Self-Guided Visits
Education-focused visits for groups or schools
(students age 15 and under)

The perfect educational solution for schools or scouting groups who want to explore the Arboretum at-your-own-pace! Extend the learning of an Arboretum field trip and add a self-guided tour, or plan a self-guided tour of the Arboretum for your school/education group. 

All groups, self-guided or otherwise, must reserve self-guided visits in advance.

Pick up your self-guided info packet of maps, chaperone guides, and seasonal exhibit information at the front gate when you arrive. The Visitor Center Information Desk or the Learning Center Education Office may have suggestions as well!

Dates Available

Monday - Friday during the school year (September through May)
To request an Educational Self-Guided Visit outside of the above date range, contact the Learning Center Office at 612-301-1210 to discuss your request.

Chaperone:Student Ratio

Chaperones are free up to 1 adult:5 students (this ratio includes teachers)

     1:10 minimum suggested chaperone:student ratio
     1:5 included in Self-Guided Reservation fee 
          • Adults in addition to the 1:5 ratio pay $15 gate admission
          • Paras and nurses accompanying special needs students are not included in these numbers


$7.50 registration fee for the entire group
Please submit payment when registration is made

$15/Additional adult 
Adults in excess of the 1:5 chaperone:student ratio (or pay at the Gatehouse upon arrival)

To Schedule your Visit NEW! Online Registration

 Step 1 Login or Create a Profile
Returning Users login on left side of page
New Users create profile on right side of page
 Step 2 Browse availability calendar
Browse available dates and book your group's visit
 Step 3 Book your date and time
Your user log-in info from STEP 1 will auto-fill on the registration form.
Remember to add extra chaperones, if applicable
Step 4 Review Chaperone Guide, Meeting Location, and Arrival information below


To contact a Learning Center Registrar or to register by phone/email

Download the Chaperone Guide

Chaperone Guide

A guide to the top 7 Arboretum spots for teachers, educators, and parents to bring kids for sensory, STEM-inspired learning!
Download and print the Chaperone Guide

Select Group Meeting Location

The Arboretum is a BIG place to explore! Decide on your group's meeting location and share that information with members of your group who may be arriving separately, such as parents. Suggested meeting locations include the Snyder Building, Oswald Visitor Center, or Ordway Picnic Shelter
view Arboretum map


As you drive in to the Arboretum, check in at the Arboretum Gatehouse* and identify the name of your group.
* If you have reserved a GreenTime Backpack (see Visit Add-Ons below), you will pick it up at the Gatehouse. 

Self-Guided Visit Suggested Enhancements

Green Discovery Backpack iconGreen-Time Backpack
Preschool - Grade 1
$30 per backpack rental + $7.50 registration fee

The Green-time Backpack has stories, props and everything you need to lead a "discovery + fun" visit for a curious group of young learners. One Backpack serves up to 30 students. Pre-reserving your backpack(s) ensures that your packs will be at the front gate ready for you to pick-up on the day of your visit.  

Download the Leader's Guide


Self Guided Visits for ChildrenTop Ten Places to Visit with Kids

1. Maze Garden
Will you lose yourself? Or find your way through Try both mazes!
2. Weekend Family Fun
Experience "hands-on plants" for all ages, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-4pm year-round; theme changes monthly.
3. Green Play Yard
It's natural fun especially designed for ages 5 and under.
4. Bog Walk on Green Heron Trail
Take the boardwalk across Green Heron Pond; look for herons, dragonflies, orchids and tamaracks.
5. Japanese Garden
Sit in the Garden House, listen to the rushing waterfall, count the koi.
6. Shade Tree Exhibit
Meet some trees that could live in your yard, and check out the little playhouses.
7. Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Do a walkabout and see what homegrown crops are ripening today.
8. Under The Oak
Build your own stick fort and crawl through the Twigloo.
9. Weeping Trees
How do some of them grow to look like green elephants?
10. Herb Gardens
The "scratch-and-sniff" idea started with herbs; rub their leaves gently and try a few!

Bog Adventure imageYour Bog Adventure

Use this guide to find your way to more nature and more discoveries as you take the half-mile Green Heron Trail loop around Green Heron Pond. "Your Bog Adventure" includes 5 activities to do with children ages 5-11. You can print your own copy at home to bring, or pick up a free copy at the Oswald Visitor Center when you arrive. Allow 30-45 minutes. Are you ready to explore?

Print Bog Adventure Page 1     Print Bog Adventure Page 2

Garden Fun Finder imageYour Garden Fun Finder

Sprout some green curiosity as you explore the glorious display gardens near the Oswald Visitor Center. "Your Garden Fun Finder" offers 8 activities to do with children ages 5-11. You can print your own copy at home to bring, download it to your mobile device (e.g. iPad, Kindle, phone), or purchase a copy at the Arboretum Gift Store when you arrive. Allow 30-45 minutes. 
Print Garden Fun Finder
Download to your mobile device

















Also check out:

School Fieldtrips
Weekend Family Fun

Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm; Sat, noon - 4 pm
Email Arboretum Education at
Call Arboretum Education at 

Summer Youth Program FAQs

Review the helpful FAQ page!

Classes Catalog

view Adult Classes Catalog Fall/Winter 2018
Request a hard copy in the mail
Email your request to with the subject "Mail Adult Catalog"


Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm; Sat, noon - 4 pm
Email Arboretum Education at

Call Arboretum Education at

Member Perk!

Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

Email Subscriptions

Subscribe here to opt-in to your choice of Arboretum Education email alerts. You'll only receive emails on the topics you select, so you can keep your inbox interesting and relevant to you! (Every email contains easy instructions for opting out at any time.)

Program Quick Links

          PlantMaker Studio
            1-Hour Tram Tour
          Guided Walking Tours

          Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

Youth+Adult Together Programs
          Ages 3-5 with adult
          Ages 5-12 with adult

Gardening & Horticulture Classes
          Gardening - General
          Edible Gardening
          Landscape & Design
          Science of Plant Propagation
          Botanical/Floral Design
          Pollinators - Misc
          Pollinator Summit 2018
Fine Art & Crafts Classes
FEATURED Gifts from the Garden: Seasonal Make&Take
          Painting & Drawing
          Fiber Arts
          Mixed Media
          Stone Balancing & Ice Sculpture
          Seasonal & Holiday
          Open Art Studio
Photography Classes
Food & Wine Classes
          Dine with a Chef
          Saturday Cooking in the Kitchen
Home, Health & Beauty

          Home, Health & Beauty

          Book Club
Seasonal & Holiday
Nature Appreciation

          Signature Guided Walks
          1-Hour Tram Tour
Nature-Based Therapeutics


Arboretum Staff
Education Department Statistics

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