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Guided Explorations

During a guided exploration, guides lead small groups of students in hands-on classroom activities and garden explorations to learn more about the program's topic. Teachers may choose from the programs below.

To schedule a guided exploration, please email registrar@botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3580. Scheduling begins on Aug. 15 (or the following Monday if Aug. 15 falls on a weekend) for the entire school year. Shortly after you make your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with activities and materials to help prepare your students for the program. Please make sure to read our general information before your field trip.

Guided explorations cost $5 per student for schools within the SCFD districts, $7 per student for schools outside of the SCFD districts. One adult chaperone (parent or teacher) for every five students is admitted free of charge. Extra adults must pay $6.50 each, no exceptions.

Scholarship money is available to support schools with 60 percent or more participation in the Federal free- and reduced-lunch program. Find out more about our scholarship program.


Garden Sense-ations (PreK-K) 
"Garden Sense-ations" provides a unique opportunity for young learners to engage their senses as they discover a diversity of plants. Little ones will touch, smell, hear, taste and see their way through the Sensory Garden. In addition to exploring with their five senses, all participants will plant something to take home. (Outdoors, except during inclement weather.)
When: 9:30-10:30 a.m., 10:45-11:45 a.m. or 1-2 p.m. on Sept. 9, 10, 16, 17, 30, 2013; Oct. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2013, 2012; April 7, 8, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2014; May 19, 20, 27, 2014; June 2, 3, 2014 
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

Sprouts (Grades 1-2)
Sprouts introduces students to the wonders of plants and gardening. Children spend 90 minutes with a guide exploring a wide diversity of plants with their five senses and having the opportunity to plant a seed.  (Outdoors, except during inclement weather)
When: 10-11:30 a.m. or 12-1:30 p.m. on Sept. 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 30, 2013; Oct. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2013; April 7, 8, 11, 21, 22, 25, 28, 29, 2014; May 2, 19, 20, 23, 27, 30, 2014; June 3, 6 2014
Class Size: Maximum 60 students 

Name that Tree (Grades 3-5)
Broaden your student's knowledge of trees while encouraging beginning plant identification skills. Students will complete a guided exploration of common Colorado trees to learn fun facts and identifying features of each tree. Hands-on classroom activities will help students broaden their knowledge of tree structure, vocabulary and identification. (Indoors and Outdoors)
When: 10-11:45 a.m. on Thursdays Sept. 5, 12, 19, 2013; Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2013; April 10, 24, 2014; May 1, 22, 29, 2014: June 5, 2014
Class Size: Maximum 60 students

Ecosystems of Colorado (Grades 3-6)
Explore our ecosystem gardens to discover what plants and animals are characteristic of Colorado's diverse ecosystems. Students will make observations about each ecosystem and its inhabitants, while also exploring simple ecological concepts.  (Outdoors, except during inclement weather)
When: 10 a.m.-noon on Wednesdays Sept.  4, 11, 18, 2013; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2013; April  9, 23, 30, 2014; May  21,  28, 2014: June 4, 2014
Class Size: Maximum 50 students

Japanese Tea Ceremony (Grades 1-6)
In an assembly setting, students will observe a tea ceremony which is an important part of Japanese life, and also learn what it is like to be a child in Japan. Before or after their designated program time, students will be assigned a 15 minute window to visit the Ella Mullen Weckbaugh Tea House. (Indoors)
When: 10-10:55 a.m. or 11:05 a.m.-noon on April  1, 8, 29, 2014
Class Size: Maximum 100 students



Omniglobe Investigations (Grades 4-8)
Explore the difference between climate and weather and learn how scientists utilize plants to better understand Colorado’s historical climate. (Indoors and Outdoors)
When:  10-11 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on select Mondays and Fridays in October, November, December, January, February and March
Class Size:  Maximum 30 students

Journey to the Rainforest (Grades 1-6)
Take a break from the cold and visit our living and growing indoor rainforest. Through a guided exploration of the rainforest and hands-on activities, students will learn about various rainforest plants, their adaptations, how rainforest plants are used in their daily lives and ways that the rainforest is different from Colorado.  (Indoors)
When: 10-11:45 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays in November, December,  January, February and March
Class Size: Maximum 60 students

Pizza, Pencils and Plants (Grades K-6)
Students will discover how plants are used in food, clothing, building materials and much more. An optional self-guided scavenger hunt can help students find product plants throughout the Gardens. (Indoors)
When: 10-11 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on select Mondays and Fridays in October, November, December, January, February, March and April
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

From Fossils to Flowers (Grades 6-12)
Observe the different groups of plants (algae, mosses, ferns, conifers, flowering plants) that have evolved over time and learn what key characteristics make each group distinct. (Indoors)
When:  10-11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in November,  December, January, February and March
Class Size:
Maximum 60 students


Mordecai Children’s Garden 
Please note that the Mordecai Children’s Garden is designed for families and therefore school groups have limited access. School groups wishing to visit the children’s garden will need to purchase a $2 timed ticket in addition to their regular fee. Please call 720-865-3580 for more information or to reserve your space.