Youth Education

Field Trips at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Kids playing on a tour of Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Kids on tour of arid house
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Guided Field Trips 

  • Scheduled Field trips are available Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Contact Liz Glynn ( to reserve a date.
  • Pricing: 1-hour field trip: $3/person; 2-hour field trip: $6/person; themed field trip with materials: $8/person. Bus parking: included in guided trips.
  • Docent-led field trips cover topics from basic botany to adaptations and ecosystems.
  • Topics are aligned with Michigan benchmarks and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Deposit is due 30 days before field trip date. Contact Liz Glynn (
  • Scholarships available for Title One schools.

Self-guided Field Trips

  • Self-guided field trips are scheduled Monday-Friday. Reservations for the conservatory are required.
  • Groups without a reservation are welcome to use the trails but may not be able to utilize the gardens or conservatory during their visit. Contact Liz Glynn ( to reserve a date.
  • Field trips are led by teachers and chaperones. We require a ratio of 1 adult for every 8 students for self-guided field trips. 
  • Potential topics range from plant parts and functions to ecosystems. For information and resources click on the self-guided page of our website and scroll down for descriptions of potential field trips.
  • $15 parking fee per bus. Individual drivers must pay for parking ($1.80/hour). Self-guided field trips are free but donations are welcome and help support guided and self-guided field trips. 

Topics include:

Roots and shoots: Explore plants and their needs. Compare the diversity of plant life and relationships to animals.  (pre-K, K, 1st)
Plant & Animal Pairs: Living and non-living things are part of all ecosystems. Explore the ways plants & animals around the world depend on each other for pollination, seed dispersal, shelter and food.  (2nd, 3rd) 
Biomes are Beautiful:  Explore three unique biomes and the characteristics that make them uniqueLearn  about plant adaptations that help them thrive from the Tropics to the Desert. (3rd, 4th)
Ecosystems: Flowers, Fruits & Seeds:  Plant structures are uniquely adapted to their role in an ecosystem. Explore plant adaptations from roots to flowers that aid in survival for both plants and animals.  (3rd, 4th) 
Ecosystems; Energy flows, Matter cycles:  Ecosystems are complex with interdependencies between living and non-living elements.  Explore ecosystem interactions, food webs and energy flows. (5th, 6th)
Great Lakes Ecosystems: Explore the biotic and abiotic elements of ecosystems around the Great Lakes while exploring the Great Lakes Gardens.  Learn how soils, weather and humans impact these unique and diverse plant communities.  (middle and high school)

Looking for an online experience instead? Book a virtual field trip at Matthaei today.

We’re offering an amazing opportunity for classroom groups to visit Matthaei through a virtual field trip. Virtual field trips are easy to schedule, interactive, and fun.
Virtual field trips


Virtual field trips Monday-Thursday between 9 am-1 pm
  • Cost $30.00/classroom + $1.00/student
  • Length of time 45 minutes, includes time for student Q & A at the end
In-person field trips Tuesday-Friday between 9:30-noon 
  • One-hour Conservatory OR Trails $3.00/person
  • Two-hour conservatory AND trails $6.00/person
  • Optional one-hour + terrarium make-and-take activity $6.00/person
To schedule a virtual field trip or for more information contact Youth Education Coordinator Liz Glynn: