School Programs


Schoolchildren exploring the Coastal Plain habitat garden with a guide.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a variety of on-site, hands-on field trip programs focused on plants and nature for school groups. All programs are aligned with the Common Core and Essential Standards. Each program is one hour and can be offered for up to 60 students per program, per day. Although each field trip is recommended for a specific grade level, they can be adapted for different ages.

Field Trip Programs

Caterpillar photo

Sense-sational Nature (formerly Herbal Adventures) - For Pre-K: We experience nature best when we use our senses! Young children will discover the sights, sounds, feels, and smells of the Garden during activity stations and a five senses walk.

Flora Explorers: Recommended for 1st Grade Classes—This hands-on program is designed to teach students about the different parts of a plant, and how those parts play a role in helping the plant survive.

From the Mountains to the Coast: Recommended for 3rd Grade Classes—In this lesson, students learn about the different geographic regions of North Carolina and how plant communities are shaped by the regions’ unique climates and soils. Students also have the opportunity to explore the different soils of the regions, learn about carnivorous plants and dissect the leaf of the carnivorous Pitcher Plant.

Native Plants, Native People: Recommended for 4th Grade Classes—This interdisciplinary lesson focuses on both Science and Social Studies. Students are introduced to American Indian tribes of the different regions of North Carolina. Students learn about their history, lifestyles, and the unique ways in which they used plants to meet their daily needs. This lesson aligns with the Essential Standards for Social Studies.

General Tours of the Garden—The North Carolina Botanical Garden also offers tours of the Garden that can be general or focused on a particular topic.

Self-Guided Tours— There is no fee for a Self-Guided Tour, however, groups of 10 or more are required to register at least 4 weeks in advance so that we can coordinate your visit with our on-site program schedule. To register for a Self-Guided Tour, please contact Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator.

students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Scheduling a Field Trip Program

Field trip requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning August 23, 2017.

2017-2018 Field Trip Season—Sept. 27 to Nov. 17, 2017 and Mar. 24 to May 25, 2018. The Garden is closed on Mondays and state holidays. Field trips not available on the following Tuesday mornings: Sept. 12, 26; Oct. 10, 24; and Nov. 7, 2017; Apr. 10; May 8, 22, 2018.

Fee— The fee for a field trip program is $2 per student with a minimum of $30 per program. Maximum capacity is 60 students per program, per day.

Chaperones— We require one adult chaperone for every 5 students. A maximum of 12 chaperones, including teachers, per program are permitted.

Limited Financial Assistance—In an effort to reach public schools that are most in need, we offer a limited number of partial fee waivers for Title I schools. To request a fee waiver, contact Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator.


1. Complete the Field Trip Request Form. We do not accept registrations over the phone.
2. Once your field trip is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email and invoice within 5 business days.
3. Please contact Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator, with questions.

If you have already scheduled your visit, see our Preparing For Your Field Trip page.

Updated on February 10, 2017 at 11:01:28 am.