Due to the closure of the U.S. Capitol Campus to the public, the U.S. Botanic Garden continues to have altered operations. Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens and the Terrace Gardens are open while the Conservatory and gated outdoor gardens are temporarily closed. Please monitor www.USBG.gov for updates on operating status. Many resources can be accessed online, including educational materials, virtual tours, and online programs. Connect with resources from home at www.USBG.gov/AtHome.
We invite you to explore a world of plants year round. Let us nurture your curiosity, creativity and discovery by helping you find fun things you can do on your visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden or in your very own home.
Check out our upcoming programs to see if there's something special happening during your visit.
Tips for Visiting with Kids
While at the Conservatory, enjoy our living classroom with your family!
- Our Children's Garden gives kids a chance to get hands-on in a courtyard garden where they can gently explore plants in bloom and play with gardening tools to learn about plants. The Children's Garden is seasonal, open Spring-Fall.
- Take a trek through the wilds of the U.S. Botanic Garden to discover the amazing world of plants. Embark on an expedition through the Conservatory recording your observations and completing activities using our resources below.
- Download the Garden's coloring book!
Onsite Exploration Resources
Parts of a Plant
Using this passport, students explore our Conservatory to find seven different plants and learn about plant parts and function. This resource is great for our younger visitors. Allow 30 to 45 minutes for this activity. Find the passports at the front information desk. Passports are not available during the Season's Greenings holiday show. Look for the holiday plant hunt instead.
Gear up by checking out one of our Junior Botanist backpacks. This free resource is designed for youth nine years of age and older. Youth will use the adventure sheets to navigate the Conservatory for a close up look at plants in our collection and the backpack supplies provide a hands-on opportunity to ask questions about the plant world. Junior Botanist is available for checkout at our visitor desk in the Conservatory. Schools must reserve in advance (six backpacks for a maximum of 30 students) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Backpacks are not available during the Season's Greenings holiday show (Thanksgiving Day through early January). Look for the holiday plant hunt instead.
Plant Explorer's Field Journal - Conservatory
Using this guide, students explore the Conservatory and learn about the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-42) during which scientists collected both living plants and pressed specimens and discover plants from around the world to include three plants descended from the Expedition. This resource is recommended for readers of all ages. Allow 45 minutes to one hour for this activity. Find the field journals at the front information desk. This journal is not available during the Season's Greenings holiday show. Look for the holiday plant hunt instead.
Plants and Food
Using this passport, students explore our Conservatory to learn where many of our foods come from and discover which part of the plants we eat. This is a great resource for our younger visitors. Allow 30 - 45 minutes for this activity. Find the passports at the front information desk. Passports are not available during the Season's Greenings holiday show. Look for the holiday plant hunt instead.
How Plants Work Curriculum
This curriculum includes a teacher journal and student journals that explore four Big Ideas -A Puzzle of Plant Parts, Plant Multiplication, Surviving Against the Odds, and Are Plants Like Us. This resource is available only by download. Allow 30-45 minutes for each Big Idea.
Regional Garden Field Journal
Using this field journal, students explore our native plant collection in our outdoor Regional Garden. This journal encourages students to learn about native plants and observe plants in different seasons. Allow 30 to 45 minutes for this activity. Find the field journals at the front information desk.