Welcome to Denver Botanic Gardens' online registration and ticket purchasing site

Tours

Gardens staff, instructors and docents share with you their knowledge of and passion for plants, horticulture and art. We offer a variety of guided tours at our urban site and throughout the Front Range.

 

Tours at York Street:

Guided tours are an insightful view of the Gardens and its collections. These informative conversations also allow you to share your thoughts, ask questions, and uncover lesser-known spaces.

 

Offsite Tours:

Explore the beauty of Colorado! These guided walks take you away from the bustling of the city to learn from and reconnect with nature.

 

Tour Policy:

Payment for pre-scheduled tours is required upon registration.

Payment for private group tours requires a deposit (15% of your total cost) at the moment of reservation and payment of the balance five business days before your tour.

 

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations more than one business week prior to a tour are subject to a 15% cancellation fee.

Cancellations with less than one business week prior to a tour are non-refundable.

 

A Walk Through Thyme Tour

Step back in time with plant stories that take you on a voyage from early life on the plains of North America to today. From common household herbs to grasses and favorite garden bulbs, plants are central to our lives and this is an opportunity to let them walk you through history. This is a one-hour tour led by docents.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Beginning Mushroom Identification

 

Whether you want to collect mushrooms to learn about them or to eat them, you will want to be able to identify them. These two evening lectures cover how to properly collect and identify mushrooms using their features and environment.

Take a field trip to collect mushrooms and practice identifying them. The location will be based on Ed's scouting trip the day before to ensure there are mushrooms available for collection.

August 22, evening lecture, 6-8 p.m.

August 29, evening lecture, 6-8 p.m.

August 31, scouting trip, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Price: $67, $60 member

Instructor: Ed Lubow has been hunting mushrooms since the 1970s and has been volunteering in the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens since 2008.

Special instructions: All levels welcome. Students will be notified of the location for the trip the day before the trip.

Recommended reading materials:

Mushrooms of the Rocky Mountain Region  by Vera Stucky Evenson & Denver Botanic Gardens

(This book can be purchased from many of different places, including the Shop at the Gardens)

 

 

 

 

 

Cherokee Fall Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away. One thing is for sure you will never be bored on a Cherokee hike! This year we are starting much earlier for better birding. But the plants will already be awake!

 

In Fall the Sumac and plums are turning color in the gullies, and the oaks are showing some burnished bronze. Fall is a fabulous season on Cherokee Ranch: Senecio, Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. The Spotted Towhee bird can be overlooked in the spring and summer, is more visible now since many of the spring and summer residents have started their fall migration. Two species of Jays – Scrub and Steller’s can now get the attention they deserve. They can be “missed” in spring and summer as we look at the other species.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

 

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Late Summer Nature Hike - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away.

Late summer is an excellent time to observe the bounty of both flora and fauna rolling through the hills of Cherokee Ranch: Aster and Goldenrod are everywhere. Blazing star paints purple spikes in the tousled mats of buffalo grass. Mid- summer bird activity continues at Cherokee as well. It is possible to see three species of hummingbirds as they stop to feed to store up energy on their way to Central America for the winter. The Mountain and Western Bluebirds have finished nesting and the young (juveniles) are seen throughout the Ranch property. There is no better place to soak up the sun than on a late summer plant hike and bird watching adventure at Cherokee Ranch.

 

Price: $25, $20 members

Special Instructions: Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure. Plants don't really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants.

Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike.

Hike location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

Cherokee Winter Nature Tour - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

Those lucky enough to have hiked Cherokee Ranch know that there are a wealth of habitats and a rich flora that distract your eyes downwards, even as the vistas of the rugged backbone of the Rockies and distant misty towers of downtown Denver tempt you to look further away.

 

Whoever says winter is the “dormant” season? Wise naturalists know that nature does not sleep, you can now SEE those birds flitting in the bare branches. Buds are set on everything, and there is much more than just bark, branches and berries to liven a walk. You can see two species of Chickadees and Nuthatches that never stop in their search for food and there are a few last lingering hints of flowers. You will be surprised at how many evergreens there really are; not just pines and junipers and Oregon Grape, but many of our native shrubs and forbs keep living foliage and rosettes through the winter: they are still hard at work chlorophyll pumping! You might also be surprised to know that some Dark-eyed Juncos fly all the way from the Pacific Northwest and even Canada to winter at Cherokee. Other winter species include Flicker, Woodpeckers and a resident Red-tailed Hawk. What better time and place than Cherokee Ranch in the bright, winter light.

 

 

$20 member, $25 non-member.

