tomatoes

Cultivate a love for gardening and the outdoors with your entire family in Nature Cat’s Backyard! In addition to a variety of educational gardening activities, the area will feature a swing set, basketball court, trampoline and putting green. Every day is “Family Day” at the Garden & Landscape Expo, with special highlights throughout the weekend.

Free Admission

Garden & Landscape Expo offers free admission for children 12 and under, making it an affordable family outing in the middle of winter.

Nature Cat’s Passport

Calling all kids! Pick up your Nature Cat’s Passport in Nature Cat’s Backyard during Garden & Landscape Expo. You’ll collect stamps from participating exhibitor booths, picking up giveaways and educational resources along the way. Drop off your completed passport at the PBS Wisconsin booth to be entered into a drawing for a prize package from Schuster’s Farm and PBS Wisconsin Education. The first 100 kids to turn in their passport also receive a pollinator package from Select Seeds.

A special thank you to our passport participants: Allen Centennial Garden, The Bruce Company, Flawn Seed Kits, Jung Garden Center, Kim Russell Bird Artist, Madison Area Iris Society, Melinda Myers – Gardening Expert, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, Shawpawprints Watercolor Art, Wild Ones and Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Children holding up vegetables

Schedule of Activities

Friday, Feb. 10

12 – 3 PM

Learn how planting native plants at home helps protect area waters (Dane County Parks)

12 – 3 PM

Mr. Pippin’s Peppers: Hear a tale of a rainbow pepper, grab some seeds, play in soil, fun will be had by young and old. (Loveland Acres Farm)

12 – 4 PM

Take a virtual tour of some local farms and make your own salsa/smoothie using fresh ingredients on a blender-bike! (REAP Food Group)

12 – 7 PM

Family fun area with swing set, basketball court, trampoline and putting green (provided by PlayN Wisconsin)

3 – 5 PM

A Spring-y Sampler: Crafts and Garden Games (PBS Wisconsin Education)

3:15-3:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

4:15 – 4:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

5:15 – 5:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

6:15 – 6:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

Saturday, Feb. 11

9 AM – 4 PM

Snakes, Reptiles & Amphibians: See and learn more about several of Wisconsin’s local or native species, as well as some more exotic ones! (Madison Area Herpetological Society)

9 AM – 6 PM

Author & Illustrator led drawing workshops, book sales and signings The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children (Author, Amy Dean & Illustrator, Vassi Slavova)

9 AM – 6 PM

Family fun area with swing set, basketball court, trampoline and putting green (provided by PlayN Wisconsin)

9:45 – 10:15 AM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

10 AM – 12 PM

A Spring-y Sampler: Crafts and garden games (PBS Wisconsin Education)

10 AM – 2 PM

Take a virtual tour of some local farms and make your own salsa/smoothie using fresh ingredients on a blender-bike! (REAP Food Group)

10:30 – 11 AM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

11 AM – 3 PM

Mr. Pippin’s Peppers: Hear a tale of a rainbow pepper, grab some seeds, play in soil, fun will be had by young and old. (Loveland Acres Farm)

11:15 – 11:45 AM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

12 – 12:30 PM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

12:45 – 1:15 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

1:30 – 2 PM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

2:15 -2:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

3:15 -3:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Cat

4:15 -4:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

Sunday, Feb. 12

10 AM – 12 PM

Mini herb pot decorating (Wisconsin Historical Society Press)

10 AM – 12 PM

A Spring-y Sampler: Crafts and Garden Games (PBS Wisconsin Education)

10 AM – 4 PM

Author & Illustrator led drawing workshops, book sales and signings The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children (Author, Amy Dean & Illustrator, Vassi Slavova)

10 AM – 4 PM

Family fun area with swing set, basketball court, trampoline and putting green (provided by PlayN Wisconsin)

10:30 – 11 AM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

11:15 – 11:45 AM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

12 – 12:30 PM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

12:45 – 1:15 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

1:30 – 2 PM

Story time: The Culinary Kid Makes Soup: Garden to table storybook for children, read by Author Amy Dean

2:15 – 2:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Daniel Tiger

3:15 – 3:45 PM

Meet PBS KIDS Nature Cat

Educational Presentations

The following presentations relating to kids will also take place during Garden & Landscape Expo:

Inside Look at Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ Bug Scouts*

Friday, Feb. 10 at 4:15 p.m. in Monona/Wingra
Katey Pratt, Olbrich Botanical Garden

Put on your bug nerd hat! Learn how the Garden Scout Volunteers at Olbrich Botanical Gardens are working to help identify all the little creatures that run the world! Learn how to attract beneficial insects, as well as our top 10 favorite insect-friendly plants. Check out our iNaturalist Project observations and see videos of insects in action!

Navigating People and Plant Places: The Gray Area*

Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Waubesa/Kegonsa
Marissa Ashbeck and Kaytie Ruesch, Monk Botanical Gardens

With any garden space, there is a gray area between interactive gardens to enjoy and the aesthetic appeal of curated landscapes. At Monk Botanical Gardens, we have created a set of guidelines to incorporate into our education and visitor experiences. Join us to see how we are developing gardens with “people and plant places” in mind.

Potato Chip Cookies: A Depression-Era Garden Story from the Apps Family’s Old Farm Country Cookbook*

Sunday, Feb. 12 at 1:30 p.m. on Demo Stage B
Susan Apps-Bodilly, Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Inspired by her gardening book for young readers, “Seeds in Soil”, and her family’s “Old Farm Country Cookbook” author Susan Apps-Bodilly will demonstrate the seeds-to-supper journey of one of Wisconsin’s top crops–the potato. Follow the potato from spud to soil to table–as a potato chip and then as part of her grandmother’s Depression-era potato chip cookie recipe. Samples available while supplies last.

Can’t Join us In-person? We are Online!

Go on an adventure to Nature Cat’s Virtual Backyard! Cultivate a love for gardening with your entire family in Nature Cat’s Backyard! Explore a variety of educational gardening activities like learning how to grow plants, track your garden’s growth, and play online gardening games. Be sure to check out additional educational resources from PBS Wisconsin Education.