On Your Own Field Trip

Self-guided Field trips

On Your Own field trips allow your students to explore while you lead them through the Chicago Botanic Garden. Science, language arts, literature, history, geography, art, and other subjects can be explored throughout the different gardens.

On Your Own 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.

On Your Own Field Trip Reservation

Fee: $50 per bus (credit card only).
Pay now using a credit card. The fee is per bus and space each day is limited. Enjoy these benefits of registering through On Your Own Group Registration:

  • Pay only $4 per person on-site for Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America and Butterflies & Blooms. Note: Exhibition entry is first-come, first-served, and only small chaperoned groups will be admitted at a time; receipt must be shown at the ticket booth to receive the discount; on busy days, expect there to be a wait; exhibitions are open daily, weather permitting.
  • Access the public picnic area for lunch.

Payment and Reschedules

Your visit is reserved when we receive full payment and you receive a receipt from the Chicago Botanic Garden. If a conflict arises, you may reschedule your visit once within the same season. We are unable to give refunds for cancellations of On Your Own field trips.

Bus Parking

During the school year season, you will be directed at the Gatehouse to drop off at the Regenstein Learning Campus. A staff person will greet you and direct you to the Visitor Center as well as where to locate bus parking. Buses unload at the circle drive at the Learning Campus and park in lot 3. You will meet your bus in parking lot 3 for pick-up and departure. During our summer season, the Gatehouse will direct your bus to drop off and pick up in parking lot 3.

Gardens to Explore

Gardens especially well-suited for self-guided exploration are highlighted below. Please note the approximate walking distances to each garden, starting from the Visitor Center. 

Native Habitats
McDonald Woods: 0.25 miles (or less than 0.1 mile from parking lot 3)
Dixon Prairie: 1 mile

Main Island Formal Gardens
Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden: 0.3 miles
Sensory Garden: 0.25 miles
Buehler Enabling Garden: 0.25 miles
Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden: 0.2 miles

Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center
Green roof and indoor interpretation: 0.5 miles