Explore & Grow Together
Foster a Love of Nature
The Garden provides the perfect classroom for school trips, corporate retreats, and clubs. Due to county-directed capacity restrictions and parking limitations, groups of more than 10 guests are required to make a group reservation so we can guarantee your party will be accommodated.
Please note, outside of school-related group visits, we currently do not offer discounted admission.
(805) 682-4726 x102
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s school programs introduce students to the wonders of nature through interactive learning experiences. We encourage a lifelong interest in plant science and ecology by fostering an appreciation and understanding of the natural world.
To inspire the next generation of stewards of our planet, we are proud to offer several guided tours, led by our Education and Engagement Team, to further enhance your school group’s visit to the Garden.
Our program strives to support California’s Common Core State Standards, California Education and the Environment Initiative, and Next Generation Science Standards by aligning our tours with in-class curriculum requirements.
Classes with over 50% of students on free or reduced lunches are eligible to receive a 50% reduction on tour fees as well as a reimbursement on bus costs. Financial assistance requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as funding is available.
Following a tour, teachers are invited to sign up for free use of the Garden’s Plant Lab for up to 30 minutes. Up to eight students at a time are invited to gain a new perspective of the natural world using professional-grade microscopes to examine an array of plant material. Open labs are led by a Garden instructor while teachers and/or chaperones manage the rotation of the groups into the lab.
Self-Guided School Visits
Moving at your own pace through the Garden might be what your group prefers. If that’s the case for you, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Planning & Discounts
We invite classes with 10 or more students to visit the Garden at a discount. However, due to limited parking and capacity restrictions, availability is not guaranteed. A reservation request must be received no later than 10 business days before your desired visit date in order to receive your discount. Dates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
When booking a reservation through a school, the Garden will discount admission as follows:
- Adults and Students: $3
- Children 2 and Under: Free
Due to the high volume of visitors on weekends, holidays, and during special events, we do not offer school discounts during this time.
To support a lifelong connection with the natural world, the Garden has several free tools available to support educators and enthusiast pass along an appreciation of native plants to the next generation.
Partnering with local teachers, we have developed lessons and unit materials that can be completed both synchronously and asynchronously. These units and activities support teacher’s science and environmental curriculum in the classroom, at the Garden, and virtually.
NGSS Phenomena Resource
Our Interactive NGSS Phenomena Resource is a collection of media taken from around the Garden that can be utilized to enhance your lessons. Whether you are looking for up close footage of pollinators using our native plants or seeing before and after photos of fire recovery, this virtual resource has several local phenomena resources that can help build your student’s understanding of the natural world.
General Large Groups
The Garden can be a great destination for your team to find inspiration, work on team building, and/or learn about California’s native plants and habitats together. To ensure we can meet your needs while providing you with the best experience possible, our team is happy to help you plan your next outing.
Because of the geography and shape of our parking lot, buses longer than 31 feet (9.4 meters) are not permitted. The Garden only has one bus parking space. Your reservation will include a preset number of parking spaces. If you are coming by car, carpooling is strongly encouraged. We will not be able to accommodate extra vehicles in your party.
Contact Group Experiences
Are you ready to explore the Garden with your school group, team, or friends and family? To book your group experience or for more information, please contact our Education and Engagement Team by submitting this form.