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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.

 

Calder: Monumental Tour

American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and is known for his bold energetic sculptures. Calder: Monumental features these iconic works of bolted steel plate–which rise in sweeping curves, or puncture space with geometric lines–revealing the artist’s exploration of forms, volumes, and voids. Using shapes that resonate with the natural world, Calder’s large lively abstractions interact with the surrounding landscape.

 

Learn more about the sculptures with a docent guide during a one-hour tour of the exhibition.

 

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.

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. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. 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. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. 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!

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.

 

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 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. We have experienced toasty winter days that were breathless and surprisingly sunny, as well as blustery days in the summer. 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!

 

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.

 

Tour Guides: Panayoti Kelaidis and Lynn Willcockson

 

 

 

* 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 - Calder: Monumental

American artist Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is considered one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century and is known for his bold energetic sculptures. Calder: Monumental features these iconic works of bolted steel plate–which rise in sweeping curves, or puncture space with geometric lines–revealing the artist’s exploration of forms, volumes, and voids. Using shapes that resonate with the natural world, Calder’s large lively abstractions interact with the surrounding landscape.

 

Tour and discuss the Calder: Monumental exhibition with a curator from the Gardens to gain valuable insight about the artist, his work and the development of the exhibition.

 

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.

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. In 2017, to compliment the Gardens’ programmatic theme of water, each tour features a unique focus on the Gardens’ use of water, water conservation or plant water needs.

 

February: Orchids and their water needs

April: Plants that are adapted to steppe environments with a focus on water-smart gardens

July: Plants that live in water

October: Great Colorado native plants that only need rain water to thrive

 

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.

Guided Meditation Garden Walk

The Denver Botanic Gardens offer the quintessential surroundings for individuals wishing to enhance their emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being through guided meditation walks in nature. It is well documented that spending time in natural environments reduces stress, improves memory and concentration, and enhances overall well-being. Shinrin-yoku, a term meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing” was coined in Japan during the 1980s to promote preventive health and healing. The practice of forest bathing refers to the process of connecting with the sights, smells and sounds of a natural setting to promote physiological and psychological health. An article in The Washington Post suggests, “Forest bathing is the latest fitness trend to hit U.S. – ‘Where yoga was 30 years ago.’”

Join Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW for a guided meditation walk throughout the Gardens appropriate for adults of all abilities.

 

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Price: $15, $10 members

 

 

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, $9 student, $7 member

 

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.

 

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, the colorful bounty of summer 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.

 

Selecting and Planting Trees Along the Front Range

* This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens' Chatfield Farms at C-470 and Wadsworth *

Long-term success for trees along the Front Range is highly dependent on species selection and proper planting procedures. This class will identify trees that perform well in our environment and help diversify the urban forest. Secondly, it will aim to promote proper nursery selection and planting techniques.

Instructor: Erik Geyer, DBG Chatfield Farms Horticulturist

Erik Geyer is a Horticulturist for the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Eastern New Mexico University. He has arboriculture experience in the Southern Denver area and Northern New Mexico. Erik enjoys the challenge of growing trees along the front range of Colorado.

Price: $29, $24 member price

Special Instructions: Class will start indoors, and move outdoors for a walking tour; please dress according to weather and bring water and sunscreen!

 

 

Tour - DBG Water-wise Gardens

Join Dan Johnson, Curator and Associate Director of Horticulture, on a tour throughout the Gardens’ waterwise gardens and talks about specific plants and gardening techniques used to conserve water.

 

Price: $12, $10

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, $9 student, $7 member

 

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.

 

 

Wednesday Hikes with the Gardens - Medicinal Plants

Take a mid week break this summer and explore all that our beautiful state of Colorado has to offer with guided hikes. Learn about ecology through our expert horticulturists and get some fresh air with our Wednesday hike series.

 

September 27th Medicinal Plants

Join DBG's horticulturist Blake Burger to wander the beautiful Smith Resevoir to search for medicinal plants. Learn how to identify these plants, what their healing properties are, and how to use them.

 

Instructor: Blake Burger

 

Price: $30, $25 members

 

Special Instructions: Participants will be emailed meeting location 1 week prior to the trip. Course will include a 3 hour hike and a picnic lunch. Bring a sack lunch for a picnic with an unbelievable view of the front range.

 

Hike location:

Kipling Pkwy and W. Jewell Ave.

Lakewood, CO 80232

 

 

 

 

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