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

Self-Guided Visits are cancelled through December 2020.

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 by adding 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.

See below for lots of fun and educational ideas for your group! Pick up your self-guided info like maps, chaperone guides, and seasonal exhibit information at the front gate or at the Visitor Center. 

Self-Guided visits for educational groups are available Monday - Friday.
To request an Educational Self-Guided Visit outside of the above days contact the Learning Center Office at 612-301-1210 to discuss your request.

  • Chaperones are free up to 1 adult per 5 students (chaperone count includes teachers, but not Paras and nurses accompanying special needs students)
  • Adults in addition to the 1:5 ratio pay $15 per person.
  • Minimum suggested adult:student ratio is 1 adult per 10 students.


$7.50 registration fee for the entire group
Please pay with credit card at time of booking

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

To Schedule your Visit - 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
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.*
*We are temporarily working from home during Covid-19, we may return phone messages from a home phone 

Cancellations & Exchanges
Cancellation policy
COVID-19 Class Updates

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

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Subscribe here to join Arboretum mailing lists that interest you, and be among the first to know about what's happening at the Arb!

Share your feedback
Use this feedback form to share anonymous feedback about educational programming with the Arboretum Education Team.

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