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

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
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at 11AM

Tuesdays through Sundays at 10am and 11am

August through October
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

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.