We can tailor tours for schools, 4-H, and other youth groups according to interests, needs, and age of children. Topics include bird study, archeology, environmental science, forestry, gardening, geology, insect study, mammal study, nature, plant science, reptile and amphibian study, soil, and water conservation.

We need at least two weeks before the requested tour date to schedule guides. Each guide is assigned a group of no more than 15 children, or no more than 8 preschoolers. Please see tour resources page to help you plan your visit.

Tour Topics


60-minute tours ($28/guide)

  • Seasonal Sensory Hike
  • Pond Dipping (seasonal) – this is a 90-minute tour.
  • Insects: Creeping, Crawling, Flying (growing season)
  • Looking for Animal Signs

Grades K–2

90-minute tours ($42/guide). Shorter tours may be requested. Lower elementary groups can do the following tours:

  • Ecosystem Sampler: Compare different ecological communities—forest, wetland, and prairie—and the characteristics of their inhabitants.
  • Pond Life: (seasonal) Explore animals and plants of ponds; includes dipping.
  • Prairie Life: Using Curtis Prairie as a classroom, discover how plants and animals have adapted to survive the droughts, winds, and fires characteristic of prairies.
  • Forest Life: Explore how physical location and seasonal changes affect deciduous woods and discover the interrelationships among members of woodland communities.
  • Life in Winter: Look for clues to identify animals adapted to staying in Wisconsin year-round.

Grades 3–5

90-minute tours ($42 per guide). Shorter tours may be requested. Upper elementary groups can do any of the tours listed above, plus:

  • Effigy Mounds and Local Native American history: Visit and learn about 1,000-year-old effigy and burial mounds, the woodland Indians who built them, and the woodlands and wetlands that provided these early inhabitants their sustenance.
  • Glacial Geology: Explore landforms left behind by the Continental Glaciers.

Grades 6–12

90-minute tours ($42 per guide). Shorter tours may be requested. Middle and High School can do any of the tours listed above, plus:

  • Ecological Restoration: this hands-on tour emphasizes skills and techniques involved in restoring native communities.

Special Themes

Covering ecological concepts you request, these tours are custom-made to provide field experiences complementing your curriculum or special interest, such as:

  • Ecosystem samplers
  • Ecological restoration
  • Spring wildflowers
  • Summer wildflowers
  • Fall wildflowers
  • Fall color
  • Lilacs, crabapples, and magnolias
  • Shade trees
  • Native plant gardening
  • Birds and pollinators