Carolina Children’s Garden offers multiple kid-friendly programs:

  • Public Programs
  • School Programs
  • Group Programs

Current Programs

Ms. Slither Goes to School

Ms. Slither, the Carolina Children’s Garden education snake, is traveling to Midlands classrooms. The young meter-long corn snake’s more recent appearance was at Heathwood Hall’s summer Critter Camp. Eighteen youngsters asked her questions and watched her eat a mouse.

She answers many questions about snakes (Why is she called a corn snake? Does she have teeth? Do snakes see colors?) and clears up misconceptions and myths people have about the agile reptile. Children feel her dry scaly skin and find out she is not slimy but very muscular. They watch her two-pronged flickering tongue sniff the air as she navigates through one’s hand, up one’s arm, along a limb, or toward a mouse.

As snakes grow, they shed their skin. Ms. Slither has grown substantially this year and shed her skin five times. She wriggles out of her skin using her movable scales and muscles. After shedding, her fresh skin is bright and shiny. At firs the shed skin is wet from a lubricant secreted by the snake’s body for the impending shed.

Corn snakes are rodent eating constrictors and beneficial buddies in the schoolyard garden or habitat. To schedule a ‘snake in the class’ visit, contact M. Slighter at

Ms. Slither also visits teacher in-service programs to introduce how she and other natural phenomena fit in with the next generation science standards. Watch the children’s garden Facebook page for a link to Ms. Slither’s new Facebook page.

ms slither

Past Events

Saturday, February 13, 2016: Great Backyard Bird Count

Group photo


Steve Patterson, President of the Carolina Bird Club, lead a group of birders into the woods and fields surrounding the Carolina Children’s Garden for the Great Backyard Bird Count, a winter census of birds sponsored in February each year by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. Thirty-one species were observed in a two hour period.



Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015: Great Backyard Bird Count

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014: Reindogs and Elves

We had more than 100 attendees for the second annual event. People of all ages came out with their pups to enjoy  the beautiful December day. There were games for the children and a parade of pups all dressed in their holiday finest. Check out photographer Julie Prickett’s Facebook gallery for pictures from the event!

Sunday, November 16, 2014: Sandhills Nature Discovery Walk

Ms. Slither Speaks Reptilian

The Children’s Garden education corn snake visits classrooms to demonstrate reptilian behaviors and the role of snakes in the web of life. Make requests at

Sunday, April 13, 2014: Sandhills Nature Discovery Walk

Saturday, March 15, 2014: Sandhills Nature Discovery Walk

Sunday, February 23, 2014: Sandhills Nature Discovery Walk

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013: Reindogs and Elves

reindogs1-resizedWe had so many attendees we couldn’t count them all. People of all ages came out with their pups to enjoy  the beautiful, brisk weather. There were games for the children and a parade of pups all dressed in their holiday finest. Look our gallery of photos below and check out photographer Julie Prickett’s Facebook gallery for more pictures from the event!





Friday, Dec. 6, 2013: Celebrating Arbor Day in the Carolina Children’s Garden

More than 30 children planted trees, took a tree tour in the garden, and took home Christmas tree seedlings. For more pictures, visit the Master Gardener Picassa page.

October 7, 2012: Fall Walk and Talk

Rudy Mancke hosted the Fall Walk and Talk in the Children’s Garden.

March 17, 2012: St. Patrick’s Day in the Garden

On St. Patrick’s Day, Kali Esancy from USC’s Carolina Science Outreach presented a public program on Carnivorous Plants. Woodley’s Garden Center provided models of  pitcher plants, Venus fly traps and sundews.

February 18, 2012: Great Backyard Bird Count

The third annual Great Backyard Bird Count was held on Saturday, February 18. Birding experts Dr. Patricia DeCoursey, Steve Dennis, and Patricia Voelker led participants into the children’s garden and surrounding woodland for a morning count. Flocks of cedar waxwings were abundant as were robins. Thirty-five species were sighted in all. Wild Birds Unlimited at the Village of Sandhill and Woodley’s Garden Center contributed bird themed displays.

January 16, 2012: MLK Jr. Day of Service

“Life’s most persitent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

USC students volunteered to help clean up the Carolina Children’s Garden for the MLK Jr. Day of Service. Some of the tasks they completed included the rebuilding of Eeyore’s house, cleaning benches, working with compost, gardening and turning drab bricks into caterpillars by painting them. We had a great time helping out in the community and meeting new people.

Click for pictures of this wonderful day of service at the Carolina Children’s Garden!

January 21, 2012: Raptor Territory

Children and parents dissected barn owl pellets finding the skeletons of voles, rats, mice, shrews, and birds and learned about the diet and distribution of prey in the raptor’s territory.

December 7, 2011: Arbor Day

On a rainy Arbor Day, Caleb, Emily and their mom, Irene, helped Tim Nafziger plant a gingko tree in Mesozoic Memories Dinosaur Garden. The children received a loblolly pine seedling to plant at home. Special thanks to Glenn Cooper of Cooper’s Nursery for donating the male gingko to the garden and to weatherman Daniel Bonds for covering our event on WLTX news.

November 12, 2011: Scavenger Hunt!

On a cool crisp fall morning youth enjoyed a tree scavenger hunt to identify common trees and discover how trees tell us their age.

October 13, 2011: Fall Festival

Richland County Master Gardener, Crystal Masterson showing first graders the worms in the worm bin during the 2011 Fall Festival at the Carolina Children’s Garden.

August 11, 2010: Recycled Art Workshop

Children created recycled masterpieces at the workshop led by artist Amanda Ladymon. For more information about Amanda Ladymon, visit her website at

July 23, 9-11: Indigo Dyes and Paper from Plants

led by special guest, Dr. Karen Hall.

March 25, 2010: Spring Cleaning in the Garden

Master Gardener volunteers gathered to sweep away traces of winter and prepare the Garden for spring!

March 17, 2010: Garden in the Green, St. Patrick’s Day celebration

December 22, 2009: Holiday Celebration

Carolina Children’s Garden was the place to be on Tuesday, December 22 from 3:30 – 5:00 PM. There was a FREE drop-in where midlands area residents joined us for games, caroling, crafts, and refreshments to celebrate the Christmas season!




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It takes more than water
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