When Lisa Reichenberger was young, she didn’t know she could spend her days working alongside flora and fauna surrounding a 100-year-old mansion.

(Photo courtesy of Old Westbury Gardens)

Now, Reichenberger is the director of environmental education at Old Westbury Gardens and is focused on bringing more children into the former Phipps mansion and 200 acres of formal gardens and woods both during school field trips and during the weekends.

Old Westbury Gardens recently started the Kids Pass Program option for $50 per year.

Unlike the family membership, which includes admission for two adults and any number of children for $80, the new Kids Pass is an option allowing one adult, which can be a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or a family friend, the ability to bring children to the gardens every Saturday.

(Photo courtesy of Old Westbury Gardens)

“We just really want more people to know about the great kids programs we’re doing here and think of us as a place to come to get outside on a beautiful day to walk around, see the gardens and learn a little bit about history while having fun,” Old Westbury Gardens President Nancy Costopulos said.

Every Saturday, Old Westbury Gardens hosts a Weekend Wake Up! program for children, ranging from storybook strolls through the gardens for ages 3 through 5 and hands-on nature crafts for all ages to recipe tastings from the on-site vegetable garden and solving an Old Westbury whodunit mystery for children 8 years old and older.

When a month has five Saturdays, Reichenberger said the day is dedicated to getting active outside with the families.

(Photo courtesy of Old Westbury Gardens)

The Kids Pass also includes 10 percent off children’s items in the gift shop, 10 percent off summer camp registration and admission to KidsFest on Sept. 16, which draws about 1,000 visitors every year, Reichenberger said.

Old Westbury Gardens’s one-week summer day camps begin July 9 for ages 6 through 9 with a different theme every week. The first week is the Land Lovers Science session, followed by the Fresh Takes Natural Art session and the Decade Detectives History session.

The final week, beginning July 30, is called Changemakers: Future Museum Professionals for ages 10 through 13.

“So many people tell us they came when they were children, and now they’re returning with their own children,” Reichenberger said. “This is the first touch point we have with the next generation, and we want to make it a positive experience. There’s so much beauty out there to discover. It’s a great place to get hands-on, whether you’re smelling a rose or seeing a chipmunk. There’s a little something for everyone.”

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