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Discovery Backpacks

Discovery Backpacks provide a unique way for groups to explore the Gardens on their own. There are several different Discovery Backpacks topics, with five identical copies of each backpack. See below for a description of each backpack. Each self-guided Discovery Backpack contains multiple activities for groups to choose from to aid in learning more about the topic. Backpacks contain detailed instructions and all materials for the various activities. When using our Discovery Backpacks, your group should be broken in smaller groups of no more than 10 students. Each small group will be given a Discovery Backpack to be completed under the leadership of an adult chaperone.

York Street

To schedule a Discovery Backpack, please email registrar@botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3580. Discovery Backpacks are self-guided. Please click here to read our general information before your field trip.

Discovery Backpacks cost $3.50 per student for schools within the SCFD, $5.50 per student for schools outside the SCFD. One adult chaperone (parent or teacher) for every five students is admitted free of charge. Extra adults must pay $7 each, no exceptions.

Pre-Payment for all school group visits:
We require advance payment for school group visits. Final payment is due one week before the program. Additional children or chaperones will result in additional cost the day of the program.  Bringing fewer students does not result in a refund because we must prepare for your full number of students.
You may pay via check or credit card.

  • When paying by check please make the check out to: Denver Botanic Gardens. You may mail it to: 909 York Street, Denver, CO 80206; Attn: school programs.
  • When paying by credit card please call our registrar at: 720-865-3580.  If you must leave a message, our registrar will call you back.

Cancellation and Rescheduling
Cancellations with less than one week’s notice are non-refundable.  If you must reschedule or make other changes, please do so as early as possible because our dates often fill.

York Street Discovery Backpacks

Plantastic Discoveries (Grades K-6)
Explore the fantastic world of plants with a variety of activities. Students can discover the diversity of plants and how they grow, pollinate, adapt to different environments and function in our world.

It's a Bugs Life (Grades K-3)
Unearth the world of insects and bugs in the Gardens. Choose from five interactive activities that require students to make observations, ask questions, make educated guesses, experiment, collect data, draw conclusions based on their data and share their results with others.

Pollinator Pack (Grades 2-5)
Pollination is essential to the continuation of many plants. Explore the process of pollination, from basic flower structure and the types of pollinator mouths and eyes to flower messages and who pollinates which flower.

Japanese Garden (Grades K-6)
Explore the unique Japanese Garden and many of its special features including the Tea House and Tea Ceremony. Practice Japanese traditions such as ikebana and origami and learn how to count and say your colors in Japanese.

Art Backpack (Grades 4-12)
Explore the Gardens as artists through self-guided garden exploration and art activities.

Grassland and Steppe (Grades 9 – 12)
Explore the characteristics of the Steppe biome in Colorado and around the world. Students visit the Science Pyramid after visiting the Laura Smith Porter Plains Garden.

Plant Adaptations (Grades 5 – 8)
Visit the Boettcher Memorial Conservatory and the Desert Mesa Gardens to compare plant adaptations in two very different environments. Afterwards, students will learn about abiotic factors in the Science Pyramid.

Colorado Grasslands and Tropical Rainforests (Grades K-3)
Visit the Boettcher Memorial Conservatory and our Plains Garden to compare these two ecosystems and how the plants that grow there are different.

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.

Chatfield Discovery Backpacks