for kids

Play Trail

The Play Trail is a fenced-in acre of land designed for young children (ages 7 years and under) to explore nature and engage in unstructured free play. This area features play spaces created from natural materials and encourages imaginary play. Some of the structures include a Mud Kitchen with the “Dirty Bistro,” Dig to China (where children unearth “dinosaur bones”), Dales Creek, Tiny House Mountain, a Haiku Bird House, and our newest feature, The Roto-Rain Recycler. We incorporate the Play Trail in our Early Education Programs and also make it available to families free of charge.

Play Trail Guidelines

  • Children must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or a designated caregiver who assumes full responsibility for their behavior and safety.
  • Visitors who are playing in a way that is not safe or friendly may be asked to leave.
  • The Play Trail is designed for children 7 years and younger. Older children are invited to explore the rest of the garden including the Fairy Forest.
  • Each area should be ready for the next visitors. Help your child “tidy up” — especially in the mud kitchen.
  • Small family groups of young children (10 or fewer) are welcome without advanced notice.
  • School visits may impact visitors and you may be asked to relocate to accommodate a learning opportunity.
  • Please refer to Boxerwood staff for advice.

Group visits to the play trail

Groups visiting Boxerwood must contact us at least three weeks in advance. We can let you know if the area is open or reserved and any fees associated with the visit.


Birthday Parties

The Play Trail is a lovely place for families with young children to celebrate their birthdays. This option is available to all Boxerwood members and must be scheduled with at least two weeks advance notice.

Please note that cake and gift-giving activities should take place under the pavilion across from the barn so that other families with children on the Play Trail will not feel left out. When planning your event, please remember our wildlife friendly no balloon policy.


Camp is a great way to befriend one another and the Earth. Every summer, Boxerwood offers day camps for children from ages 4 to 10 to enjoy playing on our shady grounds, in the community, hiking trails and even rivers!

Our camps all share core traits that we think are essential for kids: an emphasis on community-making, adventures, creativity, service, wildness, wonder, scientific investigations, and play. 

We’re also providing several contractual camps for Rockbridge and surrounding county children.  Please contact us if you are interested in taking part in these programs.


camp details

  • Boxerwood Nature Camps are directed and supervised by our education staff and summer counselors.
  • All activities are conducted on the Boxerwood Nature Center property.
  • Each day of camp features outdoor nature investigations and projects as well as supervised free play.
  • Children are grouped in small, similar-aged clans and engage in age-appropriate activities.
  • All campers should bring their own water bottle, a morning snack, and lunch.
  • Campers should come dressed for outdoor activities (even on rainy days!). On some days they will need a bathing suit, towels, and waterproof shoes, if they have them.
  • Parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from camp (carpooling is encouraged).
  • Scholarships are available for children who would otherwise be unable to attend camp.

Scouts and Youth Groups

Boxerwood welcomes Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops for troop outings, projects, and individual badge achievement. We work closely with scout groups to offer kids an enriching opportunity while enjoying nature. Past projects were not only enjoyable but also extremely important to the garden and our landscape.  

camp or scout questions?

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding camp availability, scholarships, or programing. We would be happy to help.