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Field Trip Programs

Choose a teacher-led Learning Gallery program, Classroom Lab, Outdoor Lab or explore the Arboretum at your own pace!


Read below to see current program offerings. | View Digital Educator's Guide

To make a reservation please contact the Reservations Department by phone at 214.515.6540, by fax at 214.515.6578 or by email at education@dallasarboretum.org.


Complete a Field Trip Request Online | Download a Field Trip Request Form

If transportation is an issue, we can come to you with our Nature Naturally, Science on the Grow and Auditorium programs. Outreach programs from the Dallas Arboretum will help you build a connection to science that steps beyond the classroom walls.

Are you a Title I school looking for field trip assistance? Complete a Financial Aid Request Form to submit with your reservation.

Learn more about Outreach in Schools Programs | Sign up for the School Programs email list

Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden Click for More

Tuesday–Friday

Pre-K – 12th Grade

$10 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per additional adult

Price includes Children’s Adventure Garden program and entry to entire garden

Make science and nature come alive for your students by visiting our 8-acre adventure garden, the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. It features over 150 hands-on exhibits in 12 exciting learning galleries. Each learning gallery has been designed based on the national and state life, earth and space science standards for elementary and middle school. Your students will walk on a sky walk through the tree tops, look through scopes over White Rock Lake and follow a stairway through a giant tree to see how trees work from the inside out!

Learn more about the Children's Garden


Children’s Adventure Garden Learning Galleries

Reserve a learning gallery for an instructor led program and enjoy the many other areas in this 8-acre laboratory. Your admission also includes access to the entire Main Garden. Be sure to pack a lunch or pre-order box lunches from Two Sisters Catering and enjoy a picnic in the Incredible Edibles learning gallery.


Plants are Alive

Pre-K – 2nd Grade

Your students will enter a magical world of giant plants and flowers, as they discover that plants really are alive. Exploration of this gallery includes investigating plant parts and functions as well as plant life-cycle activities, sorting plant/animal/mineral magnets, a giant 3D flower puzzle and following a trail on the search for leaves, stems, flowers and roots.


Habitats

Pre-K – 6th Grade

Students begin to explore the components of a habitat in a giant eagle’s nest with larger-than-life eggs and then explore the Discovery Loop Trail through a woods and meadow to investigate what lives in a rotting log, a tree snag and in the tree tops. The program continues with a climb up a spiral staircase inside a giant tree up to the tree canopy to see what it is like to scamper like a squirrel in the tree tops.

Living Cycles

1st – 5th Grade

This gallery is all about growth and change. From the changing of the seasons to a plant’s life cycle from seed back to soil, your students will explore different kinds of plant and animal life cycles, investigate pollinators and their role in the plant life cycle and explore the importance of decomposition.


Earth from Space in the Earth Cycles Gallery

2nd – 8th Grade

A weather machine allows students to make wind, rain, fog, a tornado in a tube, check temperatures and test the barometric pressure. Students will use their shadow to become a human clock, learn about the solar system and explore the phases of the moon.


Texas Native Wetlands

2nd – 8th Grade

Bring your students to The Pat & Gill Clements Foundation Programs for Texas Native Wetlands to be immersed in a completely different ecosystem. They will explore this 1-acre wetlands to see how plant and animal species have adapted to live in the water and will visit our island outdoor classroom to do aquatic studies. Then they will go on a guided tour down Dripping Springs Trail to the water hole to see who came for a drink last night.


Kaleidoscope

3rd – 8th Grade

Explore the connection between science, math and art. Your students will experiment with a giant kaleidoscope, investigate the Fibonacci sequence and build their own knot garden. Students will investigate patterns, symmetry and fractals, have the opportunity to create their own designs and examine the plants around them to discover patterns in nature.


OmniGlobe

3rd – 8th Grade

Explore the Earth and space in our unique OmniGlobe theater, the largest in the entire state. A touch screen transforms the sphere into high-tech models of planets, moons and the galaxy, demonstrating continental drift, ocean currents, population density, deforestation, hurricanes, tsunamis, geology, ecosystems and even real time weather events!


