Student Field Trips

Student Field Trips

Make learning fun.

Meijer Gardens believes every educational experience should be creative, age-appropriate and relevant. By focusing on main ideas and hands-on learning, our educational offerings are both informative and engaging. Four types of field trip options are offered (details below). When you are ready to schedule your field trip, please fill out the Field Trip Registration Request Form.

*In order to ensure the health and safety of our guests and accommodate additional safety measures due to COVID-19, we are offering a limited number of our Guided Tours at this time. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer School Programs, Classroom Activities or Kids’ Tram Programs. Please complete the registration form by selecting only the available offerings.

Current available offerings:

Self-led Tour

Guided Tour:

  • Japanese Garden Tour: Tradition Meets Innovation
  • Sculpture Park Tour
    Guided tours are available May 1–November 24

Virtual Field Trip (see virtual field trips page):

  • Butterfly Life Cycle
  • Examining Adaptations: Wing it!
  • Art & Science of Observation
  • My Inner Artist: Andy Goldsworthy
  • Biomes and Adaptations

Reduced Group Admission (Self-Led Tour)

  • Explore at your own pace.

Reduced Group Admission:
$4.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and two weeks preregistration is required. 

Various materials and suggested activities are available to enhance your experience. Download and print the guides below for your group before your visit. 

 

* Some 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.

Guided Tour

  • 45 to 60-minutes, curriculum-based, interactive experience

Reduced Group Admission:
$4.00 / Student, Plus Additional $1.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and two weeks preregistration is required. 

Tours are offered year-round and led by trained volunteer docents. Limited tours (Nativity Tour and Holiday Tour) are offered during our annual Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions (mid-November through December) exhibition, and self-led tours are available during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming (March through April).

Description: This 1-hour 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 two weeks preregistration 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.

Description: This 1-hour 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 two weeks preregistration 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.

Classroom Activity

  • 45-60 minute curriculum-based classroom activity

Reduced Group Admission:
$4.00 / Student Plus Additional $1.00 / Student

A minimum of ten students and two weeks preregistration is required. 

Classroom activities allow a teacher to reinforce concepts learned on one of our guided tours with a related classroom lesson.  Groups may also participate in classroom activities independently of a guided tour.  Cost includes room rental, materials, and instruction fees. 

*In accordance with current safety guidelines, Classroom Activities are currently unavailable.  We look forward to offering these programs again as soon as it’s safe to do so.

School Program

  • 90-minute, curriculum-based
    interactive experience
  • A minimum of 20 students and
    two weeks pre-registration is required. 

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

School programs are curriculum-based, hands-on educational activities led by experienced teachers. While most programs are offered year-round, when planning your trip, please note that most take place out-of-doors.  Choose from the following:

*In accordance with current safety guidelines, School Programs are currently unavailable.  We look forward to offering these programs again as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Kids’ Tram Program

  • 45-minute, curriculum-based 
    interactive experience.
  • Minimum of 20 students
    and two weeks preregistration
    is required.

Reduced Group Admission:
$4 / Student,
Plus Additional $2.00 / Student

Kids’ Tram programs are an interactive, engaging and unique educational experience, and themes can be adapted for a variety of age levels.  Please note that Kids’ Tram programs can be scheduled for late spring, summer and early fall, however, are weather dependent.  Choose from the following:

*In accordance with current safety guidelines, Kids’ Tram programs are currently unavailable. We look forward to offering these programs again as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Registration

  • Please fill out the Field Trip Registration Form available HERE.

 

To schedule a field trip, complete a Registration Request Form. All field trips must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance. If scheduling during our Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition, please register early. Please note: once our Education Assistant has confirmed your field trip date and time via confirmation email, then you may consider your field trip scheduled. If applying for a scholarship, groups must first have a confirmed field trip scheduled. 

Please make note of the Meijer Gardens Field Trip Policies HERE.

*Please complete the registration form by selecting only the current available options:

Guided Tour:

  • Japanese Garden Tour: Tradition Meets Innovation
  • Sculpture Park Tour

Scholarships

If you are interested in a scholarship, please complete the form available HERE

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 
Please note, teachers may be granted only one Meijer Gardens scholarship award per fiscal year (October 1- September 30).

Please see our field trip policies for further details.

Eating Options

There are several eating options for field trips including boxed lunches from our James & Shirley Balk Café, a rented classroom, and outdoor public eating area.

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.