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 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. 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!

At the beginning of Summer the grasses have greened up, although there may still be snow on the higher peaks, when we walk through meadows full of the bounty of early summer this is the peak season for many of the loveliest wildflowers; including One-sided Penstemon (Penstemon virgatus), lupines and Monument plant. It is also peak season for the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that have made their way back from Mexico and Central America to nest at Cherokee. We will learn how to identify the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird just by hearing it fly as it darts between scarlet gilia trumpets. Two species of bluebirds and swallows will be active at this time as well as the tiny (4 ½ in) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that has returned from its winter grounds as far away as Central America to nest at Cherokee. Summer is prime time for viewing the plant and bird life at Cherokee, folks!

 

 

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.

Historical Uses of Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie Grasslands

Presented and managed by the City of Aurora.

Are you curious about the plants you see on the outskirts of the city? It may just be that those plants were once used to treat headaches, stop bleeding or aid in sleep. Take a hike to learn how these plants were once used by Native Americans and Western colonizers.

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

Price: Adults $10 Child $10

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

 

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.

Introducción guiada a los Jardines en español e inglés

Bilingual Spanish-English Guided Visit of the Gardens

Esta visita guiada de 30 minutes fue diseñada para destacar las diferentes áreas de los Jardines que están floreciendo o que tienen una exhibición especial. El punto de reunión es en frente del Boettcher Memorial Center excepto durante el invierno o cuando hay mal clima cuando nos reunimos en el vestíbulo del edificio. Incluida con la compra de boleto de entrada.

This 30-minute tour highlights the different areas of the Gardens that are in bloom or have a special exhibit. Tours are free and meet in front of the Boettcher Memorial Center except during the winter or bad weather when we meet inside the building. Included with admission.

 

 

 

 

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

Lavender Festival - Chatfield Farms Gardens and Historical Tour

 

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

 

Come and see the newly renovated gardens and learn about the history of Chatfield Farms. Our property has a rich history of pioneering and farming in Colorado that started long before Denver Botanic Gardens managed the land. Tours begin in the Colorado Native Plant Garden, continuing through Hildebrand Ranch, the Prairie Garden, the new Riparian Demonstration Garden and conclude in the Lavender Garden.

The one-hour tour is led by two Chatfield Farms horticulturists who share history, garden details and answer questions along the way.

Dress appropriately for walking and sun exposure. Please meet in front of the Hildebrand Ranch house.

This tour is free, but will be capped at 25 participants. It will display sold out here if it fills before the time of the event.

 

Lavender Festival - Farm Tour

 

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

 

Take a closer look at food production at Chatfield Farms. We will explore the Market Garden and discuss small scale farming at a public garden. The tour will also cover the historical ranch area, the herb garden, cutting garden and farm animals.

Special Instructions: This is a 45 minute walking tour around the Hildebrand Ranch. Please bring water, sunscreen, bug spray and wear comfortable shoes. Meet in front of the Hildebrand Ranch house.

 

This tour is free, but will be capped at 25 participants. It will display sold out here if it fills before the time of the event.

 

Lavender Festival - Growing Lavender in Your Landscape

*This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms located at C-470 & Wadsworth*

This class takes place during Lavender Festival

Classes sell out quickly. Walk-ins will be accepted only if class is not sold out.

 

In this class, students will learn all about growing lavender in your garden. This class will explore the different attributes of the different species and cultivars that we can grow in the Rocky Mountains and high desert. We will explore how to maintain your plant to encourage long life, review watering, and pruning and growing requirements. Learn how to incorporate lavender in a xeriscape garden and which plants compliment lavender. Each student will go home with their own lavender plant, hand sickle, and growing guide.

 

Price: $35, $30 member

Instructor: Paola Legarre

 

Owner of Sage Creations Organic Farm, Paola Legarre has worked in organic farming and marketing for the last 25 years. In looking to continue Paola’s commitment to organic farming and raising her family in Colorado’s clean air and wholesome way of life, her and her family moved to Palisade in 2005.

Paola’s first lavender planting was in 2006. As her lavender fields grew, she extended her product line to include certified organic essential oil, bath and body products, and lavender plant starts. Sage Creations currently has 5 acres in lavender production and grows 3 species and 50 different cultivars of lavender. Paola manages the farm and maintains lavender fields, medicinal herb crops, heirloom vegetables and a cherry orchard by using sustainable farming practices; nourishing soil life, not using herbicides or synthetic fertilizers and encouraging the beneficial insects through diversified plant hedge rows, companion planting and insect releases.

Midsummer Nights Tour

In Elizabethan times in England, midsummer’s eve (also known as the summer solstice) was a night to revel. This tour celebrates the long days of summer by focusing on the edible, medicinal and mischievous properties of the plants that played important roles in Shakespeare's works. Guided by quotes from his plays, expect to hear about the life and times of Elizabethan England and of plants such as love-in-idleness, tickle my fancy, gillyvor and heartsease. This is a 75-minute docent-led tour.

 

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.

Petrified Wood Tour and Investigation - At Cherokee Ranch and Castle

 

Join members of the Cherokee Ranch Science Institute on a tour of one of the oldest petrified wood sites in North America. Large trees were deposited along the meandering river 55 million years ago. This petrified wood preserved cell structure allows scientists to identify several different families of deciduous trees and to make assumptions about the climate during the Paleocene Epoch.

 

Price: $45, $40 member

Tour Guides: John McKinney and Peter Brown

Special Instructions: The hike is off trail and of moderate difficulty. Please wear appropriate clothing. Closed-toe hiking shoes and long pants are highly recommended. Please also bring plenty of water, your lunch, sunscreen and a hat.

 

Location:

Cherokee Ranch and Castle

6113 N Daniels Park RD

Sedalia, CO 80135

 

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

 

 

Planting Containers for all Seasons

Would you like to make container gardens part of your gardening? Or do you need fresh ideas for your containers? There are horticulturist-designed containers year-round at Denver Botanic Gardens, with themes ranging from those that attract birds, bees and butterflies, to ones that are edible or fragrant or provide other sensory experiences. Take a docent-led tour of the variety of the Gardens' container gardens and then get a container planting demonstration by Horticulturist Mike Holloway.

 

Price: $42 ,$38 member

Instructor: Mike Holloway

 

Mike Holloway has been at Denver Botanic Gardens for 19 years. He designs and maintains multiple gardens where he incorporates his love and expertise of creating elaborate container displays.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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