Group Visits
Group Visits

Group Visits

For teachers interested in bringing school groups to the Gardens, please see the Student Groups and Teachers section below to learn more about our field trip offerings.

Whether your group is looking for a fun-filled two hours or a day-long adventure, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens provides an unforgettable experience for everyone, no matter age or ability. It’s easy to create a MidCoast Maine itinerary—we’re less than an hour from must-see destinations such as Maine Maritime Museum, the Farnsworth Art Museum, L.L. Bean and the Freeport outlet stores. For over a decade, the Gardens has been the place to go to inspire connection to nature.

Now planning your group tour is easier than ever. Want to stay over lunchtime? Customize your visit with one of several dining options. Want to immerse your group in a more in-depth experience? Add an expert-led one- or two-hour tour to your visit. Convenient onsite bus parking, only steps away from an exclusive group entrance, ensures that your trip to the Gardens begins effortlessly.

Our Group Sales Coordinator is at your service to help plan your visit. To inquire about rates and availability, please email We look forward to welcoming your group to the Gardens!

Field Trips: School/Youth Groups

“Everyone was very welcoming. The grounds are so well marked, we could figure things out easily. It is a very special place.”  – Portland Arts and Technology High School

The season for field trips is mid April through October 31. School groups must be booked in advance through the Education Department, and receive a special admission rate. To ensure a quality experience for all guests, there is a limit of one school group per day; therefore, we recommend making your reservations early.
Contact our education department at or (207) 633-8031 to schedule your field trip.


Cultivating Curiosity

– a Field Trip program at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers school/youth groups several types of experiences. Choose the option that best suits your group:

Intensive Study Units

Designed for teachers who want to make their visit part of an overall curricular unit. Free downloadable pre- and post-visit activities help to prepare for the visit and reinforce concepts back in the classroom. Our intensive units include a classroom lesson and a field study and last approximately 2 hours. Price: $50 per class (not to exceed 25 students per class; does not include Gardens admission).

Study Units include:
Birds at the Gardens Unit Overview up to grade 5 (Spring only)
Pollinators Unit Overview for up to grade 5

Field Studies

Students will be connected with life sciences in the garden through hands-on field study explorations and activities that highlight living organisms and their life cycles. Our one-hour field study programs can be adapted to grades PreK-6. Price: $25 per class (not to exceed 25 students per class; does not include Gardens admission).

Field Study Topics:
The Life of a Plant – What better way to learn about plant parts than by eating them! Students will sample their way through the vegetable garden as they learn the function of the different parts of a plant and explore the life cycle of a plant from seed to fruit. Students will also learn about the common plant families found in a vegetable garden.
Decomposers – Students will investigate life underground in the garden and discover the important role decomposers play in helping our garden grow. Students will learn to identify these living organisms, learn about the anatomy of a worm and understand how a compost pile works.
NEW for 2018: The Life of a Butterfly – Come and explore our new living butterfly and moth exhibit at the Gardens! Students will be introduced to native butterflies and moths in all stages of life, from egg to adult. Learn the differences between moths and butterflies, host plants versus nectar plants, and how to identify our native beauties. (Exhibit opens June 1)

Guided Nature Walks

These 60-90 minute walks are led by an experienced guide and explore different areas of our Gardens. Price: $25 per class (not to exceed 25 students per class; does not include Gardens admission). Appropriate for any grade level.
Options include:
Central Gardens Walk – Introduces our Garden of the Five Senses and Children’s Garden.
Sense of Wonder Trail Walk – Emphasizes natural history through the lens of Rachel Carson.
Maine Woods Walk – Introduces students to the trees of Maine through identification, ecology and cultural history.
Apple Cider Pressing – Explores the botanical and cultural history of apples including an apple cider pressing demonstration and tasting. (Fall only; an extra $12 charge per class for apple cider pressing supplies will be applied)

Discovery Backpack

If you prefer, check out a Discovery Backpack for your students during your field trip visit! Our Discovery Backpacks add more structure to your visit while giving your students the opportunity to use the Gardens as a place for investigation and discovery. Choose from our themed backpacks, including Birds at the Gardens, Flowers and Pollinators, and Trees of the Maine Woods. Each backpack, which is ideal for two students to share, contains field guides, scavenger hunts, games, binoculars, a field journal, and materials to perform more in-depth studies. Ten backpacks may be checked out at any given time for a fee of $2/backpack.

Self-Guided Option

Begin with a warm welcome upon arrival and offer a home base for visitor orientation and lunch. Children explore the gardens under the supervision of their own teachers and chaperones. Price: Free with Gardens admission.

We are always looking for ways to integrate the Gardens into Maine curriculum. Please contact our Education Department if you have suggestions, comments, or ideas.