Self-Guided Tours

Self-guided tours are a great way to get to get to know The Garden by exploring it at your own pace, with a Self-Guided Tour Booklet, provided at the time of your admission.

We can also provide you with Discovery Backpacks, which are exploration kits designed for children. (These may be checked out at admission.)

Walk-in Docent-led Tours

Docent-led tours have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.  We hope to resume them in the fall of 2020 the the exact timeline is still unknown.

A Docent-led walk-in tour is a guided experience of the Garden which includes a discussion of the elements of the history and plants of The Ruth Bancroft Garden. Tours average one hour in length. No reservations required.  Please note that our docents are all volunteers and thus on rare occasions a docent tour leader might not be available on a specific date or time.

April through June

Temporarily Cancelled

– Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 11AM


Temporarily Cancelled

-Tuesdays through Sundays at 10am and 11am

August through October

Temporarily Cancelled

– Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 11AM

November through March


– Saturdays & Sundays at 11AM

Interested in becoming a docent? Click here to learn more about our Docent Enrichment Program.

Field Trips & Children’s Tours

Due to Covid-19 and our temporary closure, we are currently not accepting tour requests.

The Garden offers a two-hour field trip program that meets the California curriculum standards for the third grade but can be adapted for students of all ages.

Students are divided into small groups and rotate through a series of tours that introduce them to local history, pollination, propagation, and water storage in plants. Other highlights include native uses of plants, water conservation strategies, and plant identification. Each student plants a succulent cutting to take home. Field trips are offered year-round. The cost is $7 per student.

We also offer tours for children’s groups (i.e. Scout groups). To make arrangements for your group, please call the office at 925-944-9352 or contact our Tour Coordinator.

Private Group Tours

Due to Covid-19 and our temporary closure, we are currently not accepting tour requests.

Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to sign up for a private group tour. Group tours can be arranged for any day or time during open hours Group tours cover the history of the Garden and the wonderful plant collection and can include additional topics by request. Tours should be scheduled at least 4 weeks prior to your visit. To schedule a group tour, fill out the request form. Our tour coordinator will contact you shortly after receiving your reservation form.