School Programs & Tours

School Programs 

We offer school groups the options of docent-led tours or self-lead tours. All school visits and tours require a reservation, including self-guided or docent-requested. As we expand our educational offerings, we look forward to providing more educational resources for teachers.  

For more information or to make reservations, please contact Matthew Gaston with ZBGC at education@zbgconservancy.org so that we can help plan your visit and provide a group rate.  

Docent-Led Tours 

Trained docents lead informational tours for groups of 10-20 students, preschool through high school age. This basic tour is correlated to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and was developed to provide information for Austin area school teachers as they tour the Zilker Botanical Gardens. Each tour is roughly 90 minutes with individual docents bringing their specific knowledge to each tour. All docents know the gardens well and are trained to work with a variety of student groups. When you register, please identify any special requests as certain docents are especially facile with special needs groups, including ESL children. March, April, and May are especially busy months, so please make your reservations early. We ask $5 per student and $7 per teacher/chaperone. We accept cards and checks, which can be made out to Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. 

While each docent provides their own version of the tour and activities, there are several standardized sections per grade in alignment with the TEKS. Below are the specific TEKS covered for each grade.

Please check back for updates as we are currently developing our educational offerings.  

Self-Guided Tours 

Teachers are welcome to bring their groups for a self-guided visit. The ZBG Self-Guided Tour handout is designed for teachers to use as a resource when giving the tour. We ask $3 per student and $5 per teacher/chaperone. Checks can be made out to Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. 

Bus Drop Off/Pick Up

For scheduled school groups and tours, vans & buses can enter our main gate off 2220 Barton Springs Road, proceed to the bright green kiosk, and then will be given directions as to the drop-off location. For motorcoaches, drop off/pick up is outside our main gate at 2220 Barton Springs Road on the flat grassy lawn near the MetroBus stop. Vans & buses can park in the main lot if space permits but will be sent to the Stratford parking lot behind the garden if there is no space. Motorcoaches will be able to park in the Stratford parking lot. See the documents below for details.