Self-guided field trips allow your students to explore while you lead them through the Garden. Science, language arts, literature, history, geography, art, and other subjects can be explored throughout the different gardens.
Field trips are scheduled Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are available year-round for students and groups of all ages.
Fee: $30 per each classroom or group consisting of up to 30 people.
Register in advance and Garden staff will be happy to discuss areas of the Garden that would be especially well suited to your curricular topic. Enjoy these other benefits of preregistration:
Gardens especially well suited for self-guided exploration are highlighted below. Please note the approximate walking distances to each garden, starting from the Children’s Learning Center. All groups will be greeted at the Children’s Learning Center.
McDonald Woods: 1 mile
Dixon Prairie: 2 miles
Main Island Formal Gardens
Malott Japanese Garden: 1.4 miles
Sensory Garden: 1.5 miles
Fruit & Vegetable Garden: 1.4 miles
Enhance your students’ experience with Garden Bingo.
Self-guided Activity Backpacks allow you to lead your students through two hands-on activities in a Garden area. Each backpack includes all supplies for the activities and can be checked out for either the morning (9 a.m. to noon) or the afternoon (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.).
$10 fee, Available year-round, Monday through Friday.
Sensory Garden (K – 2)
Malott Japanese Garden (K – 5)
NEW! Pollination Pack (Pre K – 2)
NEW! Ecosystems and Adaptations (6-12)
Food Consumption and Storage
Those groups registering for Self-Guided Field Trips and/or Walking Tours have access to the public outdoor Picnic Glen, located between parking lots 1 and 2 and to the public outdoor picnic area adjacent to the Children’s Learning Center. Due to space restrictions, groups are not permitted in the Garden Café. Individuals may carry their lunches in backpacks or store lunches on the bus. In the event of rain, we suggest that groups eat on the bus. Help preserve the Garden’s serene atmosphere and maintain its unique and beautiful collections by keeping all food out of the gardens and trails.
Visiting the Garden
Come prepared for your learning experience in the Garden. Download these quick self-guided field trip activity ideas.