Educators, Students & Groups

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.


Guided Field Trips: Sonoran Desert Adventure 

Our programs engage K-8 teachers and students with the Garden’s unique resources with a hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience—and a dose of fun—to help them enjoy the Sonoran Desert and care about it. 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).

Guided Field Trips for the 2018-2019 school year are available Oct. 15, 2018 through May 10, 2019.

Fees for Guided Field Trips

  • $6.50 per student, teacher, teacher's aide and chaperone.
  • $3 fee per person for the Butterfly Pavilion (available Oct. 16-Nov. 16, 2018 and March 4-May 10, 2019).
  • Grant funding may be available for Title 1 Schools
  • Passes, Memberships and coupons are not accepted.

Field Trip Program Summaries - all field trips last two hours unless otherwise noted

Grade levels suggested based on standards addressed during field trip.

Biomimicry: Nature as a Problem Solver (grades 3-8) Standards
Inspired by nature, students design, build and test their creative solutions to solve human problems.

Sensational Search: Using your Senses to Explore (Kindergarten) 90 minutes Standards
Students explore the living and non-living elements of the Sonoran Desert with their five senses through a variety of interactive, hands-on activities. Pre & Post Activities

Desert Buddies: Habitats and Organism Interactions (1stgrade) Standards
Students examine interconnections between living things as they search for Sonoran Desert Buddies- plants and animals that help each other survive. Pre & Post Activities.

Desert Detectives: Lifecycles (2ndgrade) Standards
Students investigate the life cycles of Sonoran Desert birds, plants and insects. Pre & Post Activities

The Secrets of Desert Plants: Plant Parts & Adaptations (3rdgrade) Standards
Students discover the amazing ways that plants have adapted to the desert environment. Pre & Post Activities

Arizona Plants and People: Relationships between People and Plants (Grades 4-12) Standards
Students explore how people, then and now, rely on plants to meet their basic needs. Pre & Post Activities

Science of Survival: Inquiry Investigations (Grades 5-12) Standards
Students utilize the scientific inquiry process to uncover the mysteries of desert plant survival. Pre & Post Activities

Butterfly Beginnings: Butterfly Lifecycles (Grades K-2) Standards
Students journey through different stages of the butterfly life cycle and observe living examples in our Butterfly Pavilion. (Available October 16th-November 16thand March 4th- May 10thPre & Post Activities

Add-on Butterfly Pavilion
Customize any of the above field trips by adding a visit to our Butterfly Pavilion when available (Available October 16th-November 16thand March 4th- May 10th)

Cancelation Policy

  • To receive a refund, you must send a written cancelation request at least 14 days before the scheduled date of your field trip. Please send your written request to
  • Actual attendance counts must be provided to Garden staff and confirmed with the lead teacher’s signature upon arrival. Refunds will be provided for absent students and chaperones if actual attendance fulfills at least 85% of the number provided at booking. Schools will be invoiced for students and chaperones in excess of projected numbers provided at booking (excludes grant recipients).

If you have additional questions, please contact our Children's Registrar, at 480.481.8121 or Abbie Smith, Science Curriculum Coordinator at 480.941.3515 or email

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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