Self-guided Visits

Boy looking at bog plantsCome explore the Missouri Botanical Garden with your class on your own! We offer a variety of tools to help you design a class visit that makes the most of what the Garden has to offer. Self-guided visits are available Tuesdays–Fridays. Tickets to enter the Children’s Garden must be purchased prior to arrival for the discounted rate. Groups entering the Children’s Garden must have a group ratio of 1 adult for every 5 students. Groups are not permitted to have lunch on-site

Self-guided groups MUST pre-register, and MUST select 3 viable dates, as your first choice may not be available.

Fees for Self-guided Visits:

Schools within St. Louis City and County (ZMD):

Students in grades PK–12: free
Adult chaperones (1 for every 5 students): free
Additional chaperones: regular admission

Schools outside of St. Louis City and County:

Students in grades PK–8: free
Students in grades 9–12: $10 per student
Adult chaperones (1 for every 5 students): free
Additional chaperones: regular admission

Please be aware that all school groups must bring at least one adult for every five students in attendance, and that students aged 16 and under should be chaperoned by an adult at all times.  Teachers must pay for all 'extra' chaperones prior to their visit, or have an invoice for chaperone admission sent to the school after the visit.

Download a Garden map for school groups
Go to our FAQ page
REGISTER for a Self-guided Visit

MBG Nature Knapsacks

Lead your own self-guided program while visiting the Missouri Botanical Garden using our handy activity satchels. Each knapsack contains the materials necessary to accommodate age appropriate explorations for up to 10 students per satchel. Multiple knapsacks can be requested and will be waiting at the entry gate when you arrive. Knapsacks can be returned as you depart the Missouri Botanical Garden. Please be aware that supplies are limited, and reservations must be made before your visit.

Cost: $5 per knapsack (fee is waived for St. Louis City and County schools as part of the Zoo Museum District)

Current offerings include:

  • In the Garden
    Grades PreK–K; Available Year-round
    Help your students discover how shapes and colors are essential to how the various areas here at the Missouri Botanical Garden are designed. Horticulturists carefully blend colors of plants and use design patterns to make those areas “pop”! With this knapsack, you’ll take your students on a color and shape hunt all while seeing how beautifully designed gardens are. 
  • Build a Plant
    Grades K–2; Available Year-round
    This knapsack guides you through discovering the various parts of a plant as you explore the Missouri Botanical Garden.
  • How Does Your Garden Grow
    Grades 3–5; Available Year-round
    Plants require different conditions to grow and thrive. Use this knapsack to explore the plant labels in the Kemper Center for Home Gardening to better understand what each plant needs and think through how they may design their own dream garden.

Knapsacks will be available for pickup at the entry gate when you arrive and may be returned there when you leave. Please be aware that supplies are limited, and reservations must be made before your visit.

Register for a Self-guided Visit and reserve MBG Nature Knapsacks


Visit the Children's Garden

Children's Garden Logothe doris i. schnuck children's garden offers a wide array of hands-on exploration and play-centered learning opportunities! Your students can explore a Missouri wetland with Lewis and Clark, explore a cave and pilot a steamboat with Mark Twain, pretend to keep shop in a settlement town with Daniel Boone, or explore the parts of plants and their role in an ecosystem with Henry Shaw!

Learn more about the Children's Garden

Teachers planning to visit the Children's Garden should keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Admission fees are due prior your visit. Please note that there are no scholarships available to cover Children's Garden admission fees at this time. Admission cost is $3 per student.

  • To ensure the safety of all Children's Garden visitors, students should be under the supervision of adult chaperones at all times. Teachers to assign students to specific adults before entering the play area. 1 adult chaperone per 5 students is required in the Children's Garden.


Pot-a-Plant in the PlantLab

Volunteer potting plants with studentsYour students can bring the Garden home (or back to your classroom)! Pot-a-Plant sessions run fifteen minutes and include a short topical discussion of the type of plant and method of propagation, a guided planting session, and instructions for care. Each student's plant will be packaged in a labeled biodegradable bag and loaded into a cardboard tray for easy transport.

Pot-a-Plant sessions make a great addition to programming of your own design. Current options for planting include:

Species Method Content Discussed
Basil Seeds Plants as Food
Succulents Plugs Plant Adaptations (recommended for older students)
Philodendron Cuttings Plant Anatomy (recommended for older students)

Fees for Pot-a-Plant sessions run $70. Each session can accommodate up to 30 students. Large groups may schedule multiple sessions during the same visit. Sessions are booked on a first-come, first-served basis, so please book early to ensure the PlantLab is available on the day of your visit.

Climatron Wondering where to go when you arrive? Consider the following, identified as favorites by many of our visiting teachers and students:

Enrich your students’ knowledge of tropical ecosystems with a walk through a lush lowland rainforest

Japanese Garden
This 14-acre garden incorporates a lake, waterfalls,  islands and numerous bridges.

Kemper Center for Home Gardening
Explore 23 display gardens including a native plant meadow and a vegetable garden

Victorian District
Featuring Tower Grove House, our popular hedge maze and the Piper Observatory

These are just a few of the many gardens and conservatories available for your class to visit during your field trip.

Learn about our other gardens and conservatories

Learn at Our Other Sites!

Butterfly House logo
  Shaw Nature Reserve logo

Litzsinger Road Ecology Center

Check out field trip opportunities at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri, Litzsinger Road Ecology Center in Ladue or the Shaw Nature Reserve located in Gray Summit!


Climatron® is a registered servicemark of the Missouri Botanical Garden.