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  • School tour requests: We will open request for School Year the 2024-2025 on JULY 29th. All requests are done through our online school tour request form. Please read the following information before requesting a tour.
  • Price Increase: Due to rising operational costs, we will be raising our prices slightly for the 2024-2025 school year, beginning August 1st. Mahalo for your understanding.


Lyon Arboretum offers hands-on outdoor field trips for children in grades K and up, which adhere to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Hawaii Core Standards for Social Studies Standards (HCSSS), and/or the Hawaiʻi Content and Performance Standards III (HCPS III). Take a look at the information below to learn more about visiting the Arboretum with your school group.

We also offer school visits, where our staff will come visit your school with a selection of plants and give a short presentation to your class or grade level.

Please read the information below about our educational offerings carefully. If you have questions, please contact the Education office at (808) 988-0461 or


Click to show or hide the topics below:


School Tour to Lyon:

Groups typically are dropped off at Paradise Park as large school buses cannot make it up the road to the Arboretum. After drop-off, groups take a short 10 minute walk up to Lyon.  Most school buses require groups to be picked up by 12:00 pm. Travel time from and to Paradise Park is factored in. 

  • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm for groups opting to bring and eat lunch at the Arboretum. *Please refer to the Group Size section below if considering having lunch at the Arboretum.
  • 9:00 am – 11:30 am for groups opting to go back to school for lunch.  It is highly recommended that groups bring a snack to eat during the tour. We will be happy to schedule snack time during the tour. 
  • We can accommodate requests for other times, within reason.

Visit to School:

If you are interested in the Education staff visiting your school, please provide information about your school’s schedule and a likely timetable. We will want to know what time we should arrive, an approximate schedule for the day, and the expected end time.

We require 30 minutes to set up prior to the first presentation. We prefer to set up in a single classroom and have multiple classes rotate through to visit us. This allows us to provide more in-depth and hands-on programming.

Teachers must be present for the presentation.

  • Groups of 25 or fewer:
    • Flat rate of $180.00 for field trips (which includes students and parents/guardians). If you have fewer than 25 students in your group, you may bring more paying chaperones to help meet the minimum fee. Please notify us if you will be bringing more than the required number of chaperones.
  • Groups of more than 25:
    •  $8.00 per student and parent/guardian chaperone. Fees are waived for school staff.
  • Field trips (self-guided)
    • For self-guided field trips, the fee is $6.00 per person. This rate applies to all people attending, whether they are students, school staff, or parent chaperones.
  • Title I School Aid: We ARE currently able to offer Title I support. If your school is Title I, please apply for Title I school support AFTER you have reserved your field trip or school visit with us. We can generally provide support to cover the cost of our programming, and access to our digital bundles. Depending on our available funding, we may be able to provide financial assistance to the school for the cost or partial cost of school buses, as well as a snack or small lunch. You will be contacted after your field trip date is confirmed with more information.
GROUP SIZE (including lunch permissions and chaperone number recommendations)
  • Guided Field Trips
    •  Groups cannot exceed 50 students per day.
      •  Larger groups (50+ students) must schedule multiple visits across several days. If you want to bring more than the recommended number of chaperones please let us know prior to your visit. Mahalo.
    •  Lunch at the Arboretum
      • Groups with fewer than 30 students are welcome to bring lunch and eat indoors in our Children’s Learning Center classroom. 
      • Groups with 30 or more students requesting to eat lunch at the Arboretum will be allowed on a case-by-case basis
        • If allowed, groups will have to eat outside on the lawn areas, picnic style, weather permitting.
          • If the conditions become too wet or windy, we will be unable to provide indoor space for the group. The Children’s Learning Center Classroom cannot accommodate more than 30 students. 
        • Groups will have to bring their own picnic mats 
        • In lieu of lunch, we highly recommend all groups bring a snack which we will schedule time during the tour for your students to eat. 
    • Chaperones: In general, we recommend having 1 adult for every four-to-six students. If the cost of chaperones is a limiting factor for your group to visit, please reach out to us directly so we can discuss potential modifications to this policy.
      • 1-10 students: 2 adults (teacher and 1 parent chaperone )
      • 10-19 students: 3 adults (teachers or parent chaperones)
      • 20-24 students: 4 adults (teachers or parent chaperones)
      • 25-29 students: 5 adults (teachers or parent chaperones)
      • 30-36 students: 6 adults (teachers or parent chaperones)
  • Self-Guided Field Trips 
    • Self-guided groups are limited to no more than 25 students per day. 
    • Minimum chaperone count: 2 adults. For a group of 25, we recommend 3 to 5 chaperones.
    • Larger groups must schedule multiple visits across several days.
  • Visits to Schools 
    • School visits: No more than 30 students per class period. A teacher must be present for the presentation.

