Garden Explorers

Where Kids Discover the World

Garden Explorers

Where Kids Discover the World

 Thursday Mornings Beginning at 9:00 AM Under the Pavilion

FREE for Garden Members & Children Under 18 Years of Age | $5 for Non-Members


Age Appropriate for Three to Five Year Olds, but Children of All Ages are Welcome

Children must be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times.

June 8

Birds of a Feather

Reader: Lynn Stainbrook, Executive Director, Rockford Public Library
Program: Barbara Williams, Nature Expert


Children will learn all about birds and hold real birds’ nests and feathers.  Each child will take home an origami bird.

June 15

My Wonderful Body

Museum Reader: Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, Regional Dean, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
Program: Discovery Center Museum


Come play with “mucus”!  Learn about healthy mucus vs. unhealthy mucus and make some slime to take home.  We will color, cut out and assemble a brain and skeleton to take home.

June 22

I Love My City

Reader: John Groh, CEO, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
Program: Karla Lombardo, Artist


Karla Lombardo’s art is much like her personality and hometown; unmistakably original.  With the help of the kids, Karla will paint a picture of what makes our city, and each child, original.

June 29

Puppet Play Along

Reader: Rockford Ice Hogs Representative
Program: Laura Doherty


A Chicago favorite in the family music scene, Laura Doherty performs breezy folk-pop tunes with her puppet friends: Jazzasaurus, Pinky the Fish and Domingo the Flamingo.  This interactive concert will have kids dancing and clapping along to Laura’s catchy tunes!

July 6

Bats in the Night

Reader: Austin Love, Morning Anchor, WREX
Program: Barbara Williams, Nature Expert


Learn fascinating facts about bats!  Discover the different types of bats and listen to some of their “calls”.  Each child will take home an origami bat.

July 13

Animal Tracks

Reader: Tom MacNamara, Third Ward Alderman, Rockford City Council
Program: Sarah MacNamara, Artist


Make an animal print and stationery set using water soluble colored inks and a print block carved with animal faces and tracks.

July 20

Aesop’s Fables

Reader: Chief O’Shea, Police Chief, Rockford Police Department
Program: Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center


Hoo Haven brings some of the animals featured in Aesop’s favorite fables: Whiskers the Chinchilla Rabbit, TJ the Turkey Vulture, and a tortoise.  See the skills Whiskers is learning and discover why the world needs turkey vultures!

July 27

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Reader: Rockford Rivets Baseball Players
Program: Duke Otherwise


Duke returns to perform his hilarious, charming, and interactive music program for all ages.  With his guitar, tap shoes, and distinct baritone, he writes original songs bursting with clever wordplay and fun ideas for both kids and adults.

August 3

Buzzing Bees

Reader: Dr. Geoff Van Thiel, Orthopedic Surgeon, OrthoIllinois
Program: Barbara Williams, Nature Expert


We will take a look at preserved specimens of various bees, see their nests and even taste honey!  Each child will take home an origami bee.

August 10

Take Flight to Africa

Reader: Jeff Kaney, Founder & CEO, Kaney Group, LLC
Program: Rockford Dance Company


The Rockford Dance Company will present an excerpt from their performance of Anansi, African folktales that tell of the creations of the moon, sun, earth & sea.

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