Earth Cycles

4th – 8th Grade

The Earth is always changing. Many of the changes to the Earth’s surface come about through the process of weathering, erosion and deposition and the movement of tectonic plates. From our interactive stream tables to hands-on inquiry with rock samples, your students will be engaged in exploration and discovery.


Pure Energy

5th – 8th Grade

Your students will explore three islands, each one focused on a different type of renewable energy source from nature. On the Water Island, students will experiment with a hydroelectricity activity station and an Archimedes screw. On the Wind Island, students will use a giant Air Zooka to feel the power of wind and learn how it can be transformed into electricity. The Solar Island features a solar tree and many exciting activities designed to give your students a new understanding of alternative energy sources and the transfer of energy.

Classroom Lab Programs Click for More

Tuesday–Friday

Pre-K – 12th Grade

$10 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per additional adult

Price also includes admission to the Children’s Adventure Garden 


The Green Machine 

Pre-K–1st

Through an interactive story and hands-on activities, children learn about plant parts, their functions and basic needs. They will each plant their own seeds to take back to school for further investigation.


Ready to Rock! 

Pre-K–1st

Lots of hands-on material and activities will introduce your children to the world of geology. Your students will investigate, sort and experiment with a wide variety of rocks and fossils and learn many amazing new things about our planet.


Awesome Plants 

Pre-K–1st

Hands-on activities introduce your students to the importance and beauty of plants. They will use models and real plants and flowers to learn the reason for each plant part and how flowers make seeds that will become new plants.


Pumpkin Circle (Fall only)

Pre-K–1st

A story, video and hands-on activities explain to children the life cycle of a plant from seed to flower to fruit to seed again. The perfect ending for this lesson is a walk through the Arboretum’s pumpkin patch and a visit to our pumpkin village.


Wings and Tails (Spring only)

Pre-K–1st

A short video, drama and hands-on activities delight and engage students as they explore life stages from egg to butterfly and from tadpole to frog using a variety of materials including live animals (when available) in all stages of growth.


Butterflies and Blossoms

Pre-K–2nd

Through a short video, a book and real flowers; students discover the basic needs of plants and animals, their interdependence and the fascinating life cycle of the butterfly life. A walk through the Arboretum’s incredible floral displays will allow students to see the butterflies in action.


H2 Oh! 

2nd–4th

Students investigate the properties of water, the water-cycle and the different forms of water through experiments, a book and a variety of interactive, hands-on activities.


Plant Power 

2nd–4th

Real plant parts and hands-on activities help students explore the structures and functions of the parts of a plant and investigate the life cycle of the flowering plant.


Earth Explorers

2nd–4th

Explore the world of rocks and fossils and discover how soils are formed. Experiments and hands-on discovery make this a great class to enrich your earth science curriculum.


It's a Bug's Life

2nd–5th

Through a short video and hands-on activities, students explore insect metamorphosis. They learn the common characteristics that all insects share and investigate their behavioral and structural adaptations using models and real specimen.

Blowing and Flowing

3rd–5th

Investigate slow changes to the Earth’s surface caused by weathering, erosion and deposition. Hands-on activities and exciting investigation help students understand how new landforms including plains, valleys and mountains are formed.


Systems for Survival 

3rd–6th

Exciting hands-on activities help students understand the interdependence of systems within systems. Explore food chains, food webs, and predator/prey relationships with skull models and animal pelts.

The Restless Earth

3rd–6th

Investigate rapid changes to the Earth’s surface caused by volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis. Investigations and hands-on activities help students understand plate tectonics and how landforms including mountains, valleys, canyons and islands are formed.


Adapted for Life

3rd–6th

Through instruction and hands-on investigations, students explore the structures and adaptations that enable plants to survive in dramatically different environments. Exciting investigations and real materials make this a great class to help students understand TEKS concepts.