 

 

 

 

* Plants don’t really care how you dress for the field trips but BIRDS DO!! It is easier to see birds if you DO NOT wear white or other very bright colors –i.e. yellow, orange or red. Also, bring your binoculars: they can be used for both birds and plants

* Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your own supply of water for a 2 hour adventure

*Directions and details for your hike will be emailed to your email address approximately one week before your hike

 

 

Curator Conversations – Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection presents sculptures that explore the human form in both classical and abstract styles, from the early 20th century to today. Featured artists hail from around the world and include Eric Fischl, Jacques Lipchitz, Sassona Norton, Beverly Pepper, Auguste Rodin and Manolo Valdés.

From sculpture to selfies to dance, the power of the human figure conveys and conjures a range of emotions. Human | Nature shares the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of the Gardens’ diverse botanical environments.

Learn behind-the-scenes information about how this exhibition came to be with one of our curators.

 

Price: $17, $15 member, $13 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties.

Garden Guru Tour

Immerse yourself in the Gardens with a horticulturist as your guide. Gain insight into living museum collections and walk away with gardening tips from an expert. Please note that every tour has its own emphasis and is led by a different horticulturist.

 

March 7, 2 p.m.: Bromeliads with Scott Preusser, conservatory horticulturist

March 28, 10 a.m.: Spring garden preparation with Dan Johnson, associate director of horticulture and curator of native plants

April 26, 2 p.m.: Bulbs with Sonya Anderson, horticulture specialist, Plant Select/pollinator gardens

June 3, 10 a.m.: Hardy cacti with Nick Daniel, horticulture specialist, cactus and succulent collection

July 25, 9:30 a.m.: Medicinal plants with Blake Burger, specialty horticulturist

September 10, 11 a.m.: Bonsai with Larry Jackel, bonsai specialist

 

Price: $17, $15 member

 

Special instructions: Tours can be both indoors and outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance. Tours are one hour long.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties.

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection Tour

Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection presents sculptures that explore the human form in both classical and abstract styles, from the early 20th century to today. Featured artists hail from around the world and include Eric Fischl, Jacques Lipchitz, Sassona Norton, Beverly Pepper, Auguste Rodin, and Manolo Valdés.

From sculpture to selfies to dance, the power of the human figure conveys and conjures a range of emotions. Human | Nature shares the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of the Gardens’ diverse botanical environments.

Explore the sculptures with a docent who can share information about the artists and their styles as well as stories behind the sculptures.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

Japanese Garden - History in the Details

Denver Botanic Gardens is home to the beautiful Shofu-en, or the Garden of Pine and Wind, a traditional Japanese stroll garden. Shofu-en draws inspiration from the climate and plants of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and features 130 character pines transplanted from the foothill region. It was designed by Koichi Kawana and built in 1979. This class explores the symbolism and culture that shapes Shofu-en’s design. Participants also explore the Ella Mullen Weckbaugh Tea House and the Roji, or tea ceremony garden, that surrounds it. Learn about the development of the tea ceremony, how its principles support and inform traditional Japanese arts and shape Japanese aesthetic and cultural values in the modern world. Tea and sweets are served as part of the gathering.

 

Price: $35, $30 member

Love Potions from the Vine Tour

Celebrate the month of love with an enticing tour of exotic plants to tease the senses and spark the imagination.

February brings Valentines, sweets and roses to entice our loved ones. Roses aren’t the only plants of love and romance. The steamy jungle has no shortage of plants thought to have powers to inspire or sustain desire. Escape the winter chill in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory with this tour of purported aphrodisiacs and learn about the secret romantic lives of tropical plants.

Tour participants will receive a romantic souvenir to take home.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Parental guidance advised; some tour content might not be appropriate for young children. Tours take place indoors in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance. Tours are one-hour long.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

 

Plains Conservation Center Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope and birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and Cheyenne camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Select Saturdays

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

 

Prairie Homestead Self-Guided Tour

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Join us at the Plains Conservation Center for a self-guided tour of our historical sod village and tipis. See what a Native American tipi camp might have looked like in the early 1800s. Immerse yourself in a replication of an 1880s prairie homestead village with authentic artifacts and, depending on the season, real farm animals.

Please Note: All guests must check in at the PCC Visitor Center with purchase confirmation prior to beginning self-guided tour in order to receive site condition updates and the actual self-guided brochure.

For a more in-depth experience, sign up for a guided tour or program! Schedule a private tour by contacting Denver Botanic Gardens at info@botanicgardens.org or 720-865-3500.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

 

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013

 

Hours for Self-Guided Tours:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Friday: 2-4:30 p.m.

