Self-Guided Field Trips

Self-guided tours are led by the teacher and chaperones, and can include exploration of both Matthaei's trails and conservatory. Topics that can be investigated at Matthaei include native Michigan plant and animal species, plant parts and functions, adaptations, pollination, and ecosystems.


Monday-Friday, reservation required (contact Liz Glynn at


There is no per-student fee for self-guided tours. There is a $15 parking fee (per bus).


Resources are available for self-guided tours, and include activities for both the classroom and the field trip. Topics covered are plant parts and functions, pollination, adaptations, and ecosystems.

When you arrive:

  • Bus drivers and parents drop students off at the main entrance.
  • Bus drivers pick up parking hang tags from visitor services desk and park in west lot. For self-guided tours, there is a $15 charge for bus parking, per bus, per day.
  • Individual drivers park in west lot and pay at kiosks ($1.50/hour).
  • Teachers are responsible for diving students into groups and leading activities.
  • Special permission required for collecting materials of any kind.