Field trips (guided and self-guided): Because Lyon Arboretum’s parking lot is limited in size, and the road to our site is narrow and winding, we ask all groups about their expected mode of transportation.

  • By school bus: Schools arriving by standard school bus drop off at Paradise Park. (Our road is too steep and narrow for school buses to drive up to the Arboretum.) For guided groups, Lyon staff will meet the group at Paradise Park and walk them up to the Arboretum, and we accompany the park back down to Paradise Park at the end of their visit. For self-guided groups, Lyon staff does NOT meet the group at Paradise Park or accompany them back down.
  • By small bus or large passenger van: Small school buses and large passenger vans can usually make it up our road. We generally have special instructions on where to park for these vehicles. Lyon Arboretum staff will offer more guidance on where these vehicles should park during the field trip planning process.
  • By personal vehicle/multiple cars (dropping off): Groups that have individual families drop off their students will meet at Paradise Park. The students’ teacher must be present during drop-off and pickup. Teachers or chaperones who need to park onsite can park at Lyon Arboretum, at Paradise Park (for a fee, see below), or in the nearby neighborhood. Lyon Arboretum staff will meet guided groups at Paradise Park and accompany them down from the Arboretum at the end of the visit. Lyon Arboretum staff will NOT be present for pickup and drop off for self-guided groups.
  • By personal vehicle/multiple cars (parking): Because of the size of our parking lot, we limit the number of vehicles per group that can park in our lot. This is dependent on the size of the group and other operations at the Arboretum that day (including groups and events organized through our other departments.) We strongly recommend carpooling whenever possible. Groups that have extra vehicles will have to make additional parking plans. They can park at Paradise Park for a fee, or they can park in the neighborhood and walk up to meet the group. Please do not plan to park in Lyon’s lot without coordinating with us first.
SAFETY POLICIES – Environment, Weather, Physical Requirements

Safety is our number one priority during our field trips. Due to Lyon Arboretum’s lush natural setting and the physically active nature of our field trip activities, all groups must understand and comply with the following precautions and policies:

  • Lyon Arboretum is situated in the very back of Mānoa Valley, in a tropical rainforest ecosystem. Weather is unpredictable and conditions fluctuate between hot and sunny, cool and overcast, and light or heavy rain. Trails can be potentially muddy and slippery, and mosquitoes can be a nuisance. Field trips at Lyon Arboretum are conducted in rain or shine, and activities may have to be adjusted on the spot due to sudden changes in weather.
  • In the event of extreme rain, high winds or other dangerous weather conditions, field trips will be cancelled for safety reasons by Education Staff no later than 7:30am the morning of the excursion.
    • Typically, bus companies will not charge a school for bus cancellation if it is due to safety concerns.
    • If we cancel your school’s field trip we will try our best to reschedule your group, depending on the availability of open dates. There is no charge to you if your field trip is cancelled due to extreme weather.
    • Occasionally weather becomes extreme as groups are in-transit to or already at the Arboretum. In that case, activities are adjusted as best as possible to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • All attending school staff, parent chaperones, and children must be prepared for the active and outdoor nature of field trip activities at Lyon Arboretum*. Participants must be able to stand and walk around for the duration of the 3-hour visit (excluding the 30 minute lunch) as well as navigate uphill/downhill slopes and uneven or unstable terrain. Participants may be subject to mud, heavy rain, sun, wind, and mosquitoes and must dress appropriately to ensure their safety and comfort.
  • Wheelchairs: Most of the trails are not wheelchair or stroller friendly. Should a student with mobility disabilities participate in the field trip to Lyon, please let the Education staff know in advance to plan for the drop-off location, and modifications to the tour.  We can plan for alternative activities (if staff is available) for the student instead of a hike, as well as provide a private area for changing. Early notification/requests can make it more possible to offer alternatives.
  • Hearing-Impaired Students – ListenTALKdevices available
    • The Honolulu Sertoma Club has generously provided assistance for us to acquire several Listen Technologies Two-Way Communication (ListenTALK) devices. 
    • The transceivers work through over distances and are easy to carry with you on a walk through the Arboretum. With these devices, our guided tours and school field trips will be more accessible to those hard of hearing.
    • We have a limited number of units, but we are eager to put them to work to make our field trips more accessible. If your group would like to make use of this technology, please be sure to fill out the corresponding field in our form.
  • Students needing extra support: Please let the Education staff know prior to the school tour if there are students that need extra support for their learning or behavior. We welcome all students but because of the terrain and safety, we may need to plan alternative routes, and/or activities, or require a one-on-one chaperone. 

