Activities for Children
Looking for a safe place for your little ones to explore nature? Whether they’re chasing butterflies, admiring the turtles near the pond or snapping a photo of their favorite spot in Lucille’s Edible Garden, Tyler’s Scenic Loop is the perfect venue for families to take a stroll together with family and friends.
Tyler’s Pond is a popular spot to visit any time of the year. Its deck allows easy access right to the edge of the water and serves as a perfect viewing spot to look at the variety of wildlife that call the pond home.
In the spring, frogs and toads gather in the pond to mate and lay eggs. Later, tiny tadpoles can be seen around the pond’s edge. Turtles emerge in early spring and on warm days may be seen sunning themselves on logs. Several species of fish call the pond home and in summer and fall many species of dragonflies and damselflies dart and swoop through the air hunting insects.
Stopford Family Meadow Maze
The Stopford Family Meadow is a meadow labyrinth that invites adventurers to travel its paths to find their way to the center.
The meadow grasses are mown in the winter. In spring the maze is filled with daffodils, and by mid-summer the grasses and wildflowers have grown high to once again create the walls of the maze.
Along the paths and around the perimeter there are Discovery Stations that educate and entertain. From the Raptor Roost, located at the far end of the Maze, visitors can get an ‘eagle’s eye’ perspective of the meadow. And the nearby Basking Circle is the perfect place to look for a sleepy snake or pretend the stone enclosure is a fort, castle, or other make-believe space.
The Butterfly House (open seasonally between mid-June and Labor Day) offers visitors of all ages a unique opportunity to learn about, to photograph, and get a close-up look at local butterflies in all stages of development.
Only stocked with butterflies caught in Tyler’s meadows and woodlands, the exhibit features a 1,400-square-foot screened structure containing native flowers and seasonally available butterfly species, including monarchs, sulphurs, hairstreaks, red-spotted purples, great spangled fritillaries, painted ladies, and swallowtails. Please understand that the availability of caterpillars and butterfly species depends on the species we are able to collect or capture each season.
Be sure to check out the chrysalis section, from which new butterflies emerge on a weekly basis throughout the season.
Pack your walking shoes, something to eat and drink, and your sense of adventure and go on a discovery hike beyond the fence in our natural areas.
Trails cross a variety of terrains and lead hikers through wild-flower filled meadows, cool woodlands, and along and across gentle streams. The trails are clearly marked and well maintained, and they all begin and end at their designated gates.
There are 7 trails to choose from ranging from 0.9 miles to 8.5 miles; trail maps are available in the Visitor Center or you can click the link to view and print the Trails Map from home. We ask that hikers remain on the trails and in order to keep the deer out of the inner part of the Arboretum, we ask that hikers close and latch all gates as they go through them.
Classes and Programs
Throughout the year we host dozens of events, programs, classes, and activities for children of all ages. Some of these activities are light hearted and low key, others are more informative and based on focused instruction and interaction.
Classes such as Toddlers in Nature are all about helping little ones explore their sense of wonder and are aimed at very young children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years of age.
Edible Garden Sprouts and Little Chefs are more focused and instructive and are aimed at 4 to 6 year olds. While our Family Programs are open to children and young adults of all ages (and their moms and dads).
Classes, programs, and events vary by season and may take place indoors or out in our grounds, depending on the kind of program in question. To find out what’s going on this week or what’s coming up in the next few weeks, check our Calendar page here.
Throughout the year we host a range of special events designed for all ages.
From our winter Pancake Breakfast and Maple Sugaring and our mid-spring Plant Sale, to our summer Sundays (including our ever popular Fairies and Wizards and our Bugs and Butterflies events), to our celebration of all things fall, with two days of Pumpkin Days in mid-October.
Please check our Calendar page and Tyler’s social media streams for details.