Field Trips & Self-Guided Tours

A natural learning environment.

Desert Botanical Garden is a natural learning environment for students of all ages. Browse our field trip programs to see overviews, fees and other information.

Field Trip Offerings

Click here to learn more about raising money for your field trip through Goodwill of Central Arizona.
Click here to learn more about transportation for your field trip through Valley Metro.


Teacher Workshops

Teacher Appreciation Night

August 29, 2015 / 7 - 9 p.m.

Join us for Teacher Appreciation Night at flashlight tours. Flashlight tours are a sensory experience where you will see, hear and feel the desert night. Stop by our discovery stations to learn about some of the plants and animals that make night time in the Sonoran Desert so magical. Teachers and a guest are free, with a valid teacher ID, that evening so bring the family and have a bit of fun before summer is over. Reservations are preferred, but not required.

STEAM/Biomimicry Workshops | Register

November 21, 2015 / 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. OR

February 6, 2016 / 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Biomimicry is an exciting way to solve human problems by looking to nature for the answers. It’s a great way to engage your students in engineering, critical thinking and multi-disciplinary learning. Workshops will be $20, held from 9 a.m. to noon, and include snacks, Professional Development Certificates, and Garden admission. Pre-registration is required.

Guided Field Trips: Sonoran Desert Adventure | Request a Guided Field Trip

School Field Trips for Pre-K through 8th Grade

Please note portions of the registration process have changed for the 2015 - 2016 school year.

Designed and taught by Desert Botanical Garden educators, we offer innovative field trips for grades Pre-K through 8. Our programs blend the Garden’s unique resources with a hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience—and a dose of fun—to get students excited about nature.

Garden field trips are specifically designed to complement your school district's educational objectives, and correlate with Arizona Academic Standards and Arizona’s College & Career Ready Standards (Common Core), and we are renowned for advancing excellence in science education by:

  • Getting students involved with interactive, hands-on, inquiry-based investigations
  • Stimulating an interest in scientific concepts, and nurturing a stewardship of the desert
  • Encouraging a natural curiosity about the world

Guided Field Trips for the 2015-2016 school year are available October 5 through May 13.

Adult Chaperones

  • No more than one (1) non-teacher adult for every five (5) students maximum at the discounted rate.
  • Chaperones in excess of the 1:5 ratio will pay regular admission rates ($22) at Admissions on the day of the tour.
  • Chaperones arriving late will not be escorted to their children for the safety of our participants.

Siblings   
Tag-along siblings and children in strollers are not permitted on the guided field trips.

If district or program policies differ, please contact the Children’s Registrar at 480 481.8121 or email teacherRSVP@dbg.org

Preparing for your Guided Field Trip

The documents below will help you prepare for your Sonoran Desert Adventure field trip to the Garden. 

If you have additional questions, please contact our Children's Registrar, at 480 481.8121 or email teacherRSVP@dbg.org.

Fees for Guided Field Trips

  • $6.50 per student, teacher, teacher's aide and chaperone.
  • Passes, Memberships and coupons are not accepted.

Paying for your Guided Field Trip

  • Full Payment or approved purchase order is due no later than 30 days prior to your scheduled tour.
  • We accept approved purchase orders, checks and major credit cards. Make checks and purchase orders payable to Desert Botanical Garden and note the school name and confirmation number from your ticket.
  • Memberships and coupons may not be used toward guided tours as they are considered a special program.
  • For Purchase Orders, the balance is due within 30 days of receipt of the final invoice. Final invoice will be mailed to address on Purchase Order.
  • Checks will not be issued for refunds less than $10.

