Wonder and Play

We're all in on nature play! Come experience the joy of play, exploration, and learning in our Gaffield Children's Garden—a place where children can connect with the natural world and build a deeper understanding of themselves and the environment.

Child inspecting leaves through a magnifying glass

Children learn through play

Play is not just fun; it's essential, healthy human development. We believe that outdoor play is a crucial pathway to developing pro-Earth behaviors in children and is the primary way young children learn and grow.

Let imagination run wild in play spaces filled with open-ended materials, natural loose parts, and possibilities that encourage exploration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Discover nature's playground

Say “hello” to our aquatic friends, and observe the hub of activity in the Pollinator Garden. Create a dynamic story in the Forest Amphitheater. Stroll the Rustic Habitat Trail and find a shady spot for reflection and reading.

Build with boulders, branches, stumps in the Builder’s Garden, and with plant parts, rocky parts, and tree parts in the Fairy and Troll Knoll.

Mother and child on a rock
Child in a sandbox

Nurturing young minds through nature play

Children can build a rich sense of self in the context of nature. Gaffield Children's Garden models easy-to-replicate outdoor play, advocates for access to nature play, and partners with interested parties to bring more play to children everywhere. 

Explore Gaffield Ghildren's Garden

Gaffield Children's Garden beckons with various enchanting spaces to explore, where young adventurers can engage in hands-on building and imaginative play.  

Child with a stick

Builder's Garden Boulders, branches, and logs are ready for open-ended building fun.

Children at a small wooden table

Fairy and Troll Knoll A sweet little nook with spaces perfect for small friends.


Pollinator Palace Observe as our pollinator friends make their homes in a space created just for them

Children at the garden

Sensational Garden Stimulate senses through diverse plant textures, scents, varied leaf sizes, and intriguing shapes.

Bushes and small trees

Wayfinders Maze  A maze of hedges to explore with a hidden friend waiting in the center to greet explorers.

Small area for performances

Forest Stage Imagination takes center stage. 

Grower's Garden A space for children and families to taste vegetables and fruits directly from the plants.

Cabin A quiet space off the Rustic Habitat Trail providing an ideal setting for imaginative adventures and exploration.

Sandpit A shaded, spacious sandy area equipped with various toys for sensory play.