Santa Fe, New Mexico: The four walls of the Santa Fe Children’s Museum contain wonders for kids to explore, and the fun doesn’t end there. The Museum’s “backyard” is nature at its most family-friendly. Children are invited to climb a tree, visit the adobe playhouse, or discover dinosaur bones buried in the sandpit. Many visitors return every Thursday from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, for the popular Seeds and Sprouts program.
Educator Leona Hillary leads a multi-sensory adventure, with activities ranging from digging for worms in a vermiculture compost bin, to planting and harvesting the community garden. Year-around kids can read a story under the shade of a tree, identify creatures with magnifying glasses and microscopes, or create nature-based projects such as a mini water catchment system from cardboard and straws.
The Museum garden boasts over an acre of fruit and nut trees, raised vegetable and herb beds, flowers and pollinator plants, and is set up as a model of sustainable southwest gardening. Animals are studied through native visitors like rabbits, insects, and birds, as well as museum pets, such as Bisquick the pancake turtle, who forages his own fresh salad from the “pizza garden”.
Seeds and Sprouts ensure that New Mexico’s flavor is showcased. The Museum’s expert gardener, Hector Solis, introduces kids to a specialty bed full of green chile peppers, heirloom tomatoes and other fiesta-friendly foods. Children sample these regional vegetables and get a small spicy taste of Santa Fe as they take a turn in front of a traditional “horno” oven to bake tortilla chips and biscochitos . . . our state’s “official” cookie!
Whether they are learning about the differences between pears and peaches, enjoying the taste of carrots they pulled with their own hands, or witnessing the life cycle of a butterfly… kids visiting the Santa Fe Children’s Museum’s Seeds and Sprouts leave with a sense of connection to the wonder and beauty of nature!