attend or wander the gardens while you wait.
Date: Saturday, July 8
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Cost: $10/person
Ages: 5+ years
There is a lot of inspiration in the Gardens at HCP to create art using a variety of natural materials. We will make take home pieces including planters, plant stakes, miniature gardens and other practical and beautiful work. This is a good group for children who cannot get enough crafting and a nice break from the usual summer routines. Sign up for this program through Saanich Parks & Recreation.
Date: July 24 – 28
Time: 9-12 noon
Cost: $95/5 half days
Ages: 5 + years
We can’t wait to see you and your children in the Gardens at HCP this summer.