Field TRips


Bring your students to Bookworm Gardens for a nature-based field trip experience like no other. Field trips are hands-on, age appropriate, and learner-based, and they incorporate both literature and the Gardens.  Programs related to topics such as seasonal changes and exploration, the senses, literacy and poetry, composting, weather, the trees in the garden, and seeds and leaves take place at the Gardens May - October of each year in the mornings (AM) and afternoons (PM).

Our Fall 2019 + Spring 2020 slots are now full (see waitlist form below). Our Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 calendar will open up on January 1, 2020.

Please email Cate Tinker, Director of Education + Community Programming, at with questions. 

Step One: Review Field Trip Guidelines
Field trips and student programs are required for groups of 10 or more that register in advance through our Field Trip Request Form (see below). 

Field trip programs are typically 1.5 - 2 hours in length and can accommodate 10 - 250 learners. Field trip groups will not reach every area of the Gardens during their visit. With over 70 garden environments at Bookworm, every field trip experience looks a little different and is tailored to meet the needs of your group. Special requests can be made via the Field Trip Request Form.

Field trips take place early May through mid-October and are scheduled in either the morning or the afternoon. We're rain or shine - so be sure to dress for the weather! Bug spray, sun-sunscreen, hats, and ponchos are recommended. 

Cost per student is $4.00, and there is no charge for teachers, school staff, or parent chaperones essential for travel. Teachers should communicate to parents that adults who are not chaperones and siblings cannot attend field trips. Please see below for recommended chaperone numbers: 

10 students -  2 adults (including teachers)
10 to 30 students - 4 adults
30 to 40 students - 5 adults
40 to 60 students -  6 adults
60 to 100 students - 6 to 12 adults
100 to 200 students - 10 to 20 adults
200 to 250 students - 20 to 30 adults

Groups may choose to add 1/2 hour to their reservation in order to eat a picnic lunch on the grounds. Picnic locations are chosen by Bookworm Gardens' staff members and are outdoors. Your designated picnic location may not be shaded and may be located on grass. Groups need to bring their own trash bags and remove all their lunch trash when they leave. There is a $25 disposal fee for trash left in the Gardens.    
Non-traditional Groups (grandparent and grandchild experiences, homeschool groups) are $4.00 per person. Please fill out the Field Trip Request Form and indicate that you are a non-traditional group. 

We offer a limited number of programs for Scout Troops and Afterschool Programs. These experiences are typically 1.5 hours in length and occur between 4 - 5:30 PM. Please fill out the Field Trip Request Form and indicate that you are a scout troop.

Non-family groups of ten or more without a reservation and program may not visit Bookworm Gardens on their own.  This is to ensure that the Gardens are protected. 

Step Two: Gather Your Information
In order to fill out the Field Trip Request Form you will need to know approximately how many students you would like to bring to the Gardens, what the ages of your students will be, what time of year you would like to book your field trip for, and whether you prefer a morning or afternoon field trip. All field trips include hands-on exploration of the Gardens and use the changing seasons as a backdrop for activities and story times. You may choose to select an add on program and can learn more here.

Step Three: Fill Out the Field Trip Request Form

Step Four: Confirm Reservation with Cate Tinker, Director of Education & Community Programming
Once we receive your request, we will contact you within five school days to verify availability and create a group reservation. If we are unable to accommodate your request, we will contact you to discuss alternatives for your group. Please note that pre-registration for field trips is required. 

Step Five: Review Trip Logistics
An invoice will be sent to your email 2-3 months prior to your experience. Cost is $4.00 per student.

Final numbers must be confirmed 14 days in advance of your field trip experience. Please email Cate Tinker with any changes to your reservation. It is vital to Bookworm Gardens to get an accurate count so we can adequately staff your field trip and provide you with the best possible experience. In the case of a significant number decrease within two weeks of your field trip Bookworm Gardens reserves the right to charge the original amount invoiced.

Step Six: Day of Preparations
A pre-visit packet will be sent to your email 2-3 months prior to your experience. This packet will include suggested activities to prepare for the field trip, our list of Gardens Guidelines, an optional letter for parents, and the full list of books that inspired the Gardens.

Remember that we're rain or shine! In the case of severe weather, Director of Education, Cate Tinker will be in touch to discuss options. Don't forget rain gear, ponchos, bug spray and sunscreen!

Before leaving your school, please review the Gardens Guidelines with students and parent chaperones. Parents and staff attending field trips as designated chaperones should expect to actively engage in the learning process and should plan to pocket their cell phones and electronic devices during the field trip.
Please plan to arrive no more than 10 minutes prior to the start of your scheduled field trip experience. Buses should park in the designated lot, but may drop-off or pick-up at the front gate. If your field trip guide is not there to greet you, please have one person check-in with the gift shop attendant in the Hansel and Gretel Learning Cottage before unloading your bus.
Groups must remain with their assigned Bookworm field trip guide throughout their experience. Due to increased visitation to the Gardens, field trip groups may not explore the Gardens before or after their field trip on their own.   

Restrooms and paths are handicap accessible; however, please note that the restroom capacity is limited. There are two stalls in the women's restrooms and one stall in the men's restroom. Large groups, please plan to take children out a few at a time to use the restrooms.


Second grade students from Emmeline Cook Elementary in Oshkosh, WI won for 2019 contest with the book, Mossy

Second grade students from Emmeline Cook Elementary in Oshkosh, WI won for 2019 contest with the book, Mossy

Have you ever wanted to design your own garden at Bookworm? Wisconsin classrooms (Preschool - 5th grade) are encouraged to tell us about a book they’ve read and, in their own words, why it should be selected to be created into a temporary garden for the 2020 season!

Classroom entries will be reviewed by a committee of community members and Bookworm staff. The winning class will have their ideas transformed into a garden space for the 2020 season (May 1 – October 31), host a Bookworm staff member in their classroom to finalize their garden design, and receive funding for a special field trip to help plant the garden they designed!

Second grade students from Bethlehem Lutheran School in Sheboygan, WI won for 2018 contest with the book series, Frog and Toad

Second grade students from Bethlehem Lutheran School in Sheboygan, WI won for 2018 contest with the book series, Frog and Toad

Step One: Read as many books as you can with your class and review the project rubric. Let us know you'll be entering online here.
Step Two: Vote on which book your classroom would like to see transformed into a garden.
Step Three: Write your book reviews (include title, author, illustrator, overview of story, etc.).
Step Four: Create an age-appropriate design inspired by the book. Check out our resources below for ideas and inspiration.
Step Five: Submit your completed design proposal with an entry form to Bookworm Gardens by March 1, 2020.
Step Six: Celebrate with all participants at a reception at the Gardens in May 2020.

Important Dates:
Proposals Due – March 1, 2020
Winner Announced - March 2020
Winner Classroom Visit – April 2020
Winner Field Trip to Bookworm – May 2020
Winning Garden On View - May thru October 2020

Educator Resources

2019 Classroom Winner: Mossy, Emmeline Cook Elementary, 2nd Grade

2018 Classroom Winner: Frog and Toad, Bethlehem Lutheran School, 2nd Grade

2017 Classroom Winner: Drum Dream Girl, The Prairie School, 1st Grade

Readers Roundup is funded by the John M. Kohler Foundation. Questions can be sent to Cate Tinker, Director of Education & Community Programming.