Garden Delights 3

Desert Botanical Garden Offers a Wide Variety of Classes for Kids and Adults

Since the Desert Botanical Garden first opened in 1939, it has inspired both locals and visitors alike with its beautiful exhibits.

In addition to its 55 acres under cultivation and 50,000-plus plant displays, Desert Botanical Garden also offers a huge variety of outdoor-themed classes for kids and adults.

Luana Vargas, program director, adult education, says Desert Botanical Garden has both formal and informal lifelong learning programs that are perfect for those with a green thumb, as well as those who wish to discover more about the many fascinating critters and creatures who live there.

“We offer about 500 programs a year, and in 2015 had approximately 25,000 students—both children and adults—who attended our programs,” Vargas says, adding that when it comes to fun and educational classes, Desert Botanical Garden truly has it all.

“We have classes for families and kids, and even for infants and toddlers—our Baby Boojums program was a hit this winter. We also have programs designed specifically for adults, including gardening, art, photography and birding classes.”

The following is just a small sampling of the many classes offered at Desert Botanical Garden:

Summer Camps for Kids

For parents who are looking for great ways to keep their kids happily occupied during summer break, Desert Botanical Garden has drop-off camps that offer a terrific way to explore the Sonoran Desert.

Vargas says that the different camp programs are designed for kids ranging from 5 to 12 years, and include hands-on experiences that are fun and interactive.

For example, Pollination Pals, which runs from June 6-10, teaches kids about the diversity of the Sonoran Desert. This hands-on camp allows kids to discover the fascinating world of bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and the plants that depend on them.

Girl Scouts Program

From October through May, Desert Botanical Garden hosts a Girl Scouts program that is open to Daisies, Brownies and Juniors.

For example, in the Water Wizards class, scouts can learn about the amazing ways that desert plants adapt to help them collect, contain and conserve water. The Scouts will then investigate these characteristics as they think about a world inspired by desert plants, which starts in their very own garden.

Family Classes

The whole family can create meaningful memories together by attending one of the Garden’s desert exploration programs.

“Kids, parents and grandparents alike will leave with a shared enthusiasm for the plants and animals around us,” Vargas says, adding that these programs are designed for families with children ages 5 to 12, although all children under 17 are welcome.

One of the many examples of this will take place on May 14, when kids and adults can sign-up together for the Desert Book Club—Butterflies and Birds event. After walking through the Garden, local children’s author Natalie Gagnon will read to the class from her latest books, which describe monarch butterflies and Gambel’s quail.

Landscaping and Gardening

People who want to start a garden but are unsure if a ground-level or raised bed is the way to go can learn more about both options at the Raised Bed Gardening class on April 3.

The class will cover the differences between the two types of gardens, including the pros and cons of each. Attendees will also learn about the different types of construction materials, designs and soil mixes that go into a raised bed.

For more information on Desert Botanical Garden’s classes, please visit