Schools

A Variety of Fun Ways to Engage With Our Plants

Free Tours, Trails, and Workshops for School Groups

From guided tours to hands-on workshops, the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, is the place to bring students to experience inspirational learning. Free guided tours of the Gardens’ plants and exhibitions are available for primary and secondary schools. All school visits should be pre-booked at the Visitor Centre. To book a tour or to find out further information, please contact us.

Scroll down for information on tours, workshops, and trails for both primary and secondary schools!

Primary Schools

Tours

The Rainforest

Explore Ireland’s only tropical rainforest in the Great Palm House, and find out about plants from all over the world. Available year round.

Irish Plants

Hear all about Irish plants and trees, their uses, folklore, and how to identify them. Visit the Viking House and find out what plants they grew for food, clothing, and shelter. Available year round.

Tree-mendous Trees

Discover the lives of our great trees: how they produce their food, survive the seasons, and help us in our daily lives. Available year round.

Sculpture in Context: Tours for Primary Schools

Throughout the annual Sculpture in Context exhibition, primary school groups can book a special guided tour of the gardens that includes some of the exciting sculptures, both outdoors and in the gallery and glasshouse areas. The exhibition is usually held in September and October of each year. Check our calendar of events for latest updates.

National Tree Week: Tree Walks for Schools

Hear some fascinating facts and tales about native and exotic trees alike, and also learn how to identify some of our most popular trees. Suitable for 1st class and up. To celebrate National Tree Week each school group will have the opportunity to take away a tree to plant! Tree Week takes place each year in March. Check out calendar of events for latest updates.

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Workshops

Get Growing!

Join us for a workshop in our Education Garden. Make and plant your own newspaper pots to take home, and get tips on what is best to plant in your school garden. Follow this with a special guided tour of the Gardens that includes a trip to Ireland’s only tropical rainforest and learn to identify some native trees along the way. Available in September-October and March-May.

Delve Deeper

Take a tour of the Gardens and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up! Available year round.

Trails

Plant Partners

Why not collect this self-guided trail and explore the intriguing world of plant and animal relationships? Year round.

Food Trail

Our brand new food trail looks at some of our favourite Irish foods and some more unusual foods from around the world. Year round.

Bark Trail

Observe and touch the different textures of trees.

Native Trail

Discover native Irish plants and the animals that use them. Also available as Gaeilge Second Level.

Secondary Schools

Tours

Plant Adaptations

This guided walk will look at some of the amazing adaptive features our plants have adopted to cope with everything from predators, habitat loss, and climate change.

Plants and Us

We all use plants in so many ways each day. This guided tour will focus on the wealth of products we gain from plants from lipstick and chewing gum to cotton and vanilla!

Trees, Trees, Trees

Discover the secret life of trees on this tour where we will talk about everything from the Irish ‘Clash of the Ash’ to Sierra Nevada’s giant fire-resistant Redwoods.

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Workshops

Delve Deeper

Take a tour of the gardens, and collect samples with our intrepid guides before going back to the Education Centre to experiment with our special, user-friendly, handheld, digital microscopes. See what leaves, seeds, and even microscopic bugs look like close up!

Ecology Workshop

Explore the world of ecology while taking an expedition through the Gardens exploring ecological concepts such as nutrient cycling, climate and soil adaptation, and habitat structure. This workshop combines an interactive classroom session with a tour of the Gardens’ native and exotic plants. It also features activities such as: mapping woodland and hedgerow habitats, stepping from tropical to desert biomes to explore plant adaptations to the world’s climate and environmental factors, and searching the Gardens’ amazing plant collection for fascinating living examples of ecological relationships such as competition, predation, parasitism, and symbiosis. Students will also get a rare chance to study plants at the centre of real conservation projects, and even see rare plants that are extinct in the wild. This workshop is based on the curriculum needs of the Leaving Cert Biology Sub-Unit General Principles of Ecology, but will also cover other aspects of the Leaving Cert Biology and Geography Curricula.