School & Group Programs

COVID-19 Update:  Duke Gardens is pleased to be open to the public again as of June 1. Read more about the phased reopening and related policies here.

____________________

Welcome, teachers and parents!

We welcome self-guided groups on a first-come, first-served basis in coordination with other schedules. Self-guided group visits require registration but are free of charge. Use any of our self-guided visit resources during your visit.

Our guided programs introduce students to the wonders and complexities of our natural world. Each program is age-appropriate and supports your learning objectives. Guided programs are led by skilled docents familiar with Duke Gardens and the programs.To request a guided program or self-guided visit, please complete our ONLINE REQUEST FORM.

If you have questions, please contact us at 919-668-1707 or gardenseducation@duke.edu.

Self-Guided Groups: CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

Advance registration is required so that we may coordinate your visit with other schedules. We will accommodate your visit on a first-come, first-served basis. Once we reach capacity, those groups without pre-registration may be asked to reschedule their visit.

Registered self-guided visits are free.

Use any of our self-guided visit resources during your visit.

Self-guided groups are welcome in all areas of the Gardens except the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Tours of the Blomquist Garden, which contains rare and endangered plants, are only available when led by trained Duke Gardens docents. The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden may be in use by guided groups and off-limits to your group during your visit.

To request a self-guided visit, please complete our online request form.

Guided School Programs: CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

Our school programs are designed to support Common Core as well as the North Carolina Standard and Extended Course of Study. Please let us know how we can extend your classroom study through a garden visit and be an active partner with your school.

Our programs (standards addressed are noted with each program):

Pre-K through K
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
Middle School
High School

Want to cover another topic? Contact us to request a customized program for your group.

Guided school programs are available Tuesday through Friday. Each program is planned for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or enriched and extended if your schedule allows. Fee of $4 per student, with the exception of "A Garden Walk" ($2 per student); $40 minimum.

Important information for guided trips:

Accessibility: We welcome all students and are happy to work with you to plan appropriate accommodations for your students in our guided programs. Please let us know in advance if there are any limitations with mobility, such as students using wheelchairs, or other accessibility needs.

Chaperones: Adult chaperones are required for all youth groups. We recommend a ratio of 3 chaperones per 15 students. We cannot accommodate siblings.

Weather: We do take groups out in the rain unless there is threatening weather that includes lightning; in that case we will reschedule.

Emergency Preparedness: Remember to bring any medications students might need for bee stings and bug bites, asthma attacks, etc.

Cancellation Policy: You may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your fee up to a week before the date of your program. Any program canceled by Duke Gardens will result in a complete refund.

To request a guided school program, please complete our online request form.

Guided Programs for Homeschool Groups: CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

Homeschool groups are welcome to choose from our list of guided school programs (see below) or request a topic of your choice.

Pre-K through K
1st Grade
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
Middle School
High School

Guided programs are available Tuesday through Friday. Each program is planned for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or enriched and extended if your schedule allows. Fee of $6 per student; $60 minimum.

Important information for guided trips:

Accessibility: We welcome all students and are happy to work with you to plan appropriate accommodations for your students in our guided programs. Please let us know in advance if there are any limitations with mobility, such as students using wheelchairs, or other accessibility needs.

Chaperones: Adult chaperones are required for all youth groups. We recommend a ratio of 3 chaperones per 15 students. We cannot accommodate siblings.

Weather: We do take groups out in the rain unless there is threatening weather that includes lightning; in that case we will reschedule.

Emergency Preparedness: Remember to bring any medications students might need for bee stings and bug bites, asthma attacks, etc.

Cancellation Policy: You may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your fee up to a week before the date of your program. Any program canceled by Duke Gardens will result in a complete refund.

To request a guided homeschool program, please complete our online request form.

 

Virtual Field Trips

Watch any of the videos in your own time, or schedule an interactive meeting with Duke Gardens educators.

Double Exposure: Connecting Science and Art with Duke Gardens and the Nasher Museum 

Especially for 2nd grade. Guides from both Duke Gardens and the Nasher Museum of Art lead students through a 30 minute, interactive virtual session. Students will sharpen observational skills, practice collecting data and discover connections between science and art. Teachers receive follow-up activities to reinforce the concepts introduced.
Available Tues-Thurs mornings
Register through the Nasher. Registration information available at https://nasher.duke.edu/k-12-teachers/classroom-visits

Ask the Garden! Interactive Sessions

What can you learn from a garden? Create a list of questions as a class, email it to Duke Gardens educators, and schedule a time to meet virtually with us. We’ll respond to your questions, combine our knowledge with yours, and make discoveries together!
How interactive sessions work:

  • Email your questions before your session to gardenseducation@duke.edu with 3 choices for the date and time of your session.
  • You will receive an email confirming the date and time.
  • Teachers invite Duke Gardens educators to the virtual meeting platform used by your school.
  • Sessions can be 20-45 minutes long.

Virtual Tour and Gardens Lesson Videos

Tour of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants

Join Duke Gardens’ youth educators to explore the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants.  What is a native plant? What do living things need to survive and how can they find these needs in a garden? Can a plant be a predator? Which line of latitude goes through Duke Gardens? What does a bullfrog sound like? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this 2-part video.

Information for Teachers

Tour Video part 1  |  Tour Video part 2

Pre-Tour Quiz  |  Post-Tour Quiz

Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt

Extension Activities

Field Trip Friday: Buzzing About Duke Gardens

Thanks to the Museum of Life and Science for including Duke Gardens in the Field Trip Fridays series for Durham Public Schools! We are super excited to share some of the amazing stories of ecological interdependence happening every day in the Gardens. Plants, animals and many other organisms depend on one another to live and thrive in this urban ecosystem right here in the heart of our city!

Video

 

Duke Gardens also offers programs for teachers! Please visit our Teacher Workshops page for professional development opportunities.