Friends of the Domes

Education Center at The Domes

Children's Education Programs

The Domes are a pillar to the education of Milwaukee and the surrounding communities. The FOD Education Program's goal is to provide powerful experiences to our visitors and members with the use of this deeply unique and globally diverse facility. We look forward to welcoming members of our plant-loving community to the Domes and other venues across the greater Milwaukee area for fun-filled field trips and workshops.

Keep posted on upcoming events: here on our website, on our calendar, on social media, or become a member and receive our emails and member discounts on course admissions.

For more information about refunds or about our workshops, contact the Education Director at

Friends of the Mitchell Park DomesMilwaukee County Parks

Children's Programs

Schools, Scouts, Youth and more!

Family Education at the Domes


This page includes information and request form for groups attending educator-led programming at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory ("The Domes"). 


Examples of these would be: Schools, Scouts, After-school, Youth, Child-care centers, Home school, Daycare, CLCs, Non-Profits, Boys & Girls Club, or any other groups with children/youth ages 5-17. 


Field trip for the 2020-2021 school year can now be requested! 

Please note, field trips are subject to change or cancellation due to current social distancing requirements. If cancellation is necessary, the decision will be made no less than two weeks before the scheduled field trip. We appreciate your understanding during this difficult time. 


1. General Information

2. Fee Structure

3. Scheduling

4. Programming Options

5. FAQs



1. General Information:


Educator-Led Field Trip Information: Schools, Scouts, Youth, After School, Homeschool, Camps, and any other group of children attending Educator-led Programming


Thank you for choosing the Mitchell Park Domes as your field trip destination! Our unique facility allows children to explore the rainforest, desert, and mediterranean - all in one day! 

The Friends of the Domes’s Education Program offers NEW field trips programs for grades K5-12. These programs, available for scheduling throughout the school year and summer, provide every attendee with the opportunities to acquire nature-based knowledge, experiences, hobbies, and values. Each Field Trip will include: Pre-trip information and optional curriculum, a hands-on, interactive, educator-led experience, exploration through all three Domes, and post-trip information with optional curriculum. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for your educator-led field trip.

2. Fee Structure:


Educator Guided Program (School Groups, Scouts, Youth, Homeschool, Camp, etc.)


Friends of the Domes Lead Interpretive Educator


An online registration request is required before a field trip can be scheduled

Minimum Required Notice

Required a minimum of THREE WEEKS PRIOR to your program date


Required a minimum of TWO WEEKS PRIOR to your program date

Final Numbers

Required a minimum of TWO WEEKS PRIOR to your program date

Days of the Week

Monday-Friday, Mornings prefered

Content Available

Developed to meet national standards. Choose between a variety of available curriculum

Child Cost (Updated 2020)

$7 per child

Minimum and Maximum Numbers

Minimum of 15 students (or $105) per field trip, Maximum of 60 students. 

Larger groups will need to be split to accommodate current staff capacity. 

Minimum Fee

$105 (15 paid students)

Chaperone/Adult Cost

1 free adult for every 10 students (rounded down), $7 for each additional adult


Administrative Fee

$50 cancellation fee applied if the program is cancelled under two weeks prior to your program.

$105 cancellation fee applied if the program is cancelled under 5 days prior to your program.

Programs that are cancelled by FOD leadership do NOT incur a cancellation fee. 

Scholarship Information

Financial assistance is available: partial or full scholarships


Additional Information on Fee Structure: 

Chaperone Numbers and Costs: 

Chaperones include any and all adults attending with the group during the time of your field trip, including teachers, assistants, paraprofessionals, aides, school staff, parents, etc.

Groups must have one adult per every 10 students*. (for example, if you have 35 students, you must bring at least 3 adults that will follow the Chaperone Policy). These adults will receive free admission. The fee for each additional adult is $7. 

*Groups with all students over the age of 14 may have one adult per every 15 students. 

Groups with young students or students with accessibility or special needs are recommended to have additional chaperones, although it is not required. 

Scholarship Information: 

The Dr. & Mrs. John Thomas Scholarship Fund was created through the generosity of the Thomas's with the intention of underwriting field trips for schools in need of financial assistance. Any schools that are interested in visiting the Domes for an educational program, but lack funding, are encouraged to apply to this fund for assistance. The fund generally funds 50% of the cost of a field trip.

If you are interested in applying for a partial or full scholarship, please indicate this on the Field Trip Request Form. We will contact you with more information. 

3. Scheduling

Booking Information: 

An online field trip request form is required to request a program. Please fill out this form before calling or emailing, as this is best for keeping all of our groups organized.  

Schools: Click Here for our School Field Trip Request Form

All Other Groups: Click Here for our Group Field Trip Request Form


*These forms have been available starting June 1st for the 2020-2021 School Year This form will be emailed to the Education Director. To contact Erica directly, please email


*We have two separate forms as some questions are slightly different between schools and other groups. 

In this form you will need:

A Google login to access the Google Form

Group information: Contact information, student information, 

Programming requests: Experience selection, learning objectives

Scheduling Information: Preferred times and dates

Check for understanding: understanding the information provided

Busy Times at the Domes:

Field trips are scheduled during times that the Domes are open to the public.  Please keep in mind when scheduling your trip that afternoons, especially in winter, are typically busier.

For a full calendar of events, please visit 

*Please note when the Show Dome is closed. 

4. Programming Options

Our programming for the 2020-2021 school year is currently being developed! 

The current program categories are listed below. You will choose a category, then we will send options for more specific programming to fit your groups’ learning objectives! 


  • The Tropical Experience- Tropical plants, plants that changed the world, animals, biodiversity, and human impact on the rain forest
  • The Desert Experience- Desert plants like cacti & succulents, animals (meet the bearded dragon!), adaptations, and survival
  • The Show Dome Experience- Explore the current Show Dome theme (which changes 5 times a year!), herbs, and Mediterranean plants
  • The Wisconsin Experience - Native plants and their importance, invasive species, Milwaukee water, local pollinators, save the bees!
  • The Team-building Experience- Team-building challenges, using your senses, mindfulness, restorative circles, and group discussions
  • The Arts Experience - Explore the arts, inspired by our diverse and unique plant collection



5. Information from FAQ:


The Mitchell Park Domes is unable to accommodate onsite lunch or a lunch area for groups. We recommend that your field trip is scheduled in a way that allows you to eat lunch at school or elsewhere. On a nice day, there is space to eat outside. 


The Domes offers free parking. Buses may pull to the front roundabout for drop off. 

Location and Hours:


Mitchell Park Domes

524 Layton Avenue 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215

The Domes are open 9:00AM to 5:00PM on weekdays and 9:00AM to 4:00PM on weekends and holidays. 

Program Times:

Because the Domes are open to the public, it is beneficial to plan your field trip during less busy times at the Domes. The morning is the best time to visit the Domes with a group as well as when the Show Dome is closed. The busiest  times at the Domes are during the winter, especially in the afternoon. 

Gift Shop and Vending Machines: 

Please discuss with your students prior to your trip if they will be permitted to visit the gift shop or vending machines. No more than 5 students may enter the gift shop at a time and must be accompanied by an adult. 

Mitchell Park Exploration:

Is there more to do in Mitchell Park? Absolutely! Mitchell Park includes 61 acres for outdoor activities, walking paths, a pond, and playground. Seems like a great place for some Capture the Flag before you head back to school! 

Additional Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Erica Putman, Education Director at