Field Studies at Awbury Arboretum

Weekday mornings, 10:00am – 11:30pm:  Educational programs with optional afternoon add-on activities.
Picnic facilities available for brown bag lunch.

Cost: $6 per child for morning program.  Group size minimum: 10.  Ages: Preschool – Middle school

Field Studies at Awbury Arboretum provide hands-on environmental education programs that can be tailored to meet your curriculum or specific age and ability related needs. Our programs focus on exposing young people to the natural world through fun activities and exploration. Digging in the soil, examining a seed, catching tadpoles or going on a bird hike are just some of the ways students can engage with nature while visiting Awbury. Our goal is for students to learn about and appreciate nature while having a great time. We provide trained Educators for the programs listed below and can be flexible regarding combining program elements.

Call 215-849-2855 ext 21 or email for more information or to register.

Lesson Offerings for 2014:


 naturepoetryNature Poetry

Express yourself! Your class will stroll among the trees or through the meadow and let nature be the inspiration. Whether it be in the form of a haiku or free verse, your students will listen to the works of well-known poets, and, like them, put into words how nature makes us feel.


Art & Nature

Discover sculptor and land artist Andy Goldsworthy. After learning a bit about the artist and viewing pictures of his work, students will have the opportunity to collect nature items and create their own ephemeral pieces of sculpture on the Arboretum campus. Bring the camera to capture these fleeting works of art.


scavenger huntNature Scavenger Hunt*

Join Awbury naturalists on this active exploration. Can you find a leaf gall? What about a maple seed samara? See if your team can find all of nature’s treasures on our scavenger hunt list! *for children 8 and older.


Owls & Hawks

Owls & hawks are beautiful, regal, wise birds of prey – creatures of myth and legend that live alongside us, seldom seen but always close even in the urban forest of Philadelphia. Discover these fascinating birds, where they nest, how they hunt, which species can be found in our own PA back yards. Young ornithologists can dissect an owl pellet and learn the barred owl’s song.



We’re going on a spider hunt!  Sticky webs, 8 skittering legs, may eyes!  But don’t be scared, our teachers will help students discover the fascinating world of arachnids and the important role they play in our world.


Wilderness Survival Skills

Trail marking and wild foraging. Don’t get lost in the woods! Awbury educators will teach young explorers how to leave a trail and read a trail. If you were to become temporarily lost, learn what plants will help you get by until help arrives. (For children 8 and older)


snakeCreepy, Crawly Critters

Who lives under your feet? Who eats the dirt and nourishes the soil? Who is long and slimy and has no eyes? Earthworms of course! Come search under logs and rocks and discover how earthworms and other critters help take care of the Earth.


5 SensesFive Senses

Sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste – through fun games and activities, your students will practice observing the natural world from a multitude of new perspectives. Students will discover plants that smell like lemons and root beer, and identify other surprising scents, sounds, and sights in nature!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

A seed is a tiny bit of magic – a seemingly lifeless small bit that can grow into a massive tree, a delicate and fragrant flower, or a delicious bite to eat.  Come do hands-on exploration of different seeds.  Find out how they travel, what they need to germinate, and how long they can stay dormant.


Dragonflies, crickets, bees, praying mantids, pill bugs and lady beetles; Awbury is home to all types of insects. Come learn about the habitats, habits, and special adaptations that help insects thrive. Young nature explorers will be regular entomologists by the time they finish this bug safari.

Pond Life

The pond is where children love to be!  Awbury’s population of tadpoles, bullfrogs, dragonflies, mud-loving insects, and meadow birds put on a marvelous display for your observers.  Students explore the area with hands-on activities including scooping water and mud to look for critters, using binoculars to search for birds, and sweeping nets through tall grasses to discover winged insects.


Did you know that no two snowflakes are ever alike?  Come discover the science of snow, the shapes of snow crystals and how they form.  See photographs of beautiful real snowflakes and make your own lovely paper snowflake to take home.

Fruit Tasting and Orchard Exploration

Visit Awbury Arboretum’s food forest.  A food forest is an orchard that is planted with fruit trees and other plants to create a permaculture food garden.  Children will visit the forest and other areas of the agricultural village to learn how fruits, berries, and nuts can be grown right here in urban Philadelphia.  Seasonal fruit tasting provided.

Winter Survival

Bundle up for a winter hike to explore what plants and animals do to survive the winter.  Who hibernates?  Who is napping?  What animals stay awake and active all winter long?

Field Games

Run and play at the Arboretum!  Hula-hoop hand-off, Egg-selent Egg Race, relay races and more!  This can be an individual field trip or added on to any of our field studies classes.

Call 215-849-2855 ext 21 or email for more information or to register.

Special Partner Programs:

Farm to Plate > With Weavers Way Community Programs

This lesson is an opportunity to come to the Mort Brooks Memorial Urban Farm on the grounds of Awbury Arboretum and harvest, wash, cook, and eat fresh vegetables! Vegetables are picked and prepared for you, as your group learns how fresh produce makes it from the farm to the store, or your plate. The group will have the opportunity to take a tour of the grounds, and taste many of the plants growing on the property, with discussions about seasonal, local, and organic food! To register, please click  here to visit Weavers Way Community Programs‘ website