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Grow Your Curiosity With Us!

Student Field Trips

With 158 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens and over 200 sculptures, there are many ways to engage your students on a field trip. Check out our guided tours and program offerings, or explore at your own pace with a self-led experience.

Tours & Programs

Self-Led Visits

Guided Tours

This outdoor tour explores the work of world-renowned sculptors. Students will look closely and ask questions to discover how artists’ choices of materials, scale, subject matter and more create meaning in their work.

  • Availability: Available May through November.
  • Tour Length: 60 minutes
  • Objectives:
    • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.
    • Students will learn about sculpture-making processes and materials.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • GLCE: Visual Art:
      • Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.
      • Standard 4: Understand, analyze, and describe the arts in their historical, social, and cultural connections. 
      •  

This tour focuses on biomes and plant adaptations. Students will compare a rainforest and a desert environment with Michigan’s own temperate deciduous forest. Students will ponder why cacti have spines and how plants in the tropics compete for sun.

  • Availability: Available year-round except during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and University of Michigan Health-West Christmas & Holiday Traditions.
  • Tour Length: 45 minutes
  • Objectives: Students will learn how adaptations help plants and animals to survive in different biomes.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science:
      • NGSS: 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
K-12th Grade

Discover fascinating plants from around the world and explore works of art on this 45-minute tour of our indoor sculptures and conservatories. Students will learn how Meijer Gardens uniquely combines sculpture and horticulture while looking closely, thinking deeply, and asking questions about some of our most interesting sculptures and plants.

  • Availability: Available year-round except during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and University of Michigan Health-West Christmas & Holiday Traditions.
  • Tour Length: 45 minutes
  • Objectives:
    • Students will look closely and compare the adaptations and features of plants from around the world.
    • Students will ask questions about works of art and discover how artists create meaning in their sculptures.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science
      • NGSS: 3-LSA-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
    • GLCE: Visual Art:
      • Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.
      • Standard 4: Understand, analyze, and describe the arts in their historical, social, and cultural connections. 

Students become globe-trotting explorers by investigating holiday traditions from around the world. Students will discover similarities and differences between a variety of traditions and make connections to how they celebrate with their families.

  • Availability: Available only during University of Michigan Health-West Christmas & Holiday Traditions.
  • Tour Length: 45 minutes
  • Objectives:
    • Students will compare and contrast holiday traditions from eight different countries and cultures around the world.
    • Students will make connections between diverse traditions and their own experiences.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Social Studies
      • G2: Human-Environment Interaction: Place, Regions, and Culture
      • G4: Global Interconnections: Changing Spatial Patterns
5th-12th Grade

This outdoor tour focuses on exploring the 8-acre Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Students will learn about the traditional elements and structures used in a Japanese garden, and discover the thought-provoking contemporary sculptures that make our Japanese Garden so unique. Students should dress for the weather.

  • Availability: Available May through November.
  • Tour Length: 45 minutes
  • Objectives:
    • Students will learn about the traditional elements of a Japanese garden, Zen-Style Garden and Bonsai Garden.
    • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • GLCE: Visual Art:
      • Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

During this 45-minute tour, guests will look closely and gain new perspectives on works of art, as well as tools for understanding contemporary sculpture. 

  • Objectives:
    • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures. 
    • Students will learn about artists’ inspirations and historical context.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • GLCE: Visual Art:
      • Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.
      • Standard 4: Understand, analyze, and describe the arts in their historical, social, and cultural connections. 
  • Availability: Available seasonally with approval of horticulture manager. (Not available during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and University of Michigan Health-West Christmas & Holiday Traditions).
  • Tour Length: 30 minutes
  • Objectives: Students will learn how our horticulture staff cultivates, cares for, and maintains our plant collection for educational and display purposes.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science
      • NGSS: HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity

Guided Programs

In this program, students become scientists as they explore and identify the variety of plants that grow in and around Michigan’s Farm Garden. Scientists will record their observations about plant parts and their functions in their field journals. Scientists will use all of their senses to investigate common fruits, vegetables, and spices and discover which parts of the plant they come from.

  • Availability: May-October: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space 
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objectives:
    • Students will identify common edible plants and their nutritional benefits.
    • Students will explore the concept of sustainable food production and its importance for human health and the environment.
    • Students will engage in hands-on activities to prepare and taste various edible plant-based dishes.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science
      • NGSS: K-LS1-1 From Molecule to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • NGSS: LS1.A: Structure and Function
    • Writing:
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2
    • Health Education GLCE
      • K-2 Strand 1: Nutrition and Physical Activity

Students will critically examine the features, creatures, and plants that can be found in a wetland from various views along the Frey Boardwalk. Students become scientists as they look closely and think deeply while making observations in their wetlands field journals.