Send check payment to:
Desert Botanical Garden
Attn: Business Office
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Send PO or Credit Card payment to:
Desert Botanical Garden
Attn: Education – Children’s Registrar
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone: 480 481.8121
Fax: 480 481.8189

Cancelation Policy

  • All cancelations must be submitted in writing to teacherRSVP@dbg.org and confirmed via email by Desert Botanical Garden. Phone cancelations will not be accepted.
  • Full refunds are available for cancelations made at least 15 business days prior to scheduled guided tour.
  • Cancelations made less than 15 business days prior to the event will incur a 30% cancelation fee unless rescheduling to a later date.
  • Cancelations made within five business days of the program or not showing on the day of will not receive a refund even if rescheduling.
  • If the event is canceled by the Desert Botanical Garden due to lack of payment, a 30% fee will apply.

If you have additional questions, please contact our Children's Registrar, at 480 481.8121 or email teacherRSVP@dbg.org Tuesday through Friday.

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Tour Summaries

Nature as a Problem Solver: A STEM Curriculum 
2 hours, suggested for grades 3-4 / Standards
Students are introduced to an exciting new way to look at nature as inspiration for solving human problems or biomimicry. Observation and experimentation with plants and works of art will encourage discussion, wonder, and creativity. Take-Away Post Visit Activity and Materials to be completed in classroom will be provided by the Desert Botanical Garden. Pre & Post Activities

Solutions Inspired by Nature: A STEM Curriculum
2 hours, suggested for grades 5-8 / Standards
Students are introduced to an exciting new way to look at nature as inspiration for solving human problems or biomimicry. Observation and experimentation with plants and works of art will encourage discussion, wonder, and creativity. Take-Away Post Visit Activity and Materials to be completed in classroom will be provided by the Desert Botanical Garden. Pre & Post Activities

Are You A Yucca?: Basic Plant Parts
90 min., Suggested for: Pre-Kindergarten / Standards
Children will travel through the Garden to different plant parts themed discovery stations. At the discovery stations students can pick a seedling, travel through roots “underground” and test to see if different leaves have their own scent, learning through their senses. At the end the students will decide as a group whether or not they are a yucca. Pre & Post Activities

The Magic of Desert Plants: Basic Plant Parts
2 hours, Suggested for Kindergarten, Standards
Students discover the magical world of desert plants through a variety of activities designed to captivate young minds. Students learn the role of roots, what is hidden in leaves, a secret about stems, and more. Pre & Post Activities

Desert Buddies: Habitats & Organism Interactions
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 1, Standards
Students will be intrigued by our unique Sonoran Desert plants and animals and the way they help each other. Students investigate the desert habitat and its interconnections of living things. Pre & Post Activities

Desert Detectives: Lifecycles
2 hours, Suggested for Grades 2, Standards
Students examine the life cycles of the saguaro, the agave and a cactus wren. Stories and activities teach students about the importance of each stage in these organisms’ lives. Pre & Post Activities

The Secrets of Desert Plants: Plant Parts and Adaptations
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 3, Standards
Students explore the amazing ways that plants have adapted to the desert environment. Activities help students investigate how stems store water, roots gather water and leaves keep water from escaping. Pre & Post Activities

Arizona Plants & People: Relationships between People and Plants
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 4, Standards
Students will discover how native plants are used for food, shelter and tools and how people rely on plants today, just as they have for thousands of years. Pre & Post Activities

Science Survival: Scientific Method
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 5, Standards
Students go through the steps of the scientific method and simultaneously learn about desert plants. Students need their critical thinking hats on for this tour! Pre & Post Activities

Transpiration: The Journey of Water
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 6, Standards
Students investigate the path that water follows through a plant using challenging experiments and field study. Pre & Post Activities

A Key to Desert Plants: Dichotomous Key
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 7, Standards
Students will explore the Garden as they use a dichotomous key to learn about agaves, wildflowers, cacti, and trees. Using this scientific tool, students will sharpen their observation skills, and learn to correctly identify desert specimens. Pre & Post Activities

Flower Power – the Genetic Journey
2 hours, Suggested for Grade 8, Standards
Students will explore the reproductive process of flowering plants during this tour. Students investigate the structure of seeds, flowers and fruit, match plants with their pollinators and use a Punnett square to cross-genetic traits. Pre & Post Activities

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Self-Guided Group Tour | Request a Self-Guided Group Tour

For students of all ages

What is a Self-Guided Group Tour?

