Frequently Asked Questions

We strive to provide excellent customer service for all of our educational programming. Please refer to the information below if you have questions about our programming. For further concerns, please contact our Education staff at 214.515.6540 or During peak seasons (fall and spring), we recommend contacting us via email for fastest customer service.

Scroll down for general education, summer camp, and overnight FAQ.

School Programs FAQ

School Programs FAQ

What types of programs do you offer?

We offer field trips to the Arboretum, outreach programs during the school day at your site, and after school programs at your site. Check out all of our offerings in the Digital Educator’s Guide.

What information should I have ready before scheduling a reservation?

Please see the Field Trip Request Form or Outreach Request Form for required information.

What is the fee for educational student pricing?

Find pricing information for field trips and outreach programs navigating from the Children’s School Programs page.

Can I upgrade to include the Children’s Adventure Garden?

Only Arboretum teacher-led programs include access to the Children's Adventure Garden. At this time we are unable to accommodate upgrades for self-guided groups. Please note that First Adventure is intended for our family visitors and we may limit access to the gallery to school groups.

When should I contact the Arboretum to schedule a reservation?

Reservations for each school year will be accepted beginning August 1. Book your field trip, outreach or after school program early, especially if you plan to visit during Autumn at the Arboretum or Dallas Blooms. To request possible program dates, please complete the Field Trip Request Form or Outreach Request Form to submit.

How do I know which programs are available on which dates?

Check by submitting a request for the specific programs and dates that interest you. You will receive an email confirmation of the field trip or notice of available days for the program requested. Most programs are offered Monday through Friday, throughout the school year. Contact the Education Department at to check specific availability.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. We have access to financial aid for Title I campuses that may reduce the program fees for students in some programs for Arboretum-based field trips. Although we will make every attempt to provide financial aid, we cannot guarantee that all who apply will receive funding. Please complete a Financial Aid Request form online.

When will we receive our bus stipend?

If you have been awarded a bus stipend using our Financial Aid Request Form, it will be mailed to your campus the first week of the month following your visit. A $0 balance is required for bus stipend checks to be awarded.

How long is the average field trip?

We recommend at least three hours for a self-guided visit, but you may spend as little or as much time as you like. An educational lesson is 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration, with the remainder of your time available for children to explore the garden. For a grade level of 100 students, we will need up to 4 hours to rotate all groups through the program. Allow time in your schedule for a picnic lunch, too.

When is the payment due?

A non-refundable deposit of $50 (for invoices of $500 or less) or $100 (for invoices of more than $500) is due within 10 business days from making your reservation. Final payment is due two weeks before your visit date. School checks and credit cards are accepted. Please contact if you are unable to submit your deposit within the two-week window, and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Is it possible to change my reservation date, schedule or attendance number?

All schedule 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 ( at least two weeks before your scheduled visit in order to apply the payment to a new visit date. Cancellations made less than two weeks from the scheduled visit date are subject to full payment.

Are field trip tickets mailed?

No, individual tickets are not printed for group reservations. You will receive a payment confirmation email that will serve as your group ticket, and you will check your entire group in upon arrival.

I’ve already made my final payment, and now extra parents want to attend. What are my options?

The Education Department can provide you the discount adult rate of $15 (which includes the Children’s Adventure Garden) for additional chaperones if you are able to collect from them before checking in, although they may not be able to participate in booked programs due to space limitations.

Late arriving adults may be subject to standard admission rates if their group has already entered the garden.

Any person driving their own vehicle is responsible for parking fees. Discounted parking is available for purchase online prior to your arrival.

What are your cancellation and refund policies?

If you need to reschedule or cancel your reservation, you must contact the Education Department at at least two weeks before your scheduled visit in order for your payment to be applied to a new visit date unless the Arboretum is closed due to inclement weather. All field trips and deposits are nonrefundable.

What should I bring?

Please bring a copy of your payment confirmation email with an accurate count of students, teachers and parents present on trip day. We do not refund for group members absent on the day of your visit.

Where does my program meet?

You will receive a confirmation email with your reservation which gives complete arrival instructions. It will indicate if your bus should arrive to Gate #1 (Main Gate) or Gate #3 (Children's Adventure Garden). For Arboretum teacher-led programs you will also receive a pre-visit email which includes either a Main Garden Map or a Children's Adventure Garden map. You may also find the 2018-2019 Chaperone Guide and Field Trip Tips useful.

What happens if we’re late?

