Learn about our educational programs and resources for children and families, teachers, and visitors of all ages.

Self-guided and Arboretum educator–led field trips are available! Please read our Group Visit Policy and fill out a Group Visit Inquiry Form. If you are planning to include the children’s garden in your visit, please read the Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden Guidelines.

Penn State classes are welcome to visit the Arboretum at any time. Please read our Group Visit Policy and fill out a Group Visit Inquiry Form.

If your plans include collection of plant materials or other research activities, please fill out a Research Inquiry Form.

If your plans include exclusive use of any Arboretum space for a class, performance, or other activity, please contact the Arboretum at arboretum@psu.edu.

Whether you are visiting the Arboretum with a class, with your family, or on your own, you can use these activities and materials to enhance your visit.

Arboretum Tree Walk book (PDF) — Discover native trees in the children’s garden.

Artist Profiles — Get to know the artists behind the botanic garden’s permanent art collection. In addition to biographical information about nine artists whose works are in or near the children’s garden, these individual profiles provide insight and inspiration for ways that love of nature can be communicated through art. The Animal Sculpture Scavenger Hunt can be used in conjunction with these profiles of the sculptors to enrich your discovery walk.

Bird Checklist (PDF) — Find the birds that are commonly seen at the Arboretum.

Creature Features — Meet the animals represented by the sculptures in the children’s garden. These colorful, two-sided documents present both scientific facts and fun facts about thirteen of the animal sculptures in the children’s garden. They also complement the Animal Sculpture Scavenger Hunt because they provide information about the real animals represented by the sculptures.

Resources for Educators – In-depth resources for teachers and budding science and nature enthusiasts.

  • Watershed Resources at the Arboretum: A Guide for Educators (PDF)
    This guide for high school students and adults presents resources for teaching about local and regional water issues by using the water-related features in The Arboretum at Penn State. Key concepts are highlighted (page 11). Included are case studies that show the impact of pollution on local waterways. Suggestions for activities to help students understand what they have learned in the Arboretum are provided (pp. 12–13). For more information and educational resources about our watershed, visit The Spring Creek Watershed Atlas, a public outreach and educational service of the The Spring Creek Watershed Commission.
  • WeatherSTEM

Scavenger Hunts – Explore the children’s garden using these family-friendly activities.

Garden Wonderings video series – Watch and learn!

The Avian Education Program was endowed by an anonymous donor for the purpose of increasing awareness and appreciation of birds and promoting conservation and creation of bird-friendly habitat. The program sponsors bird walks, bird banding surveys, lectures, workshops, and a summer internship. Dates for Avian Education Program events can be found on our Events Calendar.

For more information on the Avian Education Program, contact Margaret Brittingham.

Bird Checklist (PDF)

Bird Banding Reports

Discover central Pennsylvania’s history, geology, plants, and animals in this garden, designed for children of all ages. Drop-in programs are scheduled most weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon starting in May and ending in September.

All events, programs, and activities are dependent on weather and may be canceled in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. All minors must be accompanied by a parent and/or legal guardian unless registration or marketing materials explicitly state otherwise.

Learn about the garden before your visit!

Children’s Garden Story Map

Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden Guidelines

The Pollinator and Bird Garden is a place to learn about the diversity of Pennsylvania’s birds and pollinators and the important role they play in gardens and natural ecosystems. Educational programs and events are presented in collaboration with the Center for Pollinator Research and the Insect Biodiversity Center. Dates for programs and events can be found on our Events Calendar.

The Arboretum offers a variety of programs, including bird watching, guided walks, lectures, webinars, and children’s garden drop-in programs. Visit our calendar for our complete list of upcoming events.