Special Request Program 

Pre-K–12th

Interested in a topic that you don’t see listed here? Additional programs are available, including custom designed labs on soil and the rock cycle and more. Our staff educator will work with you to design a program that meets your student’s specific needs.

Tree Works Click for More

$8 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per additional adult

Price includes general garden admission (Add Children’s Adventure Garden admission for $3 per student)


Trees are the giants of the plant world and provide an exciting avenue for children to explore plant parts and their functions, the interdependence of life in a system, competition for resources and the plant-people connection. This one-hour program of discoveries, hands-on activities and a guided tour helps children develop connections and understanding of life science concepts. Scholarships are available for this program and transportation funds are available upon request.

Little Sprouts Garden Adventures Click for More

Monday–Friday

Pre-K – Kinder

$8 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per additional adult

Price includes Children’s Adventure Garden admission

Squirrel Adventure – Fall only | Butterfly Adventure – Spring only 


Exciting, interactive outdoor programs, specially designed for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The fall program, Squirrel Adventure, focuses on living and non-living things and their interactions within habitats. The spring program, Butterfly Adventure, brings growth and change and metamorphosis to life. Both programs feature a big book story the children can act out a puppet show in our Little Sprouts outdoor theater in the Children’s Adventure Garden.

Our Place at Your Pace Click for More

Monday–Friday

Pre-K – 12th Grade

$8 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per additional adult

Price includes Children’s Adventure Garden admission


Looking for something a little more flexible? Explore Dallas’ most beautiful classroom: the Arboretum’s 66-acre educational adventure on White Rock Lake. Explore the Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden, the mist in the Palmer Fern Dell and investigate the fossils in the water walls at the Lay Ornamental Garden. Your students will be immersed in nature as they explore the beauty and wonder of Dallas’ outdoor science laboratory. We will even provide you with exploration materials to use during your self-guided visit.

Adventure Backpacks Click for More

Monday–Friday

Pre-K – 6th Grade

$5 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free | $15 per backpack rental

Add Children’s Adventure Garden admission for just $3 per student


Rent a backpack for your class that is full of materials and supplies for 30 students and lead your own exciting, interactive and educational visit. Each pack is focused specifically for your grade level or check-out a butterfly pack to investigate the life cycle of this fascinating creature. You will also receive a teacher’s guide to help prepare prior to your visit.

Exploring Elements of Photography Click for More

Tuesday–Friday

K – 5th Grade

$8 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free

Add Children’s Adventure Garden admission for just $3 per student

The Dallas Arboretum provides your class with the unique opportunity to connect with nature as they explore the art of photography. Students will investigate the basic elements of photography and analyze what a photographer must keep in mind when capturing an image of nature in this Arboretum educator-led program. They will employ campus or personal technology (digital cameras, tablets, smart phones, etc.) to create their own nature art photographs.

Nature’s Works of Art Click for More

Tuesday–Friday

K – 5th Grade

$8 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free

Add Children’s Adventure Garden admission for just $3 per student

Students will rotate through three stations investigating the beauty and wonder of trees and flowers that have enchanted artists for centuries in this Arboretum educator-led program. Students will explore color, shape and texture in the nature they see around them, investigate the use of art skills in a variety of jobs at the Arboretum and act out how trees and flowers grow.

Art at the Arboretum Click for More

Monday–Friday

Pre-K – 5th Grade

$5 per child | 1:8 teacher/chaperone free

Add Children’s Adventure Garden admission for just $3 per student

Dallas’s most beautiful classroom is the Arboretum’s 66 acres of educational adventure on White Rock Lake. Explore the mist in the Palmer Fern Dell and investigate the fossils in the water walls at the Lay Ornamental Garden. Your students will be immersed in nature as they explore the beauty and wonder of Dallas’s outdoor science laboratory. A teacher guide and student journals are provided at check-in for this self-led artful trip around the Arboretum. Don’t forget your pencils!