If you are scheduled for a guided program, you should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your first program. When unexpected traffic or stormy weather delays your arrival, please email if possible. We will do our best to accommodate your group, but we are unable to guarantee an adjusted schedule. Our reservations staff is typically outside checking in school groups by 9am, so they are unable to answer telephone calls until all field trip check-ins are completed.

Where do we eat lunch?

Please plan for an outdoor picnic. Lunches and coolers may be kept in the school picnic area. In the Children’s Adventure Garden this is located in the Incredible Edibles gallery. In the Main Garden, the reservationist checking in your group can provide several options to choose from.

Please be sure you clearly mark your school’s lunches and coolers. We highly recommend that you bring wheeled coolers as our staff is unable to assist with moving coolers to your desired location. The Dallas Arboretum is not responsible for lost or misplaced items. Please note that the dining terrace seating, near the main entrance, is reserved for customers only.

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Summer Camp FAQ

How do I register for camps?

  1. Sign your child up for a camp that is the appropriate level for your child.
    A. Children need to be the specified age by the date the camp occurs.
    B. The grade level you choose should be the grade your child will be entering in the fall of 2018.
  2. When you receive the confirmation email, complete the Summer Camp Contact form immediately. Failure to complete this form will delay your check-in. Important camp information will be listed here. If you do not receive a confirmation email, contact reservations at
  3. Save your confirmation email.
  4. You will receive a reminder email 1 week before the camp.

Can I register my child for an older or younger age group?

No. Our lesson plans are carefully designed for certain age ranges.

What if there is no age-appropriate camp for my child’s sibling?

Unfortunately, due to limitations of space, we are not able to schedule every age range in every time slot. We hope that you are able to find a combination of camps that suits the needs of your family.

Where should I park to drop off and pick up my child?

Please enter the Arboretum at Gate 1 and park in the lot. Walk to the Main Ticket booths and you will be directed to the Education Courtyard. Check-in begins at 8:50 a.m. and classes begin at 9:00 a.m.. For your child’s safety, you will need to walk your child into camp each day and sign them in.

At check-in you will receive a car hangtag with a unique pick up code. This is for your child’s safety. Please have your hangtag visible in your car rearview mirror or to show staff when walking to dismissal area. You may use our car pick up line or elect to walk to the dismissal area.

Car pick up: Cars will be allowed to queue for pickup 10 minutes prior to release time. To access this area, enter Gate 1 and continue straight to the car line. The attendant will remove the cones. Cars will be filled in the order of arrival.

Walk up: If you elect to park your car and walk up to the dismissal area, please have your pick up code available when signing your child out for the day.

If you need to pick up your child early, please park in the parking lot and walk to the classrooms. If possible, notify the camp teacher so they will be prepared for your child’s departure.

What should my child wear to camp?

Children should wear comfortable clothes that can get messy. Closed-toe shoes are required due to the uneven terrain in the garden. Hats are recommended. Apply bug repellent or sunscreen before camp if desired.

If your child is attending Adventure Camp or Adventure Camp Jr. you will receive information at check-in regarding suggested clothes/shoes to wear on hiking and kayaking day.

Do you provide a snack?

No. For half-day camps, each child should bring one small, nutritious snack such as a granola bar or fruit. For full-day camps, each child should bring a lunch that does not need to be refrigerated or heated and a snack. Please consider packing peanut-free items due for the safety of other students.

What should my child bring to camp?

Please read your confirmation email carefully for details on what to bring. All children should bring a refillable water bottle and snack. If attending a full day camp, bring a lunch too. Please refrain from sending electronics or toys.

How are the camps staffed?

Each camp consists of a team staffed with a Dallas Arboretum teacher, college interns and volunteers. All staff, interns and volunteers undergo a background check. The average camper to adult ratio is 8:1.

How long are children outside?

Outdoor time is based on age level and the weather conditions. We monitor the weather daily for heat and severe weather advisories. If conditions arise we will limit outdoor activities.

Below are average times per day. Full day camps may have several outdoor activities throughout the day with cooling down time inside.

  • 3 years – Kindergarten: 30-45 minutes a day
  • 1st-2nd graders: 45 minutes -1 hour a day
  • 3rd-4th graders: 45 minutes-2 hours a day
  • 5th-7th graders: 1-3 hours or more a day

Do you offer before or after care?

At this time we do not offer before care. Camp Plus is an after care option on select camps from 3 pm-5 pm.

What is Camp Plus?

Camp Plus is an after care option that you may choose if you are registering for the following camps.

