NJ Botanical Garden announces fun fall activities

The NJ Botanical Garden in Ringwood has a variety of activities planned this fall, including a series of outdoor walks exploring trees and wildflowers, birds and Skylands Manor. And save the date for NJBG’s Harvest Fest on October 1.

On Sunday, September 18, enjoy a free nature walk along the grounds. The Bergen County Audubon Society will lead participants through the gardens and fields looking for and identifying the migrating birds and butterflies. The many important trees, shrubs and plants that provide much-needed food and cover during migration will also be highlighted. Those interested should meet at the Carriage House at 10 a.m.

Then later that day, at 1 p.m., an easy, child-friendly hike in the garden woodlands will explore the plants and animals that surround them. (Smaller children may need to be carried.) Wear sturdy shoes and meet at the Carriage House. Rain will cancel this free event.

On Saturday, September 24, at 1 p.m., the garden will be hosting Levi O’Brien, a certified arborist with a degree in forest biology. For any tree lovers out there, this information session will help you demystify the trees (and insects) in your backyard. This one-hour walking tour will focus on tree identification and ecology. The price is $5 for member/$10 for non-members, and rain will cancel this event.

The aforementioned Harvest Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 1 (with a rain date of October 2). Hayrides and pumpkin painting are just the start of this fun-filled family day. There’ll also be games, face painting, booths, exhibits, food trucks, and many free activities for the youngsters. Enjoy food, all-day music and dancing, an autumn plant sale, photo opportunities and more.

Then on Sunday, October 2, take a tour of Skylands Manor on the garden grounds and learn a bit about the history and architecture of the building. Volunteer docents will lead the tour. The cost is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and students; children under 6 get in free. Tours will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Looking ahead to October 16, families will have another opportunity for a child-friendly woodland hike. Once again the hike is free and dependent on the weather. Interested visitors are asked to meet at the Carriage House at 1 p.m.

The final fall activity planned thus far is a unique look at the art of flower drying and arranging. On October 22 at 1 p.m., join award-winning designer Cathy Miller as she creates a breathtaking arrangement right in front of you. You’ll also learn how to dry your own garden flowers to enjoy all year long and how to turn them into lovely arrangements large and small. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. Register for this event online at njbg.org.

The New Jersey State Botanical Garden, located on Morris Road in Ringwood, is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Garden admission and parking are free. For more information, call 973-962-9534 or visit njbg.org.

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