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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.

 

2018 Horticulture Garden Tour: Plains to Plains

Hike of Soapstone Prairie and Tour of High Plains Environmental Center with Panayoti Kelaidis and Jim Tolstrup

 

Price: $55, $49 member, includes lunch and transportation from Denver Botanic Gardens

Join Denver Botanic Gardens' Director of Horticulture Outreach Panayoti Kelaidis and High Plains Environmental Center Director Jim Tolstrup on a tour of preserved and restored prairie environments in Northern Colorado. Visit Soapstone Prairie, a Fort Collins natural area, featuring a pure herd of buffalo, 28 square miles of native grasses and wildflowers and one of the oldest archeological sites in North America.

At High Plains Environmental Center (HPEC), the group explores a native plant nursery and demonstration gardens featuring plants indigenous to Colorado, restored wetlands and grasslands with some remarkable wildflowers, all within an urban development. Plants are available for purchase from HPEC’s native plant nursery.

The last stop is tour of the Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra where stone sculptures created by the Shona People of Zimbabwe are surrounded by the largest plant select demonstration garden in Northern Colorado.

 

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 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

 

 

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.

 

February 7, 2 p.m.: All About Orchids with Nick Snakenberg, Curator of Orchids/Greenhouse

March 28, 10 a.m.: All About Spring Garden Preparation with Dan Johnson, Associate Director of Horticulture and Curator of Native Plants

 

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.

Ghosts in the Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens dares you to join us after dark! At our annual Ghosts in the Gardens Tours, our guides will lead you through one of four separate ghost tours. Each tour guide will tell haunting stories of the Gardens' one hundred years of history and illustrate points of interest inside and outside what used to be called The Boneyard. Each tour will be unique and subjects will include actual staff ghost stories, real overnight security staff ghost encounters, and intriguing history (including access to the Waring House Mansion that is not open to the public). So conjure your courage and capture your fear as you walk our dark paths after hours and dare the night, here at Denver Botanic Gardens' Ghosts in the Gardens Tours.

 

Pricing $31, $27 member

 

Special Instructions:

Be prepared for a lot of walking outdoors and indoors.

Dress accordingly for the weather.

Children 12-years old and older are welcomed. This tour is not recommended for younger children.

Children are the responsibility of their parents at all times.

Part of the tour (the Waring House) is not wheelchair accessible.

Late Summer Bird Encounters at Adams County Regional Park

*This Class will be held at Adams County Regional Park

9755 Henderson Rd.
Brighton, CO 80601

Join lifelong birder Kate Halstead for a leisurely walk through Adams County Regional Park to encounter the birds using the diverse habitats available where the prairie meets the Platte River. We will focus on resident birds that have spent the summer raising their young at the park, also looking for early fall migrants amid the leaves and along the edges of ponds and river habitats as they make their way to warmer climates. Kate s specialty is birding by ear, and we will explore how to use your sense of hearing to enhance your birding experience and gain a deeper appreciation for the lives of birds. This walk will be enjoyable for experienced birders as well as beginners.

 

Price: $25, $20 member

Instructor: Kate Halstead first got hooked on birds at the age of ten in the mountains and woods of New England, and pursued that passion through a professional background in nature interpretation and field ornithology. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from the Evergreen State College and a Master of Science in Forest Science from Oregon State University. She has led bird walks and conducted bird research across the western US, as well as in Florida and Costa Rica. For Kate, there is nothing more wonderful than simply observing a bird, no matter how rare or common - even better when that experience is shared with others.

Special instructions: Please bring a pair of binoculars, water, sunscreen, good walking shoes, and a snack or lunch if desired

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting Tour

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting features brightly-colored sculptures created within the pixelated aesthetic of "Pac-Man" and other 8-bit vintage video games. Stroll the gardens with a knowledgeable docent and learn about the surprising intersections between 8-bit pixel graphics and minimalist sculpture. Explore the relationship between the natural world and the artificial world of digital media, and see several new works created to complement and contrast the Gardens’ landscapes.

 

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.

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: Most Saturdays

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

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

 

 

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.

 

Third Thursday Tree Walks

Come join DBG staff and Alan Rollinger, expert in the trees of Denver, for a monthly tour of some of the most significant and interesting trees in our city. Many different tree species have been planted in the city since its establishment in the 1800s, providing us with an impressive urban forest and tree canopy. Implications for the future of our urban trees will be discussed. 2018 tours will focus on campuses, cemeteries, and parks; future years will look at neighborhoods.

Tours will last from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and will be approximately a mile in length. Dress appropriately for weather conditions. An optional bring-your-own picnic will be held at the end of each tour.

Instructor: Alan Rollinger

Price: $40, 35 member

 

Tree Walk Series Dates and Locations

April 19, 2018 - Regis Univeristy campus

May 17, 2018 - Fairmount Cemetery

June 21, 2018 - University of Denver campus

July 19, 2018 - Washington Park

August 16, 2108 - Crown Hill Cemetery

September 20, 2018 - Johnson and Wales University campus

October 18, 2018 - Cheesman Park

Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Harvest Time at Cherokee Ranch - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Step back in time 130 years and experience life as a Colorado homesteader. Tour the old Johnson Dairy Farm, a National Register of Historic Places site, and hear fascinating stories about the settlors of the Front Range. Have fun with historic games, crafts, a hay ride and a fall treat with a cup of hot cider.

 

Price: $45, $40 member

Instructor: Jeannine Colley

Special Instructions:

Please wear appropriate clothes for the weather and closed-toe shoes for a short and easy hike. Please also bring your own lunch and water.

 

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Holiday From Days Long Past - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Cherokee Ranch and Castle welcomes you to a delightful holiday celebration! Tour the castle in all its holiday splendor explore traditions from years long ago. Create a decoration for your home and sample old European fare while listening to festive music.

Price: $55, $50 members, includes all materials

Instructor: Jeannine Colley

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

Treat Yourself Tuesdays - Tibetan Singing Bowls - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Enjoy a day of healing vibrations. This class includes a mixture of sound healing tools including crystals and Tibetan singing bowls to balance the body, mind and emotions. Subtle movement and breath work connects our personal frequency, allowing us to tune in and move to stillness as you are surrounded by the vibrations of singing bowls.  

 

Price: $45, $40

Instructor: Emma Kelleher

Special Instructions:

Bring a mat or comfortable seat for this concert of vibrations & sound.

 

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

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.

 

 

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