Contact: Youth Programs Coordinator
Telephone: (757) 441-5830 x463
To schedule a school field trip or children’s group tour please email the following information to youthed@nbgs.org:
  • Your reservation date and time preferences. (See available dates below.) Groups can arrive at the Garden before their scheduled tour time.
  • The name of the program you would like to reserve.
  • The number of students, teachers and parent chaperones planning to attend.
  • Your complete contact information.

Fall Field Trip Availability (some dates may be booked before website is updated):

  • Tour times available at 9:30, 10:30, & 11:30 (Max 150 students/day)
  • Tour times available at 10:30 & 11:30 only: (Max 100 students/day)
  • Tour times available at 11:30 only (Max 50 students/day)
  • Tour times available at 9:30 only (Max 50 students/day)

School Tours: Fall & May-June

Cost: Guided School Program with Tram

Includes admission to Garden, tram tour from WOW to Visitor Center and a 45-minute guided tour in Children’s Garden (see specific grade level pages for tour and SOL information)

  • $10/student K-8 (school employees admitted for free during field trip).
  • $10/person for adult chaperones (chaperones with Garden Memberships may chaperone the trip free of charge). Chaperones are not guaranteed space on the school tour tram, but will have access to public trams throughout their visit.

Cost: Guided School Program WITHOUT Tram
Includes admission to Garden and a 45-minute guided tour in Children’s Garden (see specific grade level pages for tour and SOL information)

  • $9/student K-8 (school employees admitted for free during field trip).
  • $10/person for adult chaperones (chaperones with Garden Memberships may chaperone the trip free of charge).

Cost: SELF-Guided School Program (recommended for grades 6-12)
Includes admission to Garden and full tram tour of the Garden. Self-guided groups may visit the Children’s Garden after 12:30PM.

  • $8/student K-8 (school employees admitted for free during field trip).
  • $10/person for adult chaperones (chaperones with Garden Memberships may chaperone the trip free of charge). Chaperones are not guaranteed space on the school tour tram, but will have access to public trams throughout their visit.

Availability: Mondays-Fridays
60 students/2 classes max per time slot
Guided tour times: 9:45AM, 10:45AM & 11:45AM
Self-guided tour times: Arrivals beginning at 11AM

Know Before You Go:

Cancellations If you need to cancel a field trip you must notify the Children’s Garden as soon as possible at 441-5830 x463. 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 Youth Education Department’s office at (757) 441-5830 x 463 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.

Visit Tips

  • The maximum number of students per guided group is 30. If you have more than 30 students in your class, it may be necessary to split classes. Classes smaller than 15 may be combined for the guided tour.
  • Should you need to leave earlier than previously planned notify your garden teacher upon arrival.
  • Groups are not permitted to visit the Children’s Garden before 12:30PM unless they are on a scheduled guided tour.

Rates & Payment Information

  • Teachers and bus drivers receive complimentary admission.
  • Finalized group numbers must be submitted to the Garden 48 hours before your visit. Payment for this number of students is required. No refunds will be given for confirmed students who do not attend the program.
  • Memberships may not be applied towards student fees for school tours. Garden members chaperoning school tours will not be charged admission. Non-member chaperones pay the chaperone admission rate at the gate.
  • 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.
  • If most/all of your group will arrive by individual cars instead of bus please notify the registrar at the time of booking.

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.

Specialized Programs: Don’t see the tour you want? Let us customize one for your needs! Cost is $12/student and includes a one-hour tour at the Garden. Planning for the tour includes personalized consultation with a Youth Programs Coordinator to determine the tour topic and activities. A specialized program requires a $50/non-refundable deposit.

School Clubs: For any clubs associated with non-profits, public schools or private schools we offer a $15/student multiple visit pass. The club may visit the garden up to 8 times with the same students up to 8 times during the school year. Each visit must be pre-booked at least 1 week in advance with our Education Department.

Pre-K & Kindergarten: WOW ABC’s

Bring your little ones to WOW to learn about the plant life cycle and plant seeds to take home. Then investigate a giant globe before you climb to the top Discovery Peak using their senses to discover flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits and more. VA SOL: Science: K.1, K.2, K.4, K.6, K.7,K.8, K.9, K.11. VA SOL: Geography: K.3, K.4, K.5.

1st & 2nd Grades: Flowers, Friends, Creepers & Croakers

What is the difference between an evergreen and a deciduous plant? Why do some animals hibernate and some animals migrate? Discover the dynamic relationship between plants and animal, found in the garden.  Explore the different journeys that plants and animals take during their life cycle experience. VA SOL: Science:1.1,1.4,1.5,1.6,1.7,1.8,2.4,2.5,2.7,2.8.

2nd Grade: Plants and People

How did the American Indians use their environment for survival?  Explore the Children’s Garden and compare the homes, tools, and ways of life for the Lakota, Powhatan and the Pueblo. *This Program is designed to be a presentation style program* VA SOL: History/Geography: 2.4, 2.5, 2.8b.

3rd & 4th Grade: Nature in Action

Learn about the interactions between plants and animals in the World of Wonders Children’s Garden, and how they have adapted to survive in their environments. In this guided program, students will explore wetland, woodland, desert, and grassland themed gardens to learn about plant and animal adaptations, the structure of an ecosystem, and the flow of energy through food webs.

VA SOL: Science: 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.10 (a), 3.11 (a), 4.4 , 4.5, 4.9 (b)

5th Grade: Botany Bundle

Students will discuss the differences between plant and animal cells, then explore the plant cell structure and organelle functions. Review the plant life cycle, parts of a flower, and photosynthesis. Students will learn, and demonstrate how, plant’s energy is passed through the food web, and what role they play in their habitat.  VA SOL: Science: 4.4,4.5, 5.1, 5.5.