Our classes mix hands-on projects and plant, animal and ecosystem topics: from identifying fall leaves to papermaking and tasty treats from the Tropical Forest. Through activities and lessons with plants and natural materials, you will help to instill a respect for the environment that will last a lifetime.
Phipps' Seasonal Camps, offered year round, connect youth ages 2 - 9 to nature, science and healthy living through fun, participatory environment-based activities—from growing and cooking their own vegetables, crafting with recycled materials, and drawing and photographing nature while exploring the Conservatory and outdoor gardens. Each camp day includes a healthy plant-related snack.
Come to Phipps on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. for Story Time. Listen to storytellers weave tales about gardens, fruits, vegetables, garden animals and other fun nature themes. Make a craft to take home and treasure.
Story Time sessions last from 20 - 30 minutes and are open to the first thirty ticketed participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Sessions take place in the Discovery Garden during the warm months, and in the Conservatory the rest of the year.
Join Phipps Story Club! After attending six Story Time sessions you may choose a free book from our special storybook supply.
Visit a Discovery Table in the Conservatory for a hands-on, fun look at a specific subject. Although geared towards children, Discovery Tables provide lessons and interpretation that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Scouts are invited to Phipps for hands-on learning experiences, some catering directly to badge requirements and others applicable to multiple badges. Specific Girl Scout Programs at Phipps can be found on the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania website. A Phipps fun patch is available upon request. All Scout troop members are welcome to register ahead for any of Phipps’ Field Trip Classes, Group Tours, or Seasonal Camps.
Phipps welcomes homeschooled students individually or as a group! Field Trip Programs adapt readily to groups with a wide age range of students and Seasonal Camps provide experiential learning opportunities for children ages 2-9. Choose from any of the listed Field Trip Classes, Group Tours, or Seasonal Camps for your homeschooler.
In addition to your class, you may choose an hour long docent-led tour or a self-guided visit. On docent-led tours, trained volunteers share a wealth of knowledge about the history of Phipps and its plants, while self-guided visits allow you to move at your own pace through the Conservatory. If you are interested in a self-guided tour but would like more information about the Conservatory's plants, download a free self-guided tour map of the Conservatory.
Self-guided visits are recommended for pre-school and kindergarten groups. Docent-led tours require at least 4 weeks advanced registration and are subject to docent availability.