There are some great resources to use such as Social Media headers, talking points, website headers, email signatures, and a media release template for you to help promote your events – as well as a dedicated hashtag #BGANZDay.
You can also share the Botanic Gardens Day video produced specifically for the event to help you advertise your activities – the more you share, the greater the engagement for the Botanic Gardens Day!
Autumn school holidays are nearly upon us in New Zealand (14-29 April) and here at the Auckland Botanic Gardens we’ve put together a series of free conservation-themed activities for kids (to match our overall conservation theme that runs until July).
We’ve worked with a graduate student, our visitor services team, volunteers and an external contractor to put together and deliver the programme, and look forward to engaging with all the families that attend.
Advertising for the programme is through our local community newspaper, online, social media, email newsletter lists and posters on site. This is traditionally very effective for us, and the advertising cost is practically $0.
Here is the overall programme – leave a comment if you’d like more details or an explanation of how we are running these activities. And let us know what you are planning for the upcoming school holidays!
How do we make it easy for our visitors to know about the range of activities they can do at our gardens? Sometimes visitors are simply not aware of all that is on offer, despite a range of signs, posters or info boards.
We have found that listing even simple activities can help visitors make the most of their time at the garden. For example, during our three-month dinosaur events, we produced a ‘7 Dinosaurus things to do’ flyer which was a hit with families. While there were posters, signs, staff and guides, the way we ‘bundled’ all that was on offer into one simple flyer (almost like a menu to choose from) was very successful.
Something this simple can help new visitors overcome overwhelm, and provide suggestions on how to best enjoy a visit.
Looking for ideas for school holiday programmes? Maybe there’s an activity on this programme you’d like to recreate. If you’d like more details on a specific activity, let me know in the comments and I’d be very happy to create a step-by-step blog post on it.
A great school holiday programme activity is a native plant survival challenge. We simply pick a selection of specific native plants (or print some photos of certain ones if we can’t get hold of them e.g. flowers or fruit depending on the time of the year). These native plants are laid out on a table, and kids with their families have to match which plants are used for which activities in the bush. E.g. Rangiora leaves (Brachiglottis) is used as toilet paper – which as you can imagine the kids love to learn.
We set up six sets of the same activity to handle large numbers of people.
At the end of the challenge, kids are encouraged to draw a picture of what they would take into the bush, which we then add to a portfolio they leave with us, or take home with them.
Kids and parents alike love learning about how useful native plants are, and always enjoy this activity as a family. It’s simple, cheap (we created the cards once and use them repeatedly) and a wonderful way to enthuse visitors about plants.
There are many facets to a botanic gardens. Visitors enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the outdoor space and engaging with the plant displays. Children like to explore for plants and animals that inhabit a garden.
To cater for a child’s inquisitive mind the Australian National Botanic Gardens has recently opened a children’s trails – Who Did That? The trail uses animal models and interactive signage to explore the relationship between animals and plants.
The trail was developed by Gardens’ Visitor Services Ranger Katy Penman and features beautiful artwork and poetry created by Katy. Examples of Katy’s artwork and words can be seen in accompanying images. The use of original artwork is a highlight of this trail.
We hope you get the chance to enjoy the Who Did That? children’s trail.