Field Trips


The Guadalupe River Park & Gardens is an education destination like no other. A natural oasis located in the heart of downtown San Jose, the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens (GRPG) features 254 acres of park that include the Heritage Rose Garden, the Historic Orchard, a community garden, and 2.6 miles of trail that runs adjacent to the Guadalupe River. The GRPG is a natural outdoor laboratory for science experiments, a creative and dynamic atmosphere for learning, and a perfect destination for field trips!


Field trips cost $345 for up to 40 students and $10 for each additional student in excess of 40. Program and transportation scholarships are available to Title 1 schools as well as groups of people with special needs. All groups must provide at least one engaged, adult chaperone for every 10 students on the trip; the specific chaperone ratio for field trips for people with special needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Participants will be divided evenly into small groups that will rotate through exciting, hands-on activity stations!


Quick Links:


Garden Field Trips

Garden Field Trips focus on the learning opportunities provided by our Historic Orchard and Heritage Rose Garden. Every Garden Field Trip includes tours of the Historic Orchard and Heritage Rose Garden along with grade-specific activities designed to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards. Some examples of grade-specific activities include rose dissection, a simulated archaeological dig of the local area, and creating personalized fruit labels while learning about food preservation.


River Field Trips

River Field Trips encourage a deeper understanding of the riparian corridor through the exploration of the Guadalupe River and Trail. Every River Field Trip includes a Nature Walk along the Guadalupe River Trail and an experiment on the the banks of the Guadalupe River along with grade-specific activities designed to incorporate Next Generation Science Standards. Some examples of grade-specific activities include salinity testing, an obstacle course that mimics the treacherous path of a salmon returning to its home river, and a game that helps demonstrate why birds have differently-shaped beaks.


To Sign Up


If you are interested in booking a field trip, please follow these simple steps:

1. Review the field trip opportunities available and frequently asked questions below.

2. Click here to register for a field trip using our online calendar. Scroll to your desired date (reservations must be made at 45 days in advance) and select your field trip. Or contact us at or 408-298-7657 to plan and schedule your field trip.

3. Schedule transportation. (The cost of transportation is not included.)

4. Receive your confirmation letter and teacher information packet from the education staff.

5. Have fun! Please contact us with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions


When are field trips available?

Field trips are two hours long and are available Monday through Friday from 9:30-11:30am. You may view available dates on our calendar by scrolling through the calendar to find your desired field trip date and completing the registration process.


What time do field trips start?

Field trips take place from 9:30-11:30am.  Please contact the education staff if you are interested in an earlier or later start time.


What is your maximum group size?

In order to provide the best learning experience and maintain effective student to staff ratios, we can accommodate a maximum of 40 students per program.


How many chaperones are required? Is there an admission fee for chaperones?

We require at least one chaperone per 10 students; more are welcome. There are no admission fees for chaperones.


How much do field trips cost?

Field trips cost $345 for up to 40 students and $10 for each additional student in excess of 40.


Are scholarships available? How can I request a scholarship?

A limited number of program and transportation scholarships are available to Title 1 schools. If you would like to request a scholarship, please check the Title 1 box under coordinator/attendee information upon registration.


Looking for more transportation help?

Our friends at Environmental Volunteers have established a transportation fund to provide financial assistance to Bay Area schools attending science-based field trips. To apply, please register through Environmental Volunteers – Transportation Fund.


The Class Pass Program

The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) offers Santa Clara County teachers up to two “class passes” every school year, redeemable for free fare for students on field trips traveling on VTA buses and light rail. Interested teachers must complete an application at least three weeks prior to the scheduled trip. Click here for more information.

How can I pay?

We accept checks payable to GRPC, as well as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Click here to make a credit card payment online. Please note the payment details in your confirmation email. You can also pay with a credit card during the registration of your field trip by selecting credit card (online) under payment type and then checking out. Payment is due no later than one month prior to the date of your field trip or your registration may be canceled.


How can I cancel my registration?

Please contact us as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration so that another class may attend. In order to receive a refund, you must notify us at least 45 days in advance of the field trip date; no refunds will be given after this time. Failure to notify us in a timely manner may also affect your eligibility for future programs and/or scholarships.


