Schools and Education



Exploratory, nature-based programs for schools establish Descanso Gardens as an invaluable community resource for teachers and students and attract more than 6,000 students every year. Descanso’s school programs offer children the opportunity to experience the richness of our natural world for the study of life science, history and more.

Available Programs

Docent-Guided Field Trips are guided explorations of the gardens for K-8th graders with a School Programs Docent. Offered Tuesday through Thursday at 9:30 am. Maximum of 60 students per day, unless otherwise noted.

Self-Guided Field Trips are available year-round for preschool to high school groups. Whether you choose to explore using our self-guided tour (available upon request) or your own curriculum materials, self-guided field trips allow teachers to structure and lead the educational experience. Advance reservations are required; self-guided field trips are available Monday through Friday, scheduled times beginning at 10am. Classes must have at least one adult chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones are admitted free with the group unless they exceed a ratio of one adult for every 4 students. Adults in excess of this ratio are required to pay a discounted $6 admission.

School groups are required to make a reservation prior to visiting.

Both docent-guided and self-guided field trips are fully booked for the 2016–2017 school year. We will begin taking reservations for the 2017–2018 school year on August 1, 2017. To make your reservation, please call the Education Programs Office at (818) 949-0120. School field trips are available free of charge for qualifying schools, with advance reservation.

  • An accredited California public or private school
  • A preschool providing academic instruction to students over 2 years of age
  • A program through a school that provides academic instruction to students
  • A Head Start or Child Development Center
  • Homeschool groups


Descanso partnership programs

The Harvest Garden

The Harvest Garden encourages curiosity and discovery of the natural world by providing diverse communities the therapeutic benefits of gardening. Descanso Gardens partners with a variety of schools and organizations to bring diverse communities to the Harvest Garden.

A Day of Discovery

A Day of Discovery at Descanso Gardens is a collaboration with the LAUSD Beyond the Bell Office of Outdoor and Environmental Education. In this program students investigate several of California’s native habitats; draw correlations between living and non-living components, and record observations in journals provided. For more information, click here.