Two Great Locations, One Organization

Gaffield Children’s Garden

    at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

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. Scroll down to see a gallery of children’s garden photos.

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.

Tom and Jeannette Gaffield provided a catalyst gift that turned the dream of the Children’s Garden into reality. If you would like to contribute to the Children’s Garden, please contact our director of development, Meredith Olson: merolson@umich.edu; 734.647.7847.

Entrance to the children's garden

Best visiting time April-October.

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.

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