Saturday: Noon - 4:30 p.m.

Sunday: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Relational Rewilding: Becoming Animal - The Secrets of Stealth for Improved Wildlife Watching

Autumn is an ideal time for watching wildlife, so rewild yourself and see more animals by learning basic tips for blending in with your environment. Do you want to observe more than fleeing deer and birds? How do you activate a more respectful and effective engagement with the wild world? Join us for a fun and enlightening outdoor class that discusses tracking, animal senses, stealth strategies and human/animal relationships. Engaging your animal-self will not only change the way you move through nature, but also how you move through life.

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

Special Instructions: Walk will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

Location:

Genesee Park

Specific location details will be sent out about a week prior to the hike.

 

Relational Rewilding: Positively Poisonous - Befriending Toxic Plants for Greater Safety

Does the fear of poisonous plants hinder your engagement with nature? Cultivate greater safety and confidence in your outings through awareness and identification of toxic plants. Many Colorado species contain potent toxins that are dangerous for people to touch or consume. Yet, most also have beneficial qualities ecologically, medicinally and/or spiritually. Take a gentle walk to open your senses and engage your mind with an exploration of both toxic and non-toxic plant families. 

 

Price: $30, $25 member

Instructor: Kimberly Beck is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.

Special Instructions: Walk will take place exclusively outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat, water, and lunch if desired. Be prepared for walking and light hiking.

Class length does NOT include drive time to or from our meeting place to the hiking location.

Location:

Sunday, July 7 Clear Creek Trail, Golden

Friday, July 26, Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

Specific location details will be sent out about a week prior to the hike.

Seasonal Discoveries Tour

No matter the time of year, botanical treasures await your discovery with these guided tours of gardens at their seasonal peaks. Experience the Gardens’ landscape at its best, whether through the early bulbs of spring or the crackling beauty of fall.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

 

Tour - Wildflower Wednesday at York Street

 

Sometimes we need a quiet stroll among the wildflowers—without hours of driving and hiking! Denver Botanic Gardens has hundreds of native wildflowers right here onsite to enjoy. The recent release of the Gardens’ book “Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains,” authored by the experts of our own Horticulture Department, has renewed interest in knowing and growing our best native plants. On the third Wednesday of every month (April – October) wander with one of these authors through our acres of naturalistic gardens to see which wildflowers are at their peak. Since many bloom at Denver’s elevation before they bloom in the mountains, seeing them here first can help you learn what to look for, where and when.

 

Price: $20, $16 member

Tour and Talk - Mary and Larry Scripter's Wildlife-Friendly Niwot Garden

 

Tour one of the Front Range s most unique gardens, planted and tended by owners Mary and Larry Scripter and designed by Lauren Springer. This large, naturalistic, four-season garden features a flower-rich stylized meadow and a tree and shrub screening planted with bird-, pollinator- and other wildlife-friendly water-wise plants. The Scripter garden has been featured in Martha Stewart Living and Sunset magazines and photographed by nationally prominent photographers. It is also a designated Audubon Habitat Hero garden. Planting and management of this stunning garden, created by Mary and Lauren over seven years ago, will be discussed in Lauren's talk on site. All participants will leave with a plant list of their "star players".

 

Price $41, 38 member

 

Lauren Springer has designed plantings at Denver Botanic Gardens, Chatfield Farms, and the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins where she is on staff. Her books include the award-winning titles The Undaunted Garden, and Plant-Driven Design (coauthored with husband Scott Ogden). Also a propagator, she has introduced numerous plants to the trade and to Plant Select. A pioneer in waterwise landscapes, in creating gardens that evoke natural spaces, and in merging beauty with wildlife function, she has received Audubon Society Habitat Hero designations for four of her design projects.

 

Event Details

Address will be sent via email one week prior to event

Carpooling strongly encouraged

No bathroom facilites available on site

Feel free to bring lawn chairs for seating during the talk

 

 

Tropical Trails Tour

Denver may be blanketed with snow, but the plants in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory enjoy a warm climate year-round. Enjoy the lush vegetation, vibrant flowers and warmth of the tropics as you stroll through the Gardens’ tropical collections. This is a one-hour tour led by experienced docents.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are indoors. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

 

 

Water-Smart Gardens: Beautiful and Bountiful Tour

Do you want a garden that is beautiful and requires little water? Or, are you new to the Denver area and want some ideas of plants in our climate and soil? Come join a docent-led tour that explores gardens full of texture and color made up of plants that can thrive in semi-arid climates.

 

Price: $14, $12 member, $10 student

 

Special instructions: Tours are outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance.

 

Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation.

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