Magnolia Plantation

Youth Programs at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Field Trips/Youth Education Program
Boy Scout & Girl Scout Merit Badge Programs
Outreach Programs
Zoo & Nature Center

Youth Education ProgramAge appropriate learning based on
South Carolina standards curriculum.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, with its historical significance and diverse natural habitats, is an ideal location to host educational programs for children of all ages. Students can re-live history at the plantation, which was established in 1676 and has experienced events such as early colonization, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and Reconstruction. The history and contributions of the slaves who operated the rice cultivation here are interpreted inside restored cabins in which they lived. Wildlife is in abundance here, with the swamps, marshes and woodlands on the plantation. The Audubon Swamp Garden is home to one of the region's most diverse nesting grounds of many species of herons and egrets. Alligators can also be safely observed at many locations throughout the swamp.


Youth Education Program
Youth Education ProgramNature at its best!

Field Trips / Youth Education Program

Harness creation and enrich your student's learning through Magnolia Plantation & Garden's Youth Education Program. Bring your students to learn in our campground setting, complete with enclosed shelters and nature at your fingertips. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens offers discounted rates for school field trips with 15 or more students. Classes can choose from the following:

Full Youth Program - $15 per student

This program is best for 3rd - 8th graders and is approximately two hours long. There are two available time slots each day. The program consists of three rotational learning centers and one field study:

  • Water Ecology Center - learn about the different water systems in South Carolina

  • Botany Center - focus on Azaleas

  • Contributions of the Enslaved Africans Center

  • Field Study / Audubon Swamp

All three centers are led in a small group setting with meaningful interactive hands-on activities that will help the information come alive for your students. Admission to explore the gardens is included and the nature train can be added on with this program.

Self-Guided Program - $9.50 per student
This self-guided field study includes educational forms to help you explore America's oldest gardens.

Gardens Only - $6 per student
This includes admission to visit the award-winning gardens at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.

All three Youth Education Programs include a visit to the Zoo & Nature Center, which features a collection of domestic and wild animals, the Orientation Theatre, a twenty-minute film on the history of Magnolia Plantation Plantation & Gardens, and access to the Horticultural Maze.

Youth Education ProgramAudubon Swamp Garden

All additional tours are $6 each and include: Magnolia Plantation & Garden's History; Nature Walk; Greenhouse; Audubon Swamp; Nature Boat; Slavery to Freedom*; Plantation House*.
*High School and College Students Only

One chaperone per six children is required and will receive complimentary admission for the Full Youth Program only. Additional adult garden admission for the Full Youth Program, Self-Guided Program and Gardens Only is $10. Classes who participate in the full youth program can receive by email our Bird Walk Newsletter, written by Jayne Matney, a former science teacher. This is a wonderful resource to be read to the students! Advanced booking is required. (return to top of page)

Field Trip Request Form


Boy Scout & Girl Scout Merit Badge Programs at
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Location: 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414

To enroll, e-mail
Include names of those to attend.

Cost is $25 per scout, $10 for accompanying adults or siblings.
Includes merit badge program(s), lunch and admission to the gardens.

Classes start at 9:00am.
Classes usually end around 1:00pm. Times may vary with different topics.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Animal Habitats and Bird Watching

Learn about animals and their environments, go on a guided tour to see wildlife and explore their habitats, and learn about identifying and studying birds.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Citizenship in the Nation and American Heritage

Citizenship in the Nation: Watch or read the news for discussion of current events AND write a letter to your congressional representative about a concern of yours.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Outdoor Adventurer and Nature Center

Go on a guided tour to explore nature and learn about the wildlife and how to care for the outdoors. Visit the nature center and learn about caring for the animals and meet some of them up close and personal!


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Environmental Science and Fish & Wildlife Management

Environmental Science: Write a report on aquatic pollution AND a report on an endangered species.
Fish & Wildlife Management: Construct a nest box or bird feeder and record what species use it.



Boy Scouts

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens offers Boy Scouts opportunities to earn merit badges with study sessions and workshops.

Classes are scheduled on Saturdays throughout the year. Merit badge studies offered are:

  • American Heritage
  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Bird Study
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Collections
  • Communications
  • Environmental Science
  • First Aid
  • Fish & Wildlife Management
  • Forestry
  • Genealogy
  • Indian Lore
  • Insect Study
  • Mammal Study
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • Plant Science
  • Reptile & Amphibian Study

In addition to our study programs, scouts are also offered opportunities for service projects and Eagle Scout promotions.

Looking for a site to earn camping badges? We have campgrounds available! For inquires or to make a reservatioin, contact

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Camping at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Magnolia Plantation & Garden's primitive campgrounds are available to organized youth groups. To make a reservation, contact 843-571-1266 or (return to top of page)


Outreach Programs
Outreach Programs

Animal programs are available for outreach programs.

Live animals, including spiders, snakes and alligators and natural history artifacts can come to the schools to give students an up-close and personal experience they will not soon forget, as they learn about animal adaptations, behaviors and environments. It is not every day that a child can have a tarantula walk across his or her hands, feel the smooth scaly skin of a snake or meet and touch an alligator in person!

The outreach programs are best suited to single classrooms (up to 30 students) to allow for a better learning experience. Programs can be tailored to specific topics.

Our programs are also available for school science fairs and events.

The outreach programs are available at no cost to public schools in the Charleston area. Contributions are accepted to help fund the programs. (return to top of page)


Zoo & Nature Center

Zoo & Nature CenterMagnolia Plantation & Garden's Zoo & Nature Center is home to a variety of domestic livestock and animals native to the region. Visitors have a unique opportunity to interact with white-tailed deer as they roam freely through the zoo. Goats, turkeys, chickens and other farm animals that likely would have been found on a working plantation also roam the zoo. Exhibits feature a collection of native wildlife, including grey foxes, bobcat, birds of prey and a reptile house.

Many of the animals that reside here are from wildlife rehabilitation centers, where they were rescued as orphans or treated for injuries and were not suitable to be released. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has a long-time working relationship with local wildlife rehabilitators and also helps support them financially.

The Zoo & Nature Center is included with basic admission. It is one of the featured attractions for school groups and education programs. An outdoor classroom is adjacent to the zoo. (return to top of page)