Summer Programs Return to Manteo's Elizabethan Gardens

MANTEO, N.C. — Continuing a 70-year legacy of inspirational beauty, this summer The Elizabethan Gardens will offer weekly activities to nourish the mind of the curious child with thanks to community supporters.

While several spots in The Gardens are always perennial favorites for kids (and beloved garden critters too), a lasting gift from The Gaddy Foundation assures that children will always have a special place to learn and grow.

“When we embarked on projects to bring new visitors to the gardens,” explained Linda Davenport, president of the board, “the Gaddy Foundation and our community allowed us to create a Discovery Cottage, an indoor and outdoor educational area. And this is the perfect place for our summer programs.”

While many programs were paused in 2020, this outdoor setting is ideal to resume the educational summer offerings. There are several types of hands-on experiences that will take place outdoors Mondays to Thursdays in the Discovery Cottage starting June 21. Each is an exploration of the natural world.

Monday has gone to the birds. Children on this day will discover more about the birds, learn how to draw them and create a bird snack to take to their fine feathered friends at home.

Feeling froggy? Children can discover the exciting life cycle of frogs on Tuesdays.

Wednesday is fluttering with a program on the exciting life cycle of butterflies and a guided visit to the Butterfly Center. 

 And bugs are not pests when you learn how bugs can help a garden grow during Thursday’s program. 

And if none of these days work out, pick up a garden activity sheet any day of the week.

All of these programs are free with the regular price admission to The Gardens. For Garden Members, visits are free. All programs involve a snack and craft activity and begin at 11am and run Monday through Thursday June 21 to August 19. Support for the summer programs comes from Downtown Books in Manteo.

“There’s nothing more rewarding to us than introducing the wonder and beauty of the natural world to children,” explains Carl Curnutte, executive director. “And during our 70th anniversary year, we want to continue along this path. We are so very thankful to the Gaddy Foundation for sowing the seeds that allowed us to begin this new chapter.”

Information on these and more activities throughout the calendar year is available at

About The Discovery Cottage:
The Elizabethan Gardens’ Discovery Cottage was established in memory of Charlie and Lucy Gaddy. The elder Gaddys lived in Raleigh and were well-known for their community involvement, leadership and generous charitable giving. Finn and Nancy Gaddy have brought this spirit of giving to their new home on the Outer Banks where they support programs and charities that keep the memory of Charlie and Lucy alive. Inspired by our Elizabethan history and built for educational play, the area is a popular place for families to visit.

About The Elizabethan Gardens:
In his dedicatory speech, Playwright Paul Green remarked, “The whole of North Carolina is proud of The Elizabethan Gardens and prouder still of the lovely and imaginative women who gave it birth.” Seventy years have passed since the 17,000 women of the Garden Club of North Carolina voted in 1951 to support an ambitious project known as The Elizabethan Gardens. It has blossomed as a living memorial to Roanoke Island and North Carolina’s special slice of history as a preface to America’s birth. The gardens continue to inspire and delight those who visit the shores and beaches of the Outer Banks.



Carl Curnutte
(252) 473-3234

Suzanne Brown
Media Relations Manager
Veda Gilbert
Public Relations Manager
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