School Field Trip Programs & Children’s Group Tours

NatureKids Guided School Field Trip Programs

Norfolk Botanical Garden is an ideal setting to have a field trip. An oasis of green smack dab in the middle of Hampton Roads, mere minutes away from your classroom but worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Help enhance your student’s learning experience with WOW NatureKids Programs which are held in our World of Wonders Children’s Garden. Can’t make it out the Garden? Then let the Garden come to you with our outreach programs!

Classroom Educator Visits: Bring your classroom teachers, volunteers and administrators to the Garden to prepare for lessons for your classroom. Your visit includes reduced admission, a pre-visit telephone consultation with a member of our Youth Education department and on-site orientation.  Cost: $6/Educator. Pre-registration required.

Boat tours for Educators: $150 fee reserves a guided boat tour highlighting the plants and wildlife around Lake Whitehurst. Reserve up to 23 seats on a private boat tour (2 boats available for groups-for a maximum of 46 seats). Guests can also purchase tickets individually for the public boat tour on a first come basis. See visitor center for public boat tour schedule and ticket pricing.

Field Trip Programs by Grade

General Information

Reservations Advance registrations are required. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. After registering you will receive a confirmation letter by E-mail listing your tour time and schedule.

To schedule a school or children’s group tour please email the following information; the name of the program you would like to reserve, if you would like to add the narrated tram tour to your visit, your reservation date and time preferences, the number of students, teachers and parent chaperones planning to attend, and your complete contact information to Jessica.Hintz@nbgs.org or call the Group Sales Coordinator at (757)441-5830 x311.

Guided School Group Tours Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

  • Cost: $7 per person. Program times are 9:45AM, 10:45AM and 11:45AM.
  • Offered October through mid-June.
  • Includes admission to the Garden and a one-hour educational program lead by a Youth Educator. For tram ride information (additional cost required) see below.
  • Guided school tours booked after January 1, 2015 do not included tram rides unless booked separately (see below).
  • $100 minimum charge/15 students required to book a guided tour.
  • Payment for all participants, including accompanying parent chaperones and siblings must be collected ahead of time by the school and submitted with the group payment at Admission Gate upon arrival on the day of scheduled visit.
  • Guided Groups are not allowed to re-visit WOW Children’s Garden after their tour.

Self-Guided School Groups Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

  • Cost: $6 discounted admission rate per person. Minimum tour fee of $100.
  • One chaperone per every 5 students is complimentary for the self-guided walking tour. Teachers and bus drivers are also complimentary. Chaperone complimentary tickets DO NOT apply to tram tours. Memberships may not be applied to self-guided school tours.
  • Offered October through mid-June Monday-Friday after 1pm.
  • Self-guided school tours booked after January 1, 2015 do not included tram rides unless booked separately (see below).
  • For $2 addition per person, let our Garden Guides take your group on a narrated tram tour of the Garden. Tram rides are approximately 30 minutes in length and are only available to self-guided groups through pre-booking. Minimum booking fee of $50 required to reserve a tram tour.
  • Due to the high volume of Guided School programs, groups are not allowed to visit the WOW children’s garden during the school year unless accompanied by NBG Staff during a guided field trip (Sept-May).

Tram Tours for School Groups Fall 2014 – Spring 2015 

  • School group tours booked after January 1, 2015 do not include tram rides, unless booked separately.
  • Tram rides are considered an additional tour and do not reduce the amount of walking required for a Guided walking tour.
  • Cost: $2/person in addition to the above tour rates. Minimum of $75. Chaperones covered free for admission must book and pay for a tram seat. Teachers ride the tram for free but must still be included in the number of seats booked.
  • Trams are booked for a maximum of 75 people (children and adults).
  • Trams must be booked when tours are scheduled and are subject to availability.
  • If a tram is scheduled but is unavailable due to maintenance or other issues, your group will not be charged for the tram rides.

World of Wonders Children’s Adventure Garden

  • Only groups that schedule for the WOW programs will be admitted into the children’s garden.
  • Groups that are coming for a program in the children’s garden will not be given free time after their program to play.

Rates & Payment Information

  • One chaperone per every 5 students is complimentary for the school tours. Teachers and bus drivers also receive complimentary admission. Chaperone complimentary tickets DO NOT apply to tram tours. Memberships may not be applied to guided school tours.
  • Payment can be made with a credit card, check, or cash the day of your field trip.
  • Make checks payable to NBGS. If using cash, please have the amount collected prior to your arrival.  Payment will be collected at the Tollbooth located at the entrance to the garden.
  • Membership is not included in the tour rate. Parents/siblings participating in the tour must be included in payment, even if they are Members of the Garden.
  • If most/all of your group will arrive by individual cars instead of bus please notify the registrar at the time of booking.

