Q: What should I bring?

A: Be sure to bring shoes for your child that you can get wet. We have a stream to wade in wading stream and misters that children can play in, but they must wear shoes at all times. We also recommend bringing an extra change of clothes, towels, sunscreen and baby wipes.

Q: What is there to do?

A: A garden-scale model train is able to be viewed at scheduled times throughout the day. There are many areas to explore and interact with including our wading stream, ‘fishing’ pond, pioneer cabin, nature center, butterfly garden, sand pit, dig pit, prairie and more! The KCG is designed to imitate nature, so there are many observation opportunities including native plants, wildlife and seasonal changes. You can also observe what is growing in our raised beds.

Q: Does The KCG offer birthday parties or private events?

A: Birthday parties are considered a small group (see our small group form on the forms tab) and your group can join other visitors in the garden during regular hours of operation. You may bring a group of between 30 and 50 people, according to the season. The small group form indicates group size and date parameters. You may direct questions or inquiries to arboretum@uky.edu

Q; What times are the daily programs?

A: Programming takes place from 10 am to 12 pm, Wednesday through Saturday. 

Q: What types of activities do you offer?

A: Each program aims to deliver a fun and engaging way for children and their families to experience and learn about the environment and nature. Our programs focus on topics such as 'Trees of the Garden' or 'Pond Life'. Programs include a variety of activities such as exploring the garden, reading a book, or working on a craft, to name a few. Visit the program calendar tab of our website to learn more.

Q: What times do the trains run?

The model trains run for one hour 3 times a day. The starting times are 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm.  We cannot operate the trains during high winds or rain.

Q: What age range is appropriate?

A: The KCG is an outdoor garden for people of all ages, but is most closely aligned with children 2 to 8 years of age.

Q: Is an adult required to be present with their children?

A: Yes, all children in the KCG must have an adult with them at all times, and all adults must be accompanied by at least one child. Education assistants are in the KCG to maintain safety. However, they are not responsible for the supervision of guests. 

Q: Can I donate directly to the Kentucky Children's Garden?

A: Yes! Donations to the KCG are greatly appreciated and go towards maintaining the garden and purchasing new features, equipment, plants and educational materials. Contact molly.davis1@uky.edu to make a donation. 

Q: Are there seating areas in the KCG?

A: Yes, the KCG has benches and tree stumps placed around the garden.

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: The KCG does not allow any pets to come into the garden. This is to avoid irritating children’s allergies and to keep the garden free of pet waste. Pets cannot be left at the front of the garden or with the greeter.

Q: Can I bring food?

A: The KCG does not allow picnics. This is to avoid attracting pests and to keep the garden clean. Picnic tables are available outside of the entrance gate.

Q: Why is there an admission for this garden and nowhere else in The Arboretum?

A: The KCG must charge admission because it requires staff to be present at all times to maintain quality plantings, programming and safety.

Q: Are strollers allowed?

A: Strollers are allowed anywhere in the Kentucky Children’s Garden. You may need to go "off road" to visit some parts of the garden. If desired, you may also park your stroller at the front of the garden. 

Q: Are bikes, scooters, rollerblades or hover boards allowed?

A: No, bikes, scooters, rollerblades or hover boards are not allowed anywhere in The Arboretum (except for the path between Bellefonte Drive and the parking lot), including the Kentucky Children’s Garden.

Q: What is your photography policy?

A: We do not allow professional photography in The Kentucky Children’s Garden. Please be sure to only take photos with your children in them.

Q: How do you manage the water quality in the KCG?

A: The streams and ponds in the Kentucky Children's Garden are designed to mimic a natural freshwater environment. For this reason, we do not use chlorine which would kill wildlife and plants. However, we do use chemicals to keep algae at acceptable levels and to keep the water clear. In addition, the water is physically and UV filtered. We also test for bacteria on a regular basis.

As with any freshwater source (creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes) in the United States, precautions should be taken when enjoying water play. Do not drink the water and please wash your hands with soap and water when you are finished.

The Kentucky Children's Garden encourages kids and families to interact with and connect to nature. We hope you enjoy your time here!