*Please notify Lyon Education Staff well in advance of your school’s field trip date if there are any concerns regarding accessibility or requests for special accommodations.


Substitute teacher policy (announced 12/5/22, effective 1/1/2023) For safety reasons and out of an abundance of caution, Lyon Arboretum reserves the right to deny entrance to field trip groups that are led by substitute teachers. An exception may be made for long-term substitute teachers or for certain unavoidable circumstances.

Due to the nature of our environment and our activities, it is important that the teachers who lead visiting field trip groups are familiar with the students and the planned itinerary. This is for the safety and comfort of the students.

This is also for the safety and comfort of the substitute teacher, as we have in the past had teachers who were not prepared for an outdoor field trip.

If the Lyon Arboretum staff does have safety concerns that lead to the group being asked to return to their school, we will work with the school to re-schedule the field trip to the extent possible.

Mahalo for understanding.


Lyon Arboretum can accept payment in the form of cash, check, credit card, or PO (purchase order).

  • Cash: The day-of coordinator should collect all cash payments from participants before the visit begins. The coordinator then gives payment in full to the Lyon Arboretum staff representative. (Please do not allow individual families to attempt to pay individually during your program.)
  • Check: Checks MUST be written out to the UNIVERSITY OF HAWAIʻI. 
  • Credit card: Credit card payment may be made in person at the start of your visit. Please go to the Visitor Center Gift Shop to make your payment.
  • PO (Purchase Order): Please ask Lyon Arboretum staff for details before issuing a PO for your visit.
  • Invoice: If your organization requires an invoice, please let the Arboretum staff know.
  • Field trips may be canceled by Lyon Arboretum at the last minute due to severe weather conditions such as wind storms. Safety is our main concern.
    • Payments will be refunded if payment was received prior to the field trip date and the Education Staff will try to reschedule but cannot guarantee dates.
  • If you cancel at least two weeks prior to your visit, you may receive a full refund if payment has already been received.
  • We are unable to give refunds for cancellations with less than two weeks notice and groups will be charged 20% of the total cost for your group.
  • No refunds will be given for absent students on the day of the field trip.


Click on one of the grade levels (on the underlined text) below to display a brief description of activities and standards met for each school tour or school visitation offered.

Most of the grade level field trips align to the Next Generation Science Standards, but the fourth grade field field trip is aligned to the Hawaii Core Standards for Social Studies. One field trip for Grades 2 and above offers two different art activities of your choosing.

If none of the programs below aligns with your class topic, please let us know! We can work with you to meet your needs if within our means. You can also check out our Digital Resources Bundles to use at school. These resources are designed for use in the classroom and most of them are thematically aligned with our live field trip programs.


Currently, we are only booking dates for SUMMER 2024: June and July. Check the School Tours Calendar below for our availability during the summer.

We will open up for School Year 2024-2025 requests starting July 29th.

Check the calendar via the link below for open dates to see what days are available to schedule a school tour to Lyon or a visit by Lyon Education staff to your school.

We book up very quickly and recommend you book far in advance as possible. Dates are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • If dates are available, please fill out the ONLINE TOUR REQUEST form. Do not email or call to request a tour/visit. However, if you have questions, we would be happy to help!
    • The form will be available July 29th.
    • Read through all of the information provided above before filling out the request form.
  • Be sure to have your FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD choice of dates

Click here for the School Tours Calendar


When you are ready to request a tour and are aware of our policies and dates, you can fill out our ONLINE SCHOOL TOUR REQUEST FORM. The form is not available for the 2024-2025 School Year. It will be available on July 29th.

For SUMMER 2024 (June-July), click here to open the online form:

Check back for School Year 2024-2025. Mahalo for your patience!