2015 Summer Tours 

Summer 2015 Self-Guided Children’s Groups

Advanced reservation required.  Discounted admission rate includes two hours of access to the WOW Children’s Garden (specific time given at time of booking) and access to the Public Tram Tours (first-come, first-serve).

  • Cost: $8 discounted admission rate per person (ages 3+)
  • One chaperone per every six paid children is free. Minimum fee of $120 (15 children) required to qualify for group rate.
  • Self-guided Children’s Tour Reservations are available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 AM.  Reservations must be booked at least three business-days in advance of arrival date and are subject to availability.

 Summer 2015 Guided Children’s Education Tours

This summer, learn what it takes to make a garden grow, tour the Discovery Peak fruit, vegetable and herb garden, plant herbs in a decorate-your-own flowerpot and learn how to use the herbs in easy, kid-friendly recipes. The cost includes access to the World of Wonders Children’s Garden, a container garden with herbs for each child, and a one-hour guided tour. Groups also enjoy access to our Public Tram tours (first-come, first-serve)

  • Cost: $12/person (ages 3+)
  • One chaperone per every six paid children is free. Minimum fee of $180 (15 children) required to qualify for guided group reservation.
  • Guided Summer Children’s Education Tour Reservations are available Monday-Friday mornings at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 AM.  Reservations must be booked at least three business-days in advance of arrival date and are subject to availability.

Book a Classroom to Enjoy During Your Summer Group Visit

Book a classroom in the WOW Children’s Garden for four hours, to have your own space to access the World of Wonders Children’s Garden (Monday-Friday based on availability). Classroom capacity is 35 people. Cost: $150/ 2-hour rental in addition to Group Rate or Guided Tour fees.

Cancellations If you need to cancel a field trip you must notify the Registrar at 441-5830 x311 as soon as possible. Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Inclement Weather

  • Guided Garden Tours are conducted outdoors rain or shine.
  • In extreme weather conditions, tours can be rescheduled with no penalty if another date is available. Call the registrar’s office at (757) 441-5830 x338 should you need to reschedule. Please dress appropriately in closed-toed shoes and jackets/raincoats if necessary.

Arrival

  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour in case there is a line at the tollbooth. If you arrive to the Garden later than your scheduled start time, your guided portion will be shortened.
  • Bus parking is in the back left corner of the parking lot. Please direct your bus drivers to park and unload the students in this location. Do not unload in front of the Baker Hall Visitor Center.

Lunch

  • We recommend the airport berm overlooking the Norfolk International Airport for a “picnic blanket style” lunch. Bring something for your students to sit on and trash bags to pack out your trash.
  • Due to its size and location, the Picnic Shelter is not available for school groups.
  • Note- during the spring of 2015, sections of the berm will be closed for planting. There will still be plenty of space to picnic, just be aware of areas that you children should not enter.

Visit Tips

  • The maximum number of students per guided group is 25. If you have more than 25 students in your class, it may be necessary to split classes.
  • Should you need to leave earlier than previously planned notify your garden teacher upon arrival.

Outreach Programs (October-February) Can’t make it out the garden? Then let the Garden come to you with our Suitcase Science outreach programs. Choose from a variety of topics, schedule a visit, and let one of our Garden Teachers lead an SOL based program designed to complement your curriculum. $80 per class (maximum 25 students), $60 for each additional class on the same day Limit 3 classes per day with same program. During the school year, Outreach Programs are available October -February only and will be scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoons for 12:30-1:30 pm, 1-2  pm or 2-3 pm.

Outreach Programs (June-August) Can’t make it out the garden? Then let the Garden come to you with our Suitcase Science outreach programs. Choose from a variety of topics, schedule a visit, and let one of our Garden Teachers lead an SOL based program designed to complement your curriculum. $80 per class (maximum 25 students), $60 for each additional class on the same day Limit 3 classes per day with same program. During the summer, Outreach Programs are available June-August only and will be scheduled on Mondays and Fridays 10AM-3PM.

Teacher Resources Handouts and flyers that teachers may download and use in the classroom. Click here to learn more. For more information contact the Environmental Education Coordinator by phone 757 441-5830 x 461 or by e-mail at kim.sabiston@nbgs.org