Duke Gardens has ramped up its offerings for kids and families during the last few years. And this weekend marks the beginning of their Science Sunday series for kids, which runs every Sunday in May.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, the gardens will offer a special, free activity, which are generally appropriate for grade-schoolers. Registration is not required. You can just drop in.
"My goal is to get people less intimidated by science and a little more confident that science happens everywhere," said Jan Little, the gardens' director of education and public programs.
When you go, check in at the information desk to find each week's location. The locations change. And so do the themes. This Sunday, kids can decorate a pot and plant a flower seed (just in time for Mother's Day). On May 9, families can go on a twig safari where participants will find the trees that match the twigs given to them.
On May 16, kids can build an insect trap to take home for some backyard exploring. And on May 23, it's all about germs on your hands. You'll bring home a science experiment that will help you see what is living on your hands.
It all culminates with the gardens' Family Fun Day on May 30 where there will be a variety of activities (including the popular and adorable fairy home construction) and a parade led by Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The Paperhand Puppet Intervention also is scheduled to perform at 1 p.m. that day behind the Doris Duke Center at Duke Gardens. Tickets are $10.
But the Family Fun Day is all free. It runs from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m. May 30.
In other gardens activities, the Music in the Gardens summer concert series kicks off May 26. Kids 12 and under are free to these concert which start around 7 p.m. I'm told that lots of families come out for the concerts. The kids like to hang out around the pond.
And if you're still on the lookout for summer camps, Jan tells me there are still spots open for the garden's popular camps.