Children’s Programs

Garden Discoveries Pre K Program


February 22 (NEW DATE) – Maple Sugaring

March 15 –  Discovering Spring

April 19 – Earth Helpers

May 17 –Fun with Flowers

June 14 –  Interesting Insects

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Fee: $7 Friends of Van Vleck; $10 others

Instructor: Michelle Wiessner

Age: 3-5 year olds (accompanied by parent/caregiver)

Description: Our Garden Discoveries classes are designed to inspire children about the natural world around them. Since each child learns in a different way, every class examines one topic through stories, outdoor exploration, and hands-on activities and specimens. Classes are held once a month, and each class has individual registration.  Each program will include a guided hike, hands-on activities and a story.

To Register: Email or call 973-744-4752 ext 3

Garden Exploration Saturdays


February 11 – Animal Tracks and Signs

March 18 – Seeds and Germination

April 22 – Celebrate the Earth – Explore the Outdoors

May 20 – Birds and Their Nests

June 24 – Edible Gardening

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Looking for something to do on a Saturday morning?  Come to Van Vleck and visit our Education Center anytime between 10 am to 1:00 pm.  An environmental educator will discuss various topics relating to nature in and around the gardens.  A simple craft will be offered, as well as supplies for a self-guided activity on the property.  Everything you need to enjoy quality time with your family is here for you.  Activities are designed for children ages 4 and up; however, all are welcome.  All children must be supervised by an adult.  Rain or shine.

Fee: $5 per child ages 4 & up; $10 per family (2 or more children)

FREE for Friends of Van Vleck

No registration required

Maple Sugaring Program

Date: Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Tour Times: 1:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:00 pm

Fee: $5 per person for Friends of Van Vleck, $7 per person for others.

Description: Come to Van Vleck House & Gardens for a tour and demonstration of the process of Maple Sugaring.  A sugar maple tree in Mother’s Garden at Van Vleck will be tapped, and if the weather cooperates, the sap will be flowing. Families and individuals are invited to visit us as we learn how to identify a sugar maple tree and discover the steps for turning sap into syrup.  At the conclusion of the tour, there will be a taste testing of course!  Don’t miss this deliciously sweet event!  This is a popular event so reserve your tour time today.  Tour lasts approximately 1 hour.

*New* Online Registration – click the maple tree icon

Maple Sugaring 2017 Online Registration Form

Registrations are also accepted by sending an email to or calling  973-744-4752

Garden Tales

Dates: 5 Wednesdays, May 3rd – May 31st

Time: 4:15-5:30 PM

Instructor: Denise Barth

Age: Grades K-2nd

Children will learn about gardening and nature through literature with Master Gardener and Kids Gardening Expert Denise Barth. In this class we will read a garden themed book each week and do a take home gardening project related to the story. Children will acquire basic gardening skills, taste some of the veggies growing in the garden and go on a nature hike all in the beautiful setting of the Van Vleck Gardens. Be prepared to get dirty and have fun! Registration required – space is limited and this class fills up quickly.

Fee: $50 Friends of Van Vleck, $75 Others; (includes all 5 classes)

To Register: email or call 973-744-4752 ext. 3

Junior Gardeners

Dates: 5 Fridays, April 28th -June 9th  (no class 5/12 or 5/26)

Time: 4:30-5:45 PM

Age: Grades 3rd-5th

Description: This class is a hands-on introduction to the joy of gardening, taught by Master Gardener Denise Barth. Children will grow yummy vegetables, plant beautiful flowers, learn about composting and observe the natural world around them at Van Vleck. Class will include a nature hike and nature journaling. This is a perfect way for kids to get outside and get dirty!

Fee: $50 Friends of Van Vleck, $75 Others (includes all 5 classes)

To Register: email or call 973-744-4752 ext. 3 –

Van Vleck House & Gardens

All classes and events are held at 21 Van Vleck St., Montclair unless otherwise noted. For further information, log on to To register or for additional information, call 973-744-4752 or e-mail us at Become a Friend of Van Vleck to take advantage of special pricing for classes and events.