for your group or your school (students age 15 and under)
The perfect solution for schools or scouting groups who want to explore the Arboretum at-your-own-pace! Extend the learning of an Arboretum field trip and add a self-guided tour, or plan a self-guided tour of the Arboretum for your school/education group.
All groups, self-guided or otherwise, must reserve self-guided visits in advance.
Pick up your self-guided info packet of maps, chaperone guides, and seasonal exhibit information at the front gate when you arrive. The Visitor Center Information Desk or the Learning Center Education Office may have suggestions as well!
Chaperones are free up to 1 adult:5 students (this ratio includes teachers)
1:10 minimum suggested chaperone:student ratio
1:5 included in Self-Guided Reservation fee
• Adults in addition to the 1:5 ratio pay $15 gate admission
• Paras and nurses accompanying special needs students are not included in these numbers
$7.50 registration fee for the entire group
Please submit payment when registration is made
Adults in excess of the 1:5 chaperone:student ratio (or pay at the Gatehouse upon arrival)
To Schedule your Visit NEW! Online Registration
| Step 1
||Login or Create a Profile
Returning Users login on left side of page
New Users create profile on right side of page
| Step 2
||Browse availability calendar
Browse available dates and book your group's visit
Full Calendar View May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018
| Step 3
||Book your date and time
Your user log-in info from STEP 1 will auto-fill on the registration form.
Remember to add extra chaperones, if applicable
||Review Chaperone Guide, Meeting Location, and Arrival information below
To contact a Learning Center Registrar or to register by phone/email
Download the Chaperone Guide
A guide to the top 7 Arboretum spots for teachers, educators, and parents to bring kids for sensory, STEM-inspired learning!
Download and print the Chaperone Guide
Select Group Meeting Location
The Arboretum is a BIG place to explore! Decide on your group's meeting location and share that information with members of your group who may be arriving separately, such as parents. Suggested meeting locations include the Snyder Building, Oswald Visitor Center, or Ordway Picnic Shelter
view Arboretum map
As you drive in to the Arboretum, check in at the Arboretum Gatehouse* and identify the name of your group.
* If you have reserved a GreenTime Backpack (see Visit Add-Ons below), you will pick it up at the Gatehouse.
|Self-Guided Visit Suggested Enhancements
Preschool - Grade 1
$30 per backpack rental + $7.50 registration fee
The Green-time Backpack has stories, props and everything you need to lead a "discovery + fun" visit for a curious group of young learners. One Backpack serves up to 30 students. Pre-reserving your backpack(s) ensures that your packs will be at the front gate ready for you to pick-up on the day of your visit.
Download the Leader's Guide
Top Ten Places to Visit with Kids
1. Maze Garden
Will you lose yourself? Or find your way through Try both mazes!
2. Weekend Family Fun
Experience "hands-on plants" for all ages, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-4pm year-round; theme changes monthly.
3. Green Play Yard
It's natural fun especially designed for ages 5 and under.
4. Bog Walk on Green Heron Trail
Take the boardwalk across Green Heron Pond; look for herons, dragonflies, orchids and tamaracks.
5. Japanese Garden
Sit in the Garden House, listen to the rushing waterfall, count the koi.
6. Shade Tree Exhibit
Meet some trees that could live in your yard, and check out the little playhouses.
7. Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Do a walkabout and see what homegrown crops are ripening today.
8. Under The Oak
Build your own stick fort and crawl through the Twigloo.
9. Weeping Trees
How do some of them grow to look like green elephants?
10. Herb Gardens
The "scratch-and-sniff" idea started with herbs; rub their leaves gently and try a few!
Your Bog Adventure
Use this guide to find your way to more nature and more discoveries as you take the half-mile Green Heron Trail loop around Green Heron Pond. "Your Bog Adventure" includes 5 activities to do with children ages 5-11. You can print your own copy at home to bring, or pick up a free copy at the Oswald Visitor Center when you arrive. Allow 30-45 minutes. Are you ready to explore?
Print Bog Adventure Page 1 Print Bog Adventure Page 2
Your Garden Fun Finder
Sprout some green curiosity as you explore the glorious display gardens near the Oswald Visitor Center. "Your Garden Fun Finder" offers 8 activities to do with children ages 5-11. You can print your own copy at home to bring, download it to your mobile device (e.g. iPad, Kindle, phone), or purchase a copy at the Arboretum Gift Store when you arrive. Allow 30-45 minutes.
Print Garden Fun Finder
Download to your mobile device
Also check out:
Weekend Family Fun
or email: ArbTrips@umn.edu
Arboretum Education Office Hours
Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
Email Arboretum Education at
Call Arboretum Education at
Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.
Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy
The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the green "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.
Share your feedback
Your opinions are important!
The Arboretum strives to create classes that are relevant, useful and provide value. Use this form to share anonymous feedback about educational programming with the Arboretum Education Team.
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Program Quick Links
FREE & LOW COST
NaturePlay for Wee Ones begins June 2018
Garden Fun Stops begins June 2018
1-Hour Tram begins April 28, 2018
Guided Walking Tours begins May 3, 2018
Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk
YOUTH & FAMILIES
Ages 0-5 with adult
Ages 3-5 with adult
Ages 7-12 with adult
Summer Youth Programs
Ages 5-13 Weekly Children's Garden
Ages 5-7 Day Camps
Ages 7-11 Day Camps
Ages 7-11 Day Camps *Fridays*
Ages 5-10 Groups/Summer Field Trips
Ages 12-15 Counselor-In-Training
Gardening & Horticulture Classes
Gardening - General
Edible Garden Year
Landscaping & Design
Fungi & Mushrooms
Master Gardener Regional Conference
Fine Art & Crafts Classes
Sculpting & Sculpture
Jewelry & Wearable Art
Open Art Studio
Food & Wine Classes
Dine with a Chef
Saturday Cooking in the Kitchen
Health & Home
Natural Soap & Beauty
Animal-Assisted Interventions Trainings
Education Staff Bios
Click here to see brief profiles of Arboretum Education staff members.