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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 $7 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.

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.

Fall and Spring Programs

Nature and Art (Grades 4-12)
Make positive connections to nature and the art of gardening. Engage in deep observational drawing of plants and the art pieces and architecture surrounding them at Denver Botanic Gardens. Decipher and discuss the design elements and principles shared by both. (Outdoors)
When: 10-11 a.m., 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. or 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, September-October and March-May
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

Art in the Garden (Grades 4-12)
Explore the diverse works of art and architecture exhibited at Denver Botanic Gardens. Think like an artist as you engage in a multi-sensory exploration of the relationship between art and plants. Then design a sculpture that complements a natural setting. Examine the relevance of art in the Gardens, and explore the work of artists within a botanic setting. (Outdoors)
When: 10-11 a.m., 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. or 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Thursdays, September-October and March-May
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

Garden Sense-ations (Grades 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 12-1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. September–October and March–May
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

Sprouts (Grades 1-2)
Sprouts introduces students to the wonders of plants and gardening. Children spend 60 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 a.m., 11:15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. or 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, September–October and March–May
Class Size: Maximum 30 students

Name that Tree (Grades 3-6)
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. and 12-1:45 p.m. on Thursdays, September-October and March-May
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: 10-11:45 a.m. and 12-1:45 p.m. on Wednesdays, September-October and March-May
Class Size: Maximum 60 students

Winter Programs

Journey to the Rainforest (Grades K-5)
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, November-March
Class Size: Maximum 60 students

Pizza, Pencils and Plants (Grades PreK-2)
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 Mondays and Fridays, September-May
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:  10-11:30 a.m.and Noon-1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, December-March
Class Size:
Maximum 30 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.