Where does my field trip meet?

River Field Trips start at the bus loading zone on Autumn Parkway next to our Visitor Center located at 438 Coleman Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110. Garden Field Trips should arrange to be dropped off at the Heritage Rose Garden parking lot at 412 Seymour Street, San Jose, CA 95110.


Is there a place I can have lunch after the program?

Guadalupe Gardens has a designated picnic area available on a first-come, first-serve basis near the Heritage Rose Garden that seats about 40. There are also picnic tables spread along the trails just north of the Visitor Center that seat about 40 combined. The Rotary PlayGarden, located about a minute’s walk from the Visitor Center, also has a shaded picnic area. Please be aware that the Rotary PlayGarden is closed on Mondays.


Are there restrooms near the field trip site?

There are two restrooms at the Visitor & Education Center and at the Rotary PlayGarden. We recommend that students use the restroom before leaving, or after the conclusion of the field trip, in order to minimize interruptions during the program.


Are there drinking fountains nearby?

There are drinking fountains at the Rotary PlayGarden and near the Heritage Rose Garden, but not at the Visitor & Education Center. We encourage participants to bring a full water bottle.


I’m planning to take VTA. Where are the nearest VTA stops?

Guadalupe Gardens is served by VTA lines 61 & 62. The St. James and Japantown/Ayer light rail stations are nearest the Visitor & Education Center; Civic Center station is nearest the Heritage Rose Garden. Use VTA’s online trip planner or call 408-321-2300 for more information.


Are there other areas I can explore after the field trip?

Check out our Walking Map on this page for other points of interest accessible via the park’s trails.


What if I have additional questions?

Email the Education Program Manager or call 408-298-7657.
















I would certainly recommend GRPC to anyone that asks where to take their children. My staff and the children really enjoyed learning about the birds and animals that live in the area. My personal experience with my son who is 4 tells me all the time about nests and birds that he sees. Thank you!

Animals In and Out (Pre-school group), 10/12


“We liked everything!  We liked the variety – having four different, yet related sessions – with lots of hands-on and interaction. We definitely would recommend this field trip!”

Flower Power, 9/12

The staff interactions were genuine with out students.  We liked how there were visuals and headphones in the restrooms.  The entire concept of the field trip was great for our students.   All staff were professional and truly cared about our students and their program.”

River Explorers (Special Needs), 7/12


Thank you very much for the wonderful field trip ‘Hooked on Chinooks!’ we attended the field trip back in April, and by the end of the school year my 5th graders were still raving about it.  Most of my class chose it as their favorite field trip of the year.  Your staff was extremely  knowledgeable and engaging.  I look forward to taking my next class!”

Hooked on Chinooks, 4/12


“Many of our students are second language learners. A field trip provides them a hands-on real world situation that brings the curriculum to life. They internalize and retain the language and concepts at a much deeper level. When we return to school, the pictures, work they have completed and memories stay with them and aide in written work reinforcing standard concepts and language. The impact is immeasurable in many ways, but the growth I see as a teacher lends itself to HUGE growth!”
Flower Power, 2nd Grade Teacher
(has come for Flower Power, 2011, 2012 and scheduled for 2013)

“Our 1st graders truly enjoyed your program last year. We, the teachers, were very impressed with the planned activities for them. It was FUN! We hope to be able to experience it again w/ our incoming first graders this year. Thanks!”
River Sleuths 2012, scheduled for 2013


“Everything was wonderful! The second graders in this class had looped with the teachers and this was the only field trip they got to go on in 2 years. They loved it and it was only made possible by the bus scholarship we received.”
Bedrock ‘n Roll, May 2013


“My class made two trips to you – one for the Pollination Experience and one for the River Explorer.  These were the best field trips my class has ever taken.  I’d love to get us back up there again.  Because my students are disadvantaged in addition to being disabled, they lack so many experiences that normal children get to explore.  I try very hard to teach my students to become nature explorers, observers and lovers. Thanks again!!
Special Needs Class, September 2013

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