  • Availability: May-October: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space 
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Recommended age level: Grades K-2nd; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level
  • Objectives:
    • Students will learn about the importance of wetlands ecosystems for biodiversity and environmental conservation.
    • Students will identify common wetland plants and animals and their roles within the ecosystem.
    • Students will participate in outdoor exploration and observation activities to observe wetland habitats firsthand.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science:
      • NGSS: 2-LS4-1: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • NGSS: K-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity
    • Writing:
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? How much does a monarch caterpillar grow in 2 weeks? In this program, students learn about metamorphosis while creating a multi-media diagram using pasta to portray the four stages of the butterfly life cycle. Fascinating factoids about each stage are shared. Concepts discussed include insect anatomy, camouflage and other amazing defensive and adaptation strategies. This program pairs well with a self-led tour during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming (March through April) but can be scheduled any time during the year.

  • Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space 
    Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objectives:
    • Students will define, describe and represent the four stages of butterfly metamorphosis.
    • Students will compare traits of several butterfly species.
    • Students will provide examples of adaptations and defensive strategies used by butterflies to survive in their habitats.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science:
      • NGSS: 1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • NGSS: 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Students become butterfly detectives to discover how butterfly wings are not just beautiful—they’re critical to survival. Students will observe pinned specimens and discover wings that are perfectly clear (providing camouflage) and wings that advertise they’re poisonous through bright colors. Those who look closely will discover what else wings can reveal—from a butterfly’s gender to its age. Participants will engage in an interactive critical thinking activity assessed by a game-based quiz to see how much they’ve learned.

This program pairs well with a self-led tour during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming (March through April) but can be scheduled any time during the year.

  • Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objectives: 
    • Students will learn about the structure and function of butterfly wings and how different species use their wings to survive.
    • Students will apply their knowledge of butterfly wing adaptations to critically examine butterfly specimens and draw conclusions to identify specific adaptations.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Science:
      • NGSS: 3-Ls3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • NGSS: 3-Ls4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • MS-LS4.C: Adaptation

Students will explore examples of traditional objects and practices from countries around the world and work together to discover what diverse traditions have in common. Students will then share their stories about traditions they celebrate at home and draft a plan for sharing their traditions with others.

  • Availability: Available during the University of Michigan Health–West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions Exhibition
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objectives: 
    • Students will explore several traditional objects and practices from diverse cultures and identify common themes and values across holidays and traditions.
    • Students will develop cultural awareness by learning about and respecting the traditions of others
    • Students will share experiences and create a representation of holidays or traditions celebrated in their own families or communities.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Social Studies:
      • G4 Human Systems
      • Understand how human activities help shape the Earth’s surface.
      • 1 – G4.0.1 Use components of culture (e.g., foods, language, religion, traditions) to describe diversity in family life.
    • Visual Arts:
      • ART.VA.IV.K.2 Identify and talk about artwork found around the world.
      • ART.VA.IV.6.1 Recognize and describe how art contributes to and reflects all societies and cultures.
      • ART.VA.IV.HS.1 Observe and describe artwork with respect to history and culture.

Allow the ephemeral art works of Andy Goldsworthy to inspire students to create their own art with natural materials in the Sculpture Park. Students will explore and apply the principles of line, color, and form as they work cooperatively to construct temporary works of art using natural found materials. This program is offered year-round and is adapted to grade level and season.

  • Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objectives:
    • Students will learn about the life and work of sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, and analyze the themes and techniques present in his ephemeral creations.
    • Students will explore line, color and form while working cooperatively to create an ephemeral artwork using found materials in the sculpture park.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Michigan Merit Curriculum: Standards for Visual Arts:
      • Standard 1: Apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts
      • Standard 2: Apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts
      • Standard 3: Analyze, describe and evaluate works of art

Become an engineer, fabricator and artist while working with a team to create a sculpture using scrap metal pieces. Students will be led on a tour in the Sculpture Park to explore 3 different creative methods of sculpture (additive, subtractive, and fabrication or assemblage) and discuss what an artist needs in order to create each piece. Students are then challenged to work cooperatively in small groups to build a sculpture that creatively incorporates the design principles they’ve discussed.

