Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open to all, every day of the week. Spring/summer hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (March 13–November 5). Please note that face coverings are optional inside City of Birmingham-owned buildings and venues, including the Garden Center and other indoor facilities at the Gardens, effective March 1, 2022. For more information and guidelines for visiting, please click here. We look forward to your visit!

Discovery Field Trips - Self Guided

Discovery Backpacks

Now Preschool and High School teachers can get their students involved at The Gardens! Teachers: Check out a free Discovery Backpack complete with a teacher guide (designed by educators) and materials you will need to lead your students on a field trip at Birmingham Botanical Gardens as they discover life science concepts related to plants and the environment. Correlated with curriculum. 

Preschool Discovery Backpack

Visit the Southern Living Garden throughout the seasons to explore through the senses.

  • Based on the Alabama Performance Standards for 4 year olds.
  • Explore seasons at The Gardens through color, texture, scent, and sound.
  • Identify The Gardens as home for plants and animals.
  • Use a magnifier to investigate.
  • Exercise skills for science including observation and communication.

High School Discovery Backpack

Teams trek our Big Tree Trail as they gain hands-on experience identifying trees native to Alabama; making the most of time in the field surrounded by living plant material.

  • Based on Alabama Course of Study, Science, 9-12, Biology 1, 9, 10 and Alabama Course of Study, Science, 9-12, Botany Elective 1.
  • Investigate trees, including those native to Alabama, and parts of trees, for guided identification using a dichotomous key.
  • Use scientific tools to make observations and record data.
  • Gain familiarity with use of botanical names by recording accurately.
  • Discover physical adaptations of trees.
  • Identify characteristics of trees to later, through more research, classify as (monocots/dicots; angiosperms/gymnosperms; vascular/non-vascular).
  • Collaborate with a team to exercise skills for science including observation, communication, classifying, measuring, predicting, and inferring.

Monet’s Garden Discovery Backpack (Summer Special Edition)

Visit Japanese Gardens and become inspired to paint like Monet.

  •  Based on Alabama Course of Study, Science and Visual Arts, K and above.
  •  Discover water lilies and identify key structures including leaves, stems, and flowers.
  •  Read The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt to discover Monet’s style of impressionism and his famous subjects; water lilies and Japanese bridges.
  •  Create your own art in Monet’s style using watercolor pencils in cool colors.

Pollination Observation Discovery Backpack 

Visit The Gardens and discover pollinators through children’s literature and exploration!

  • Based on Pollination Observation Discovery Field Trip and Discovery Backpack: Bugs.
  •  Explore various plant habitats in The Gardens to observe pollinators, collect data and communicate results.
  • Identify the parts of a plant important for pollination, describe how pollinators need plants, how plants need pollinators, and how we can help!

Meet The Gardens: A Treasure Map


Before your visit to The Gardens, make sure to download our Treasure Map as your guide to discover highlights of our living collection. Designed for all ages to enjoy. Great for children’s groups and families. Based on Alabama Course of Study, Science. Curriculum resources are available per teachers’ request. Monday-Sunday | Free

Reserve your Discovery Field Trip at least TWO WEEKS in advance.

Contact 205.414.3950, ext. 106, to schedule your field trip. Or, click here to request a field trip.
This is only a request; you will be contacted by our staff to confirm your field trip.


The Junior League of Birmingham will fund bus transportation for Birmingham City Schools attending Kindergarten - 6th grade field trips.
Free transportation for Plants: Inside Out! is provided for schools attending 7th-8th grade field trips.

Teacher Links

What teachers are saying about our Discovery Field Trips
100% of responding teachers say they would recommend our field trips to others!

"Hands-on, very interactive, students involved, children were interested in all activities."
"Relates to Alabama Course of Study."
"Subject matter matched class work."
"Excellent to teach science objectives."
"Aligns with our curriculum."
"Developmentally appropriate."
"Excellent: right on grade level, great outdoor science lesson."
"Well organized."
"Docents excellent, exciting and motivating to children."
"Every child should have this experience."