Student Field Trips

Student Field Trips

Spark Curiosity

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. Register HERE.

  • Registration two weeks in advance is required
  • Minimum of 10 students required to receive a group reduced admission rate
  • $4.00 per student for admission 
  • Tours cost an additional $1.00 per student
  • Guided Programs cost an additional $2.00 per student
  • More information about field trip costs and scholarships here
  • We’re happy to help you plan your field trip! Contact us at fieldtrips@meijergardens.org 

Cost & Scholarships

Child Admission and Experience Costs      
Number of Children Admission Cost Guided Tour Guided Program
Fewer than 10 children $40 group minimum +$1 per child +$20 ($2 per child for 10-child minimum)
10 or more children $4 per child +$1 per child +$2 per child

Please note, teachers may be granted only one Meijer Gardens scholarship award per fiscal year (October 1- September 30). Scholarship funds and transportation assistance is 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 & 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. Download the scholarship application and email completed applications to fieldtrips@meijergardens.org If you are interested in a scholarship, please complete the form available HERE

Please see our field trip policies for further details.

Self-Led Visits

  • Explore at your own pace. Use our self-led activity sheets to enhance your experience.
  • Registration two weeks in advance is required
  • Minimum of 10 students required to receive a group reduced admission rate
  • $4.00 per student for admission

Guided Tours

45-60 minute inquiry-based experience

Additional $1.00 per student 

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Tours are offered year-round and let by trained volunteer docents.

This outdoor tour uses the work of world-renowned sculptors to illustrate artistic concepts. Among the principles explained are scale, materials, placement, style (realistic, abstract and non-objective), surface treatment and setting. Students will appreciate what makes Meijer Gardens unique and understand why we enjoy an international reputation for our permanent sculpture collection. Students should dress for the weather.

Availability: Available May through November.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.  
  • Students will learn about sculpture-making processes and materials.

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will learn how adaptations help plants and animals to survive in different biomes.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS: 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

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.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

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.

Curriculum Connections:

Social Studies Content Expectations: G4 Human Systems

Guided Programs

60-minute, curriculum-based, interactive experience

Additional $2 per student 

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Guided programs are curriculum-based, hands-on educational activities led by experienced teachers.

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades K-2nd; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define, describe and represent the four stages of butterfly metamorphosis.
  • Students will compare and contrast similarities and differences in traits among butterfly species.
  • Students will be able to provide examples of adaptations and defensive strategies used by butterflies to survive in their habitats.

Curriculum Connections:

  • NGSS: 1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • NGSS: 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K–12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will explore line, color and form while working cooperatively to create an ephemeral art work using found materials in the sculpture park.

Curriculum Connections:

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

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 (November 23 - January 2). 

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and two weeks preregistration (link form) required

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will make connections between diverse traditions by exploring examples of traditional objects and practices then share their own traditions with others.

Curriculum Connections: 

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.

Self-Led Visits

  • Explore at your own pace. Use our self-led activity sheets to enhance your experience.
  • Registration two weeks in advance is required
  • Minimum of 10 students required to receive a group reduced admission rate
  • $4.00 per student for admission

Guided Tours

45-60 minute inquiry-based experience

Additional $1.00 per student 

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Tours are offered year-round and let by trained volunteer docents.

This outdoor tour uses the work of world-renowned sculptors to illustrate artistic concepts. Among the principles explained are scale, materials, placement, style (realistic, abstract and non-objective), surface treatment and setting. Students will appreciate what makes Meijer Gardens unique and understand why we enjoy an international reputation for our permanent sculpture collection. Students should dress for the weather.

Availability: Available May through November.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.  
  • Students will learn about sculpture-making processes and materials.

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will learn how adaptations help plants and animals to survive in different biomes.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS: 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

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.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

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.

Curriculum Connections:

Social Studies Content Expectations: G4 Human Systems

Guided Programs

60-minute, curriculum-based, interactive experience

Reduced Group Admission: $4.00 / Student, Plus Additional $2.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Guided programs are curriculum-based, hands-on educational activities led by experienced teachers.

Students will discover that butterfly wings are not just beautiful—they’re critical to survival. Students will learn how butterflies fly and how their wings help to keep them safe from predators. Students will also 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 a student-directed critical thinking activity using iPads and their observation skills to become butterfly detectives.

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 3-6; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the structure and function of butterfly wings and how different species use their wings to survive.
  • Students will use what they have learned about butterfly wings to critically examine butterfly specimens and draw conclusions in a “butterfly detective” style activity.

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-Ls3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-Ls4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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. Students title their sculptures and display them in a mock exhibition. This program pairs well with the Sculpture Park Tour but can be scheduled independently.

