Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer programs at Duke Gardens

With Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to look ahead to summer activities at Duke Gardens. And we have plenty to offer, including new tours, a big concert and a Sunday drop-in program for children (see article here). And just about everything is free.

(Also, check out our April 30 post for the whole Duke Performances Wednesday night Music in the Gardens summer series schedule. And -- for a July program update -- see our later post here.)

The season kicks off with a free Family Fun Day May 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Rain date June 7). This 75th anniversary celebration will feature an array of fun stuff to do, including: The Scrap Exchange and other ecological children's activities; painting with Nasher Museum volunteers; scavenger hunts for children of all ages; Nickel Shakespeare Girls performing acrobatic scenes on demand; tours with garden curators; house-building for garden creatures and fairies; and a festival-ending children's parade at 1:30 p.m. with Grand Marshal Byron Jennings and flutist Terry Britton. Children can wear costumes for the parade or make embellishments while they’re here. Bring your cameras!

The new Sunday drop-in program for children age 4 and older begins June 7 and will run every Sunday through the end of August, except for July 5. In June, it begins at 11 a.m. and runs for three hours. In July, it’s two hours beginning at 8 a.m. And in August, it’s two hours starting at 3 p.m. Activities will vary weekly. They’re geared toward nurturing children’s naturally scientific minds, and they all include components families can work on afterward at home. The full schedule is below.

And adding to our popular Walk on the Wild Side tours at the Blomquist Garden with curator Stefan Bloodworth will be two new free walk series: summer Waterlily Walks with horticulturist and aquatic plants specialist Tamara Kilbane, and Autumn in the Arboretum tours beginning in October with Culberson Asiatic Arboretum curator Paul Jones. Stefan’s walks are from 11 a.m. to noon on the first Thursday of every month. Tamara’s are from 9 to 11 a.m. on the following Thursdays: July 2, 16, 30; Aug. 6 & 20; Sept. 3 & 17.

We’ll also have a movie series called Films at Dusk on Wednesdays in August. Details to come.

And if you haven’t brought your children to our Nature Rangers cart, you have one last chance tomorrow before it rolls away ‘til fall. Children can play flower bingo or make pressed flower bookmarks, paper butterflies, pond life pictures and bark, insect or leaf rubbings. They can also get some nutritious food for the Gardens' ducks. Look for it at the foot of the Terrace Gardens from 10 a.m. to noon.

Our Nature Adventures Camp June 15-19 and June 22-26 is almost full. Call Annie Nashold at 668-1708 if you're interested.

And for $5 and a refundable deposit, you can borrow Family Backpacks at the information desk. The backpacks are full of fun activities for children to enjoy with their families. Duke Gardens also has weekday programs from March to November for daycare, camp and school groups and home-schooled children. Call Annie Nashold at 668-1708 if you're interested.

In adult programs, aquatic plant specialist Tamara Kilbane will teach a workshop on making container water gardens June 4 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Triangle Orchid Society will discuss orchid culture at its monthly meeting June 8 at 7 p.m. (free and open to the public), and Duke Gardens hosts From Grower to Market: Organic Farming in Chatham County, a field trip June 11 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Call 668-1707 for details or to register for those events.

Also, stay tuned here for an announcement regarding a free late-afternoon concert August 30 by a Grammy Award-winning group on the South Lawn. We can’t reveal the act yet – co-producers Duke Performances will announce it soon – but we can hardly contain our excitement. You’ll want to mark your calendars. Edited to add: OK, now we can announce: Sweet Honey in the Rock! At 4 p.m. No tickets necessary, just come on down. Parking is free and we're on the No. 6 public bus line.

Here’s the Sunday drop-in schedule:

June 7
: Germ Experiment. Children will grow germs on two pieces of bread, one prior to washing hands and one with clean hands.

June 14: Build a Toad Abode. Children will make toad houses like the one in the photo above, which they can bring home to their own gardens. They can also still do the Germ Experiment if they missed it, as we have leftover bread.

June 21: Father’s Day. Build a twig photo frame.

June 28: Plant a Lawn Sponge. Using sponges and annual grass seed, children will plant their own miniature lawns. They can later mow it or let it grow into a “meadow.”

July 5: No program.

July 12: Build a Toad Abode

July 19: Play with Your Food. Families will learn to plant sweet potatoes and avocados.

July 26: Mini Bio-Blitz. Families will list everything they can locate in a “1 square foot world.”

August 2: Rock Salt Mosaic. Create colorful textural art.

August 9: Plant a Lawn Sponge

August 16: Sand Paintings in a Jar. Pour planned rainbows or let the colors fall where they will and see what surprises develop.

August 23: Build an Orange Rind Bird Feeder. Kids will get a kick out of watching birds eat at their own little “Orange Julius” stand.

August 30: Sound Experiments. Create rhythm shakers and other natural noisemakers.

1 comment:

  1. We just called to find out the location of the Sunday 6/28 lawn sponge activity, and no one at the desk was aware that the activity was happening. They said it wasn't on the calendar. So we are not sure whether to go or not.