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

Biophilia

Nature is good for us, and we need it! Take a journey around the colours, scents, and textures of the Gardens to find out how and why we sense and interact with the natural world the way we do, the many benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing, and how we can share these ideas in our homes and gardens to reconnect with natural landscapes and rhythms. Available year round. 

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.

Harebell etc in Burren grassland

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

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.

Green Schools Biodiversity Flag

We offer support to both primary and secondary schools in achieving Green Flag status. Explore the Gardens on our biodiversity tour and discover the importance of our native plants and animals. This is followed by a hands-on workshop in our Erasmus Education Garden where you will get some practical advice on what to do in your school garden to support biodiversity. We will take a look at the pollinator and bog beds and sow some seeds to take back to your school garden. The workshop culminates with a self-guided trail. Each green flag session lasts around two hours. 

Hands-on Vegetable Garden Workshop

Sow food and flower seeds to bring back to your school garden. Get practical advice about what to plant and when so that you can taste a seasonal harvest all the year!  Available year round. 

school kids doing a workshop in the children's garden

Trails

Plant Partners

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

Native Trail

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

Sculpture in Context Trail

This trail will be available for the duration of the exhibition (for 2018 Thursday 6th Septemeber – Friday 19th October) and will look at a few choice pieces in greater detail.

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.

Biophilia

Nature is good for us, and we need it! Take a journey around the colours, scents, and textures of the Gardens to find out how and why we sense and interact with the natural world the way we do, the many benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing, and how we can share these ideas in our homes and gardens to reconnect with natural landscapes and rhythms. Available year round. 

viking house and heart poppy

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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.

Workshop for TY Horticulture Participants – Food Glorious Food

Join us for half-day session finding out all about the plant foods we eat from tropical fruits to temperate crops. Visit the Organic Kitchen Garden to see what is growing outdoors, take a self-guided trail, discover the economic plant crops which we use in our everyday lives, and plant your very own food crop to take back to your school garden. Availale year round. 

prunus persica nucipersica madame gaillar nectarine