Programs

First Grade Field Trips

Content Detail

Guided adventures are available during the spring and fall school seasons.

  • Available for pre-K through 12th grade
  • First grade guided programs are 1.5 hours
  • Morning programs are scheduled Monday through Friday, 9:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Afternoon programs are scheduled Monday through Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • For a full day option, pair two half-day programs together (not currently available due to COVID-19 mitigations).

Visit the Plan Your Field Trip webpage to help you and your classroom prepare.

Spring to Life (spring only)

1.5 hours | 200 students maximum

From flowers on the ground to nests in trees, observe nature waking up from winter. Use your senses to experience new life, and learn about how plants and animals adapt to the seasons. Enjoy flowery scents, observe spring colors, listen for baby birds, and even catch a few insects.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • K-ESS1-2: Make observations at different times of the year to relate the amount of daylight to the time of the year.
    • K-ESS2-1: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
    • 1-LS1-2: Read texts and use media to determine patterns in the behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive.
    • 1-LS3-1: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like their parents.
  • Half day:
    $8 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

It's Fall! (fall only)

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum

Explore seeds and leaves of trees to discover how nature prepares for winter. Use your senses to experience life in the Arboretum, and learn about how plants and animals adapt to the seasons. Observe nature in autumn up-close while learning about fall color, seeds, and animals.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • 1-LS1-1: Survival
    • 1-LS3-1: Seeds
  • Half day:
    $8 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

Bugs Abound

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum

Get up close and personal with insects and other invertebrates. Students use active inquiry to explore the component parts and life cycles of bugs and butterflies. Sweep the fields to discover the diversity of bugs in this region, find out how bugs move, locate and compare habitats and diets, and observe interesting characteristics.

  • This program emphasizes the following Next Generation Science Standards:

    • 1-LS1-1: Survival
    • 1-LS1-2: Life cycle stages
    • 1-LS3-1: Body parts and adaptations
  • Half day:
    $8 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

Leave No Child Inside

1.5 hours | 180 students maximum

A growing body of research says that unstructured time spent outdoors in nature is critical to children's physical, social, and emotional development. Such outdoor experiences can foster creativity, emotional well-being, independent learning, and problem-solving. The beauty of the Arboretum changes daily, and students will have an opportunity to explore whatever is most interesting on the day of their visit. One of our guides will be on hand to answer questions and guide students to exciting observations, but the focus is on free exploration of nature.

  • This program is not meant to address any specific Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Half day:
    $8 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

Self-guided adventures are available year-round and can be scheduled Monday through Friday during open hours.

Children's Garden

Self-paced | 400 students maximum

The Children's Garden is an enclosed 4-acre garden designed to spark curiosity about trees and the natural world as children play. The Children's Garden is a self-guided option for students in kindergarten through third grade only. Registered school groups in pre-K to third grade can also reserve explorer backpacks to enhance their educational experience. Register one pack for every 10 students. (Backpacks are limited for groups of 200 or less).

  • This program is not meant to address any specific Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Half day:
    $6 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

Woodlands, Wetlands, and Prairies

Self-paced | 180 student maximum

Make discoveries on your own while exploring the Arboretum’s woodlands, wetlands, and prairies (no support materials provided). Below are some suggested itineraries that take up to approximately 90 minutes. These options may include interpretive trail signs.

East Side: Starting at Parking Area P-8, walk the Joined Loops 3 and 4 Trail to Big Rock Visitor Station. Continue on the Woodland Trail to Big Rock. For a longer experience, walk the long way around the Heritage Trail back to the Big Rock Visitor Station.

West Side: Starting at the Prairie Visitor Station at Parking Area P-25, walk the Prairie Trail loop to Parking Area P-30. For a longer experience, walk to the nearby Millennium Oak.

  • This program is not meant to address any specific Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Half day:
    $6 per student
    $15 registration fee
    Full day (paired with another program, see Fees and Policies):
    $12 per student
    $30 registration fee

COVID-19 mitigations:

Please note that this season, due to new safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arboretum cannot book full-day field trips, host schools for a lunch location, or offer lab programs with guided field trips. Please read the  Program Adjustments in order to see how the Arboretum is keeping guests safe during field trips.

Half-day trip fees:

  • One guided adventure (1.5 hours): $8 per student, $15 registration fee
  • Self-guided adventure: $6 per student, $15 registration fee

Full-day field trip fees (not available in spring 2021):

  • One guided adventure (3.0 hours): $12 per student, $30 registration fee 
  • Two guided adventures (3.0 hours): $12 per student, $30 registration fee 
  • One guided adventure (1.5 hours) + Self-guided adventure: $12 per student, $30 registration fee 
  • One self-guided adventure: $6 per student, $15 registration fee

Registration details:

  • Registration must be completed three weeks prior to the field trip date.
  • Dates are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so early registration is strongly encouraged.
  • Adult chaperones are required (two adults/teachers for every 10 students).
  • There is a minimum of 10 students for guided and self-guided field trips.
  • Payment is due three weeks before the date of the field trip. Call the registrar to process payment at 630-719-2468, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fees include admission to the Arboretum for:

  • All registered and attending students
  • All registered and attending adult chaperones (two adults/teachers for every 10 students)
  • State required aides

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