Field Trip FAQ's

When are field trips available?

Field trips are conducted during the school year, September through May.  Sessions begin at 9:30 am and run through 11:00 am or from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, though this can be flexible for groups traveling far distances.  All of the programs are offered Wednesda through Friday.  Self Guided groups are accommodated on Mondays and Tuesdays.


What costs are included in a field trip?

All guided programs are available at a cost of $5.00 per student for the first program and $3.00 per student for an additional program.  There is no cost for parking or for every one adult or teacher for every 5 students when scheduled one week prior to your visit.  Payment should be given to the program instructor in the form of a check made to the NC Arboretum Society.  Self Guided groups are welcome to visit at a rate of $2.00 per student when scheduled ten days in advance.


How long should I plan to be at The Arboretum?

This depends upon how much time you have!  We typically see busses arrive around 9:15 am for their 9:30 am program in order to use the restrooms and meet their instructor.  Once the program wraps up at 11:00 am many classes enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens before attending a second program at 12:00 pm, visit the exhibit hall or utilize our self-guided activities to further explore the trails and gardens.  An average "full-day" field trip typically runs from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.


Where do we eat lunch?

School groups are assigned a lunch spot:  the Outdoor Events Garden or Grand Garden Promenade (in front of the Education Center).  In the case of inclement weather an indoor space will be made available in the Baker Exhibit Center.  Click here to download a map of The Arboretum's trails and gardens


How do I get to The Arboretum?

The Arboretum is located off NC 191 (Brevard Road) near Biltmore Square Mall at the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance.  Check in with the front gate for any program updates and to receive additional directions and information.  Your instructor will meet you as early as 15 minutes prior to the pre-determined program start time.  Groups that arrive earlier are welcome to explore the grounds prior to their program, but will not be met by a guide.  Busses should drop students off at either the Baker Center or Education Center circle and park in the designated bus parking area across the road from the large parking lot.  Refer to your confirmation email to determine the best drop off for your group.  Click here for more detailed driving directions


How many adults should attend the field trip?

We require 1 adult for every 10 students to attend both guided and self-guided programming.  Guided programs are free for one teacher or adult for every five students.


Will the trip be cancelled in the event of bad weather?

The trip will only be cancelled if The Arboretum is closed, a decision made prior to 8:00 am each morning (call 828-665-2492 for the recording).  In the event of severe rain, thunderstorms or high winds the program may be rescheduled or take place indoors at the visiting teacher's discretion.  We're not afraid to get wet, so if you're students are prepared for the rain we'll be right there with them!


How do I schedule a field trip?

Call or email Michelle Pearce, Youth Education Coordinator, at or (828) 665-2492 ext. 224.  Only a teacher or other school staff may schedule field trips.  Have the following information on hand:

  • School's name
  • Teacher's names attending the field trip
  • Grade level of the class
  • Total number of students, adults and classes expected to attend, also total number of buses and/or personal vehicles
  • Email address and phone number of lead teacher
  • An ideal day of the week, month, arrival time and departure time

Our busiest months are April and October.  If you would like a program during these months be sure to call early!