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Youth & Family

Whether it is a hike in the woods, a visit to the Discovery Center or singing and learning during Storybook Science, families are invited to discover all the beauty and wonders of nature.


Camp Dawes Week ILEARN

Camp Dawes

Dawes is a fantastic place to create a memorable summer experience. Children ages 6 to 14 are invited to journey through a variety of ecosystems, observe nature, create outdoor-inspired crafts, and cultivate a sense of curiosity and adventure for the natural world while hiking or uncovering new and exciting plants and creatures. Camp activities are appropriate for ages 6 to 14. All campers must bring a lunch and water bottle and have completed one year of kindergarten.

Download the camp description here.  To register, please visit the calendar section of our website.

Home School Investigations

Supplement your science curriculum by joining other home school students in hands-on science study. Home School Investigations introduce students, ages 6 to 10, to basic principles of ecology and biology while nurturing an appreciation for and understanding of the natural world.

Our education staff leads programs on the first and third Tuesday of each month (September – April) at 10 am. Each program consists of a 90-minute session that includes background information and hands-on study of a topic, followed by field experience outdoors.

Children should dress for the weather; boots, rain gear and hats are recommended. Registration is required at least one week prior to each session. Students may register for single or multiple sessions. Admission is $5 per student.

Check out our Calendar for the new 2015 listings!

Home School Investigations: Middle School Connections

Join us for in-depth science classes for home school students who are ready to explore our natural world. Discover how to conduct a field investigation, learn what global climate change is all about and contribute to citizen science research. All classes incorporate scientific inquiry and connect to the state of Ohio’s New Learning Standards for middle school students ages 11 – 14. Sessions are Tuesdays, September – April, 12:30 – 2:30pm. $50 per student for each series, registration required. Learn more about each session by reading full descriptions on our calendar.  Participants must register for entire series. To register, call 740.323.2355 or visit our website and select the first session of the series.

Little Buckeye Imagination Sessions

Children ages 3 to 8 are invited to learn with a group as the creative educators at The Dawes Arboretum bring you closer to the wonders of the natural world. We will explore trees, flowers, weather and various creatures through songs, activities, games, crafts and real animal visitors. The fun begins in June and continues every Wednesday at 2pm through August. Meet at the Visitors Center deck. Free.

Storybook Science

Designed for children ages 3 to 5, story time at The Dawes Arboretum entertains your child with age-appropriate stories, crafts, songs, and indoor and outdoor exploration. Adults are invited to stay and participate in the program.

The 45-minute sessions are free and held the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from September through May.

These programs are just a selection of the opportunities open to youth and families. View our full calendar for upcoming activities and to register.




Discovery Center

Enter a world of exploration and learning. Adults and children of all ages will enjoy the Discovery Center which is Kids Arealocated in the lower level of the Visitors Center. Open seven days a week, the Discovery Center offers:

  • Beautiful bird watching garden
  • Children’s reading nook
  • Interactive displays
  • Live animals
  • Reference library
  • Working beehive


The trail is located near the Visitors Center and accessible during Arboretum hours June through October.