  • 1st-2nd grade camps: Cool Science Explorations, The Secret Life of Bugs
  • 3rd-4th grade camps: Adventure Camp Jr., SciQuest Jr.
  • 5th-7th grade camps: SciQuest

When registering, add the camp and the correct Camp Plus to your cart.

Camp Plus will start once your child is dismissed from the 9am -3 pm camp. Activities will include hands-on investigations, outdoor and indoor games and fun.

Please send 1 small additional snack (nut-free) if your child is staying until 5 pm. Refer to your confirmation email for what to bring to each camp.

Campers need to be picked up no later than 5 pm. The entry gate into the parking lot will close at 5:00 pm. If you are late the following fees will be charged.

  • 1-15 minutes late = $25
  • 16-30 minutes late = $50
  • Excess of 30 minutes late = $10 per additional minute

How do I cancel my reservation?

Cancellations can be made up to 10 business days prior to the class and are subject to a processing fee. Refunds cannot be issued for missed classes or cancellations made less than 10 business days prior to class. Cancellation fees are set for each camp reservation. Cancellations must be sent to

Cancellation Fees

  • Little Critters, Back to the Future, Creature Feature or Creepy Crawlies - $50 per camp
  • Cool Science Explorations or The Secret Life of Bugs - $65 per camp
  • Adventure Camp, Adventure Camp Jr., SciQuest, or SciQuest Jr. - $100 per camp
  • Camp Plus - $10 per camp

How do I transfer my child to a different camp?

Transfers are processed as a cancellation and a new reservation. See cancellation policy above.

Do you offer a waitlist?

At this time we do not offer a waiting list. Please check our website for openings.

What if my child will require a nurse's assistance during camp hours?

At least 2 weeks prior to the start of the camp, you will need to submit documentation stating the reason your child requires the assistance and complete a background check with Dallas Arboretum volunteer department. The individual must successfully pass the background check before they can attend camp with your child. Submit inquiries to

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Arboretum Overnights FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Arboretum Overnights

Where do we check in for our Overnight program?

All Arboretum Overnight guests should arrive to Gate #3 (Children’s Garden private drive) by 6:00pm and park in the surface lot. Late arriving guests may not have access to parking on the premises. Arboretum staff will meet you at the ticket booth beginning at 5:45 and provide instructions for where to take your sleeping bags and other overnight materials. Please do not leave any items in your vehicle that you will need for the overnight as we will be locked inside the Children’s Adventure Garden at 6:15pm. Vehicles and participants arriving after this time may not be able to enter the garden and will forfeit their reservation.

Is there a fee for parking?

No, the parking fee is included with your reservation.

Is dinner provided?

No, dinner is not included with Overnights. Please eat before arriving or bring a sack dinner which you may eat in the Children’s Garden entry plaza. An evening snack and continental breakfast will be provided.

Where do we sleep?

Visitors will sleep inside the climated-controlled Exploration Center which is located inside the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden.

What should we bring?

Please bring the following:

  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Refillable water bottle for each participant
  • Flashlight for each participant
  • Completed Overnight Release for each participant


  • Sunscreen and/or bug spray applied prior to arrival
  • Single size sleeping pad or cot. * We are unable to accommodate double, queen or king sizes.

Can we bring our own food and drinks?

Yes, you may bring your own food and nonalcoholic drinks. We reserve the right to search any coolers you bring into the gardens for overnight programs, and if you are found with alcohol, you may be asked to leave the program with your group, and you will not be issued a refund.

Is smoking allowed in the garden?

The Dallas Arboretum is a smoke free venue. This includes e-cigarettes.

Are we able to tour the main garden also?

The Overnight program will take place entirely in the Children’s Adventure Garden. However, when the program is complete at 9 am, you may continue your adventure in all areas of the gardens.

How do I cancel my reservation?

All schedule changes must be made no later than two weeks before your visit. If you need to reschedule your reservation, you must contact the Reservations Department ( at least two weeks before your scheduled visit in order to apply the payment to a new visit date minus rescheduling fee of $10 per person. "No show" groups are ineligible for a refund.

What is your cancellation policy?

Overnights will be held rain or shine. Please bring raincoats or umbrellas.

The Dallas Arboretum reserves the right to cancel any program for reasons we deem appropriate. Programs that have not met the minimum number of participants within two weeks of the scheduled program date may be cancelled. In the event that we cancel your program, a full refund will be issued and individuals will be contacted directly.

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