Kids learn the secret of vanilla beans

During Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, children learn the plant origins of two sweet treats. This interactive program is a family favorite and a wonderful accompaniment to The Orchid Show: Brazilian Modern at the New York Botanical Garden.

Through the activities of Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures, children discover that vanilla comes from the seedpod of an orchid plant called Vanilla planifolia. They also learn that this plant relies on a tiny bee for pollination. Youngsters examine vanilla beans with hand lenses and microscopes and observe live vanilla orchids.

The whole family can explore the fascinating origins of chocolate and the great cacao tree. As kids tickle their taste buds with hot chocolate made from a Mayan recipe, they discover that the ancient beverage is quite different from the hot chocolate of today. Children grind and taste real chocolate seeds and add spices like chili powder, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a special recipe.

Chocolate and Vanilla Adventures will be open to the public on Tuesdays through Fridays, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from February 28 to April 19.

vanilla beans

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