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 4-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will explore structure and balance to cooperatively create an assemblage using the principles of additive design
  • Students will work cooperatively to problem-solve and include a kinetic component in their finished sculpture

Curriculum Connections:

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

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades K-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives: Students will explore line, color and form while working cooperatively to create an ephemeral art work using found materials in the sculpture park.

Curriculum Connections:

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

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 (November 23 - January 2). 

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and two weeks preregistration (link form) required

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will make connections between diverse traditions by exploring examples of traditional objects and practices then share their own traditions with others.

Curriculum Connections: 

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.

Self-Led Visits

  • Explore at your own pace. Use our self-led activity sheets to enhance your experience.
  • Registration two weeks in advance is required
  • Minimum of 10 students required to receive a group reduced admission rate
  • $4.00 per student for admission

Guided Tours

45-60 minute inquiry-based experience

Additional $1.00 per student 

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Tours are offered year-round and let by trained volunteer docents.

This outdoor tour uses the work of world-renowned sculptors to illustrate artistic concepts. Among the principles explained are scale, materials, placement, style (realistic, abstract and non-objective), surface treatment and setting. Students will appreciate what makes Meijer Gardens unique and understand why we enjoy an international reputation for our permanent sculpture collection. Students should dress for the weather.

Availability: Available May through November.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.  
  • Students will learn about sculpture-making processes and materials.

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will learn how adaptations help plants and animals to survive in different biomes.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS: 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

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.

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.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 30 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 5th – 12th Grade

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.  

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

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.

Curriculum Connections:

Social Studies Content Expectations: G4 Human Systems

Guided Programs

60-minute, curriculum-based, interactive experience

Reduced Group Admission: $4.00 / Student, Plus Additional $2.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Guided programs are curriculum-based, hands-on educational activities led by experienced teachers.

Students will discover that butterfly wings are not just beautiful—they’re critical to survival. Students will learn how butterflies fly and how their wings help to keep them safe from predators. Students will also 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 a student-directed critical thinking activity using iPads and their observation skills to become butterfly detectives.

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 3-6; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the structure and function of butterfly wings and how different species use their wings to survive.
  • Students will use what they have learned about butterfly wings to critically examine butterfly specimens and draw conclusions in a “butterfly detective” style activity.

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-Ls3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-Ls4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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. Students title their sculptures and display them in a mock exhibition. This program pairs well with the Sculpture Park Tour but can be scheduled independently.

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 4-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will explore structure and balance to cooperatively create an assemblage using the principles of additive design
  • Students will work cooperatively to problem-solve and include a kinetic component in their finished sculpture

Curriculum Connections:

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

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades K-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives: Students will explore line, color and form while working cooperatively to create an ephemeral art work using found materials in the sculpture park.

Curriculum Connections:

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

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 (November 23 - January 2). 

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and two weeks preregistration (link form) required

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will make connections between diverse traditions by exploring examples of traditional objects and practices then share their own traditions with others.

Curriculum Connections: 

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.

Self-Led Visits

  • Explore at your own pace. Use our self-led activity sheets to enhance your experience.
  • Registration two weeks in advance is required
  • Minimum of 10 students required to receive a group reduced admission rate
  • $4.00 per student for admission

Guided Tours

45-60 minute inquiry-based experience

Additional $1.00 per student 

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Tours are offered year-round and let by trained volunteer docents.

This outdoor tour uses the work of world-renowned sculptors to illustrate artistic concepts. Among the principles explained are scale, materials, placement, style (realistic, abstract and non-objective), surface treatment and setting. Students will appreciate what makes Meijer Gardens unique and understand why we enjoy an international reputation for our permanent sculpture collection. Students should dress for the weather.

Availability: Available May through November.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will describe and analyze contemporary sculptures.  
  • Students will learn about sculpture-making processes and materials.

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will learn how adaptations help plants and animals to survive in different biomes.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS: 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

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.

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.

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 30 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 5th – 12th Grade

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.  

Curriculum Connections:

GLCE: Visual Art: Standard 3: Analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.

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.

Program Length: 45 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $1.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: 1st – 12th Grade

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.

Curriculum Connections:

Social Studies Content Expectations: G4 Human Systems

Guided Programs

60-minute, curriculum-based, interactive experience

Reduced Group Admission: $4.00 / Student, Plus Additional $2.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Guided programs are curriculum-based, hands-on educational activities led by experienced teachers.

Students will discover that butterfly wings are not just beautiful—they’re critical to survival. Students will learn how butterflies fly and how their wings help to keep them safe from predators. Students will also 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 a student-directed critical thinking activity using iPads and their observation skills to become butterfly detectives.

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 3-6; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the structure and function of butterfly wings and how different species use their wings to survive.
  • Students will use what they have learned about butterfly wings to critically examine butterfly specimens and draw conclusions in a “butterfly detective” style activity.