  • Small educational groups (youth organizations, elementary, middle and high schools, and colleges) are encouraged to visit the Garden on their own, with their teachers and chaperones serving as guides.
  • Self-Guided Group Tours are available year round
  • Groups of 25 or more may have a Garden Representative assigned to assist in navigating the Garden.
  • A visit to the Garden during Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden highlights Munro’s interpretation of the wonderful flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert.  More information about the exhibit can be found here. Select the Special Munro Exhibit Self-Guided Visit Ticket to make sure you don’t miss this opportunity!

Chaperone Policy:

  • Students must be accompanied by an adult at all times. We recommend the ratio of one (1) adult per ten (10) students.
  • To ensure a quality experience for all visitors, please limit group size to 20 students.

To schedule a Self-Guided Group Tour:

  • Self Guided Group Tours must be booked at least ten (10) business days in advance
  • Complete the request form

Paying for your Self Guided Group Tour

  • Full Payment or approved purchase order is due no later than 30 days prior to your scheduled tour.
  • We accept approved purchase orders, checks and major credit cards. Make checks and purchase orders payable to Desert Botanical Garden and note the school name and confirmation number from your ticket.
  • Memberships and coupons may not be used toward guided tours as they are considered a special program.
  • For Purchase Orders, the balance is due within 30 days of receipt of the final invoice. Final invoice will be mailed to address on Purchase Order.
  • Checks will not be issued for refunds less than $10.

Send check payment to:
Desert Botanical Garden
Attn: Business Office
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Send PO or Credit Card payment to:
Desert Botanical Garden
Attn: Education – Children’s Registrar
1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone: 480 481.8121
Fax: 480 481.8189

Cancelation Policy

  • All cancelations must be submitted in writing to teacherRSVP@dbg.org and confirmed via email by Desert Botanical Garden. Phone cancelations will not be accepted.
  • Full refunds are available for cancelations made at least 15 business days prior to scheduled visit.
  • Cancelations made less than 15 business days prior to the event will incur a 30% cancelation fee unless rescheduling to a later date.
  • Cancelations made within five (5) business days of the visit or not showing on the day of will not receive a refund even if rescheduling.
  • If the event is canceled by the Desert Botanical Garden due to lack of payment, a 30% fee will apply.

Fees

  • $8 per student, teacher, teacher’s aide and chaperone.
  • $12 per student, teacher, teacher’s aide and chaperone for Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden.
  • Passes and Memberships are not accepted.

If you have additional questions, please contact our Children’s Registrar at 480 481.8121 or email teacherRSVP@dbg.org Tuesday through Friday.

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Independent Study | Request Independent Study

Visits for students ages High School through College

What is an Independent Study?

  • Teachers assign a independent project to their students related to visit(s) to the Garden.  Students visit the Garden on their own during a specified time period.
  • Teachers submit a roster of students to the Garden and the Garden tracks the students who visit the Garden.

To schedule an independent study for your students:

  • Independent Study visits must be booked at least 10 business days in advance.
  • Complete the request form AND email your complete, alphabetized student roster to teacherRSVP@dbg.org or fax to 480 481.8189.
  • Students will not be admitted at the discounted rate without being on a received roster.
  • Please include the names of all participating instructors in the comments section.
  • Payment will be accepted at admissions the day of your visit.

Fees

  • $8 per student, teacher, teacher’s aide and chaperone
  • Passes and Memberships are not accepted

If you have additional questions, please contact our Children’s Registrar at 480 481.8121 or email teacherRSVP@dbg.org


Sponsored by The Arizona Republic, Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona, The Boeing Company, Cox Charities, The Dorrance Family Foundation, the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Foundation, the Ferry Family Foundation in Memory of Ernest S. and Virginia D. Ferry, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, The Fred Maytag Family Foundation, Meridian Bank, N.A., Phoenix Suns Charities and the U.S. Bank Foundation.
 

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