Gaffield Children’s Garden
at Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Summer Hours (Memorial Day – Labor Day)
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday*-Saturday
10:00 AM – 4:30 PM Sunday
*(Conservatory Closed Mondays)
Fall / Winter Hours (Labor Day – Memorial Day)
Daily 10 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesdays until 8 pm
The Gaffield Children’s Garden is a place for child and family exploration and fun in a natural setting specially designed from a kids’-eye view, a place that invites discovery with all the senses. Here, children can build with natural materials in the builder’s garden, wend their way through a maze, discover magical creatures in a fairy and troll knoll, or just get their hands dirty in a digging pit or playing in the mud garden. The garden also features a pollinator and hummingbird garden, a habitats hiking trail, and more.
The garden is designed for individual and small groups of up to 15 (with 3:1 child to adult ratio). Larger groups please see our resources for group visits.
If you are a parent, teacher, or caregiver looking for more Nature Play resources, locally and nationally, please check out this page.
Give to the Gaffield Children's Garden
We will continue to develop all the imaginative spaces that enchant children and their families. These include a sensory garden featuring plants with interesting smells and textures, a builders’ garden that offers children natural materials they can use for their own creations, an art wall and art gallery garden, a fairy and troll garden, a way-finder’s maze, an animal habitats hiking trail, a simulated stream, and an amphitheater. We will also seek funding to construct a hands-on musical installation designed by Professor Michael Gould of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, along with an accessible tree house.