Courier Post Reports: Camden Children's Garden hosts Chocolate and Vanilla Festival
The Camden Children’s Garden opened its doors Saturday and Sunday for the Chocolate and Vanilla Family Festival. The festival, which featured activities based around scents and flavors as well as concessions from local businesses, was the most recent installment of a series of seasonal events running at the garden all summer and through the fall.
“One of the things is to teach kids about where their food comes from,” said Valerie Frick, director of education at the Camden Children’s Garden. “Each event has an educational message.”
At one table, children could vote for their favorite ice cream flavor, tracking the votes of their peers and comparing them to statistics from national surveys. At another, visitors could take a “smell test” to match the names of various spices and herbs to samples of each plant’s scent. Children were also invited to participate in a variety of crafts, including decorating their own ice cream cone-shaped fans.
“I’m having lots of fun,” said Malanah Adolphus, 7, who added that her favorite part of the day was decorating her own ice cream-covered cookie. Over at the concession stand, the day’s treats — chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and cookies — were from Duffield’s Farm Market in Sewell.
“I feel great about it,” said Malanah’s mother, Toni Hannibal. “I got to learn some things, too.”
Jonathan Cruz said his son, three-year-old Jonathan, Jr., was already a longtime visitor to the Children’s Garden.
“He’s here every time,” said Cruz. “He likes the ride and the crafts, and everything is different for him.”
Other recent themed festivals at the garden include Peach Party and Blueberry Blast. In the fall, the garden will host the Hefty Harvest and Scary Scarecrows festival, as well as Goblins in the Garden before Halloween. After completing each activity at a given festival, every child gets a prize before leaving the garden.
“Each festival is a little different,” said Frick. “They’re creating a memory.”
For more information, visit www.camdenchildrensgarden.org.