Curriculum Connections:

Michigan Next Generation Science Standards:

  • 3-Ls3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-Ls4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

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. Students title their sculptures and display them in a mock exhibition. This program pairs well with the Sculpture Park Tour but can be scheduled independently.

Availability: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades 4-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives:

  • Students will explore structure and balance to cooperatively create an assemblage using the principles of additive design
  • Students will work cooperatively to problem-solve and include a kinetic component in their finished sculpture

Curriculum Connections:

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

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: Available days & times: Monday through Friday; times based on availability of classroom space

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and registration two weeks in advance is required.

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session after Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: Grades K-12; materials and instructional techniques are adapted to grade level

Objectives: Students will explore line, color and form while working cooperatively to create an ephemeral art work using found materials in the sculpture park.

Curriculum Connections:

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

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 (November 23 - January 2). 

Program Length: 60 minutes

Reservation Requirements: Minimum of 10 students and two weeks preregistration (link form) required

Capacity: Up to 40 students per session (multiple sessions may be scheduled for larger groups)

Cost: Additional $2.00 per student per session with Reduced Group Admission

Recommended age level: K – 12th Grade

Objectives:

  • Students will make connections between diverse traditions by exploring examples of traditional objects and practices then share their own traditions with others.

Curriculum Connections: 

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.

Self-Led Activity Sheets

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

*Many of the following materials are available to request at the time you make your reservation. See descriptions below.

Use this field journal to observe, record, sketch and wonder while you explore Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming.

Download and print Butterflies Are Blooming Field Journal

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form 

Why do butterflies’ wings have bright colors and intricate patterns? Use this activity sheet to explore Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and think critically about why butterflies have unique markings.

Download and print "Why These Wings?"

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Take a journey through the life cycle of a butterfly. Learn about the different stages of metamorphosis with this fun activity. Print, assemble and bring it along for your visit to Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming at Meijer Gardens. Show what you’ve learned to your friends and family! 

Download and print the Life Cycle Wheel 

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Explore artwork from world-renowned Black artists, Yinka Shonibare, El Anatsui, Chakaia Booker, and Richard Hunt with this handout. Think deeply to discuss the engagement questions posed for each thought-provoking work of art.

Download and print the Black History Month Handout

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

As you explore our indoor plant conservatories, use this guide to examine interesting plant features and adaptations and make some discoveries of your own.

Download and print Weird and WIld Plants Around the World

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Use these imaginative, child-friendly Activity Cards to help you navigate the ten distinct areas of the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Cards provide suggestions for three age/difficulty levels.

Download and print Lena Meijer Children’s Garden Activity Cards

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Use the Sculpture Catchers to enjoy taking a closer look at the unique sculptures in the Children’s Garden.

Download and print Lena Meijer Children’s Garden Sculpture Catchers

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Search for intriguing sculptures using the visitor map and worksheet. After you find them, try the accompanying activity. Have fun!

Download and print the Family Sculpture Hunt

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Have fun exploring Michigan's Farm Garden!  Use the suggested activities and  imagine what life was like on a 1930’s family farm.

Download and print the Michigan's Farm Garden Activity Guide PDF.

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

Explore the Wetlands with our Wetlands Looking Guide.  From dragonflies to cattails, learn about this fascinating habitat and why it is important.

Download the Wetlands Looking Guide PDF

*available upon request - please indicate on your field trip registration form

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.

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.

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. See image here.

Eating Options

There are several eating options for field trips including boxed lunches from our James & Shirley Balk Café, a rented classroom, The Lievense Public Eating Area indoors, and The Meijer-Shedleski Picnic Pavilion. For more information, see our eating policies.

Eating Outdoors
  • The new 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.
  • Sack lunches are not permitted in any other outdoor area.
  • For your convenience, your lunches may be unloaded and left in the Bus Buddy Nook in the Peter C. & Emmajean Cook Entryway or at the Meijer-Shedleski Picnic Pavillion. 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.
Eating Indoors
  • If space is available, a classroom may be reserved for your use. Please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org for rental fee pricing. A deposit is necessary. Groups are requested to leave the room in a tidy condition. Because Meijer Gardens is a popular corporate meeting site, it is recommended that you reserve your room in advance.
  • The Lievense Indoor Eating Area is located in the lower level of our Welcome Center. This eating area is first-come, first-served and is not reservable.
James & Shirley Balk Café
  • The café does not take reservations.
  • Because of Health Department regulations, food from home cannot be brought into the café.
  • Daily specials are served until 3:00 pm; cold foods are served until closing.
  • Boxed lunches are available. Please email fieldtrips@meijergardens.org for pricing and availability. 
  • If ordering lunches from the cafe, fax the request 10 days prior to the field trip. The outdoor patio is for café customers only.