FAMILY-FRIENDLY SUMMERS

By: Kate Randall, marketing and public relations associate. Red Butte Garden

Located on 100 acres in the foothills above the University of Utah, Red Butte Garden is an official arboretum of the state of Utah with 23 acres of gardens and five miles of hiking trails winding through an extensive natural area. Renowned for its numerous plant collections, 450,000 springtime blooming bulbs and four seasons of displays, the garden has welcomed guests since 1985 — and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015.

Red Butte Garden is more than just a garden. They offer many summertime, family-friendly events such as Monday Family Nights, overnight campouts and award-winning horticulture-based educational programs for both children and adults.

MondayFamilyNightsMonday Family Nights are a great way to unwind and spend time with the kids in the garden. Families will enjoy evenings featuring Afro-Cuban rhythms on July 27, traditional Japanese drumming on July 11 and American Indian students performing tribal dances on Aug. 1. Pack a picnic and a blanket and bring your family to enjoy three summer evenings of diversity in the garden.

Spending a night in a tent away from home for the first time with your children? The campouts at Red Butte Garden offer a fun, social evening of games, crafts, s’mores and include a catered breakfast early the next morning.

New for kids ages 5-12 this year are Sprout House Workshops. These are private, themed, educational classes designed for youth groups such as scout troops, birthdays or play-dates. All workshops include interactive, nature-themed lessons taught by garden staff and include experiments, hands-on projects and explorations.

Nature-inspired summer camps for kids, ages 5-12, combine art, science, gardening, exploration and laughter. Children are outside in the fresh air learning about the natural world while having fun. Birds, blooms and bugs—just a few of our favorite things about summer camps at Red Butte Garden.

In addition to week-long summer camps, the garden also offers short summer classes on Wednesdays for preschoolers ages 3-4 called Lil’ Buds. Camps feature garden exploration, a craft activity and an engaging story connected to our age-appropriate themes. These classes are designed for caregivers to attend with their lil’ bud.

Garden Adventures are Saturday classes for kids ages 4-12. The classes include Perfect Pollinators on June 25, Fantastic Fables on July 9 and Plantiful Pizza on July 16. Classes are designed for caregivers to attend and participate with their child.

In early 2015, the Red Butte Garden partnered with MIT to launch five TailBlazer Mobile Games that both young and old can download on any GPS-enabled tablet or smart phone for free to play while at the garden. These virtual reality games such as “Captain Bonneville,” “Garden Fresh!” and “Lady Nightshade and the Invaders,” require users to gather input from the garden to identify plants, fight off invasive plants, select fresh ingredients for a virtual restaurant and more. It’s a great interactive way to play and learn about the garden.

The garden is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily all summer long (except on concert dates they close at 5 p.m.). And while they do offer many family-friendly events, there are plenty of opportunities to take a morning stroll on the pathways or an evening hike in the foothills of the natural area to witness the amazing colors, textures and wildlife that the botanical garden has to offer. It changes every day — there is always something new to see and do at Red Butte Garden.

For more information about Red Butte Garden classes and events for both children and adults, call 801-585-0556 or visit redbuttegarden.org.

Red Butte Garden Visitor Center
300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108