  • Availability: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space
    *Available in Spanish upon request.
  • Objective: Students will explore structure and balance to cooperatively create an assemblage using the principles of additive design and include a kinetic component in their finished sculpture.
  • Relevant Academic Standards:
    • Michigan Merit Curriculum: Standards for Visual Arts:
      • Standard I Apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts
      • Standard II Apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts
      • Standard III Analyze, describe and evaluate works of art

Virtual Guided Programs

Coming Soon!

Child Admission and Experience Costs

Cost & Scholarships

Number Of Children Admission Cost Experience Cost
Fewer than 10 Children $55 Group Minimum Admission +$1 per child for guided tours
+$20 ($2 per child for 10-child minimum) for guided programs
10 Children or More $5.50 per Child Admission +$1 per child for guided tours
+$2 per child for guided programs
+$3 per child for Kids' Tram programs (10 child minimum)

Adult Admission Costs

Chaperones

  • 1 chaperone for every 5 children is free

Additional Adults

  • Additional adults are $14

Scholarships

PLEASE NOTE: Teachers may be granted only one Meijer Gardens scholarship award per fiscal year, October 1–September 30. Scholarship funds and transportation assistance are available to groups with a confirmed field trip. Scholarships are awarded to Title I schools in which 40% or more of students meet the federal guidelines and qualifications for additional supportive services. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Two scholarships are available for eligible applicants. The transportation scholarship helps defray bus costs, while the admissions scholarship reduces the entrance fee.

Self-Led Activity Sheets

Download and print any of the guides below for your group visit to enhance your field trip experience.

*The following materials are available to request at the time you make your reservation – please indicate on your field trip registration form

Suggested Activities

Sketching

Sketching is welcomed throughout Meijer Gardens. There are clipboards as well as portable sketching stools for your use. Please request these materials at the time you make your reservation.

Sculpture Guides

All sculpture gallery exhibitions offer a Gallery Guide describing the current exhibition, and many also have Family Looking Guides to provide additional, fun activities related to the artwork. Check in with the Information Desk for current guides and other related materials.

Michigan's Farm Garden Tool Matching Challenge

The 1930’s come alive at our Michigan’s Farm Garden. Discover how farming used to be done by trying our Tool Matching Challenge in the barn. 

Planning Your Trip

Eating options

Eating is only allowed in the following designated areas.

Public Eating Areas

The Meijer-Shedleski Picnic Pavilion is available for outdoor eating on a first-come first-served basis. This pavilion is conveniently located near parking and restrooms.

Lievense Indoor Eating Area is available on a first-come first-served basis and is not reservable. It is located in the lower level of our Welcome Center and has a seating capacity of 110.

James & Shirley Balk Café

  • The café does not take reservations.
  • Outside food and beverages may not be brought into the café. The outdoor patio is for café customers only.
  • Boxed lunches are available. Please email [email protected] for pricing and availability.

Lunchroom Rentals

If space is available, a classroom may be reserved for your use. For reservations, please contact [email protected].
Because Meijer Gardens is a popular corporate meeting site, it is recommended that you reserve your room in advance.
The rental fee is $25 per ½ hour for groups less than 100 and $50 per ½ hour for groups over 100. A deposit is necessary. Full payment for the room is due upon arrival.

For your convenience, your lunches may be unloaded and left in a covered section of the greeting area or in your rented lunchroom. Please package your lunches in large containers labeled with the name of the school as well as the teacher. A greeter will be available to help unload your lunches.

See you soon!

We’re happy to help you plan your field trip or answer any questions that you might have! Please contact our School Programs Assistant Kara Huizinga.

HOURS

Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Monday 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday 9 am - 9 pm
Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE

CONTACT US

scheduled grounds maintenance

On Tuesday, April 16, the Treehouse Village and Woodland Boardwalk in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden and the Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden will be closed due to tree removal for the safety of our guests. Thank you for your understanding. 

Garden closures

Please note: The Harvey Lemmen Sculpture Gallery in the Sculpture Park will be closed May 20-21 for scheduled tree work. Thank you for your understanding.

Spring Break Hours

Extended Hours

Enjoy extended spring break hours until 9 pm on April 1-5.

Extended Member Early Hours

Each Sunday from 9-11 am during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and Saturday, April 6, from 8-9 am. 

HOURS

Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE