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.


Click here to learn more about transportation for your field trip through Valley Metro.

Guided Field Trips: Sonoran Desert Adventure 

Our programs engage preK-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 2017-2018 school year are available October 16 through May 11.

Fees for Guided Field Trips

  • $6.50 per student, teacher, teacher's aide and chaperone.
  • $3 fee per person for the Butterfly Pavilion (available October 16-November 16, 2017 and March 5-May 11, 2018).
  • Passes, Memberships and coupons are not accepted.

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


Biomimicry: Nature as a Problem Solver (grades 3-5) Standards
Students are introduced to an exciting new way to look at nature as inspiration for solving human problems. Observation and experimentation with plants and featured works from the Jun Kaneko Sculpture Exhibit will encourage discussion and creativity.

Dynamic Desert: Proportions, Ratios and Scale (grades 6-8)
Students will hone their math and design skills with inspiration from the featured works in Jun Kaneko Sculpture Exhibit.

Desert Science Focus

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

Desert Buddies: Habitats & Organism Interactions (1st grade) 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 (2nd grade) Standards
Students examine the life cycles of plants, birds and insects. 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 (3rd grade) 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 (4th grade & up) 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 of Survival: Inquiry Investigations (5th grade & up) Standards
Students utilize the scientific inquiry process and simultaneously learn about desert plants. Students need their critical thinking hats on for this experience! Pre & Post Activities.

Butterfly Focus: $8.50 per person. Includes a visit to the Butterfly Pavilion. Available Oct. 16 to Nov. 17, March 5 to May 11

Are You a Butterfly?  Butterfly Characteristics (Pre-K) 90 minutes. Standards
Students will have the opportunity to mimic butterflies and observe live butterfly bodies and behaviors in our Butterfly Pavilion (when available). Pre & Post Activities.

NEW - Butterfly Beginnings: Butterfly Lifecycles (grades K-2)
Students will explore the different parts of the butterfly life cycle and observe living examples in our Butterfly Pavilion.

Butterflies: Survive and Thrive (grades 3-5) Standards
Students will explore and evaluate the different resources and threats that a butterfly may encounter in its habitat during each stage of the lifecycle. Pre & Post Activities.

Cancelation Policy

  • Cancelations must be submitted in writing only to and confirmed via email by Desert Botanical Garden. 
  • 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 5 business days or no-show the day of will not receive a refund.
  • If the event is canceled by Desert Botanical Garden due to lack of payment, a 30% fee will apply.
  • Tours run as scheduled regardless of weather, unless contacted by Desert Botanical Garden staff by phone or email. 

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

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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