The New York Botanical Garden runs excellent gardening classes for children during spring, summer, and fall: Sprouts for preschoolers, and Crafters for kindergarten-aged students and up. The children take a tram to the Family Garden, and then learn all about how plants grow in this very picturesque place. During a recent week, the kids studied root vegetables and sipped water through a straw, just as plants do through their roots.

Even if your kids don’t take the class, check out the Family Garden in the afternoons. You can also visit the current Darwin exhibit, which is appropriate even for the youngest children. Kids learn that Charles Darwin loved to observe and draw plants, and they get to do it too.