Before Your Trip Click for More

Payment

Refer to your invoice for payment due dates, amount and mailing address. Your reservation may be cancelled if your payment is not received by the due date.

Changes

All schedule and attendance changes must be made no later than two weeks before your visit unless the Arboretum is closed due to inclement weather. If you need to reschedule your reservation, you must contact the Reservations Department (​education@dallasarboretum.org) at least two weeks before your scheduled visit in order to apply the payment to a new visit date.

Refunds

All field trips are nonrefundable. The Arboretum does not issue refunds or tickets for absent group members.

Special Needs

Please let the Reservations Department know if you are bringing children with special needs.

Chaperones/Adults 

Schools are required to maintain the 1:8 adult to student ratio, with those chaperones receiving free admission. Additional adults will booked with the school group will receive a reduced rate but may not attend scheduled programs due to space limitations.

Siblings/Strollers

Education experiences are only open to school-aged children included in the group reservation. Siblings and strollers should not be brought with chaperones.

Memberships

Free admission for Dallas Arboretum members is not valid with school group reservations.

Parking

Education staff will advise bus drivers of their parking location upon arrival to the Dallas Arboretum. Bus parking is free, but may be off-site on high traffic days. Chaperones arriving in their own vehicle may pre-pay for parking to receive a reduced rate. ​Click here to pre-purchase parking​. As chaperones may be required to park in a different location than buses, it is recommended that teachers and chaperones exchange cell phone numbers

Day of Your Trip Click for More

Check-In

School check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Be sure to bring your confirmation email and have an accurate count of students, free teachers/chaperones, and additional pre-paid chaperones.


The lead teacher will disembark from the bus and take the confirmation paperwork to the education reservationist. In the Main Garden, this will be at the Old Ticket Booth. In the Children’s Adventure Garden, this will be at the main ticket booth.


Any additional chaperones that have not pre-paid will pay regular garden admission at the ticket booth. Any chaperone that has parked their vehicle and has not pre-paid for parking should pay for parking at either ticket booth prior to leaving the Dallas Arboretum.

Program Times

If you are scheduled for an educational program, please ensure you are aware of which program you are participating in and when and where it takes place. This information will be given to the lead teacher prior to the day of the field trip.

Lunches

Place lunches in coolers or large boxes and clearly mark your school’s name on them. Unload and bring them into the garden as your group arrives for check-in. Suitable spots for group lunches are provided in the Dallas Arboretum Field Trip 2015-2016 Map provided with registration. Wheeled coolers are recommended.

First Aid and Lost & Found

First Aid and Lost & Found are located at the Information Booth at both ends of the garden. Post-field trip lost item inquiries can be directed to ​volunteers@dallasarboretum.org​.

Field Trip Etiquette

  • Chaperones are responsible for 8 children. They should be in separate groups and remain with their assigned chaperone AT ALL TIMES. This includes entrance into galleries, buildings, and public areas.
  • Children must NOT pick plants, feed animals or step into the flower beds or abuse displays or equipment of any type.
  • Children must NOT climb on rocks, fences, arbors or water features. Rails and banisters are NOT slides.
  • Children should walk (in single file) on pathways for their safety and that of other guests. This means no pushing or shoving of others in any part of the facility.
  • Children should use quiet voices in the garden and inside all buildings.
  • We request that all cell phones be on ‘‘vibrate’’ and should be used by chaperones only in case of emergencies or coordination with the lead teacher. At all times the chaperone’s attention should be on students.

Children who are not in a specific class in a gallery with an Arboretum teacher should have educational goals to EXPLORE, DISCOVER and LEARN. If their teacher has not supplied materials before arrival, please ask a member of the education staff and these materials can be supplied.

Contact the Reservations Department Click for More

Phone 214.515.6540

Email education@dallasarboretum.org

Fax 214.515.6578


Dallas Arboretum
and Botanical Garden


Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
Administrative Office Open Monday Through Friday, 8:30am - 5pm

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