Guided Programs

These programs are available Monday through Thursday, from April until October.

Paid, guided programs should be scheduled no less than 72 hours in advance. Applications must be submitted to reserve your program. Pre-payment is preferred. If paying day of, group leader should collect all fees prior to the program and submit payment in the gift shop as 1 transaction. Refunds for cancelled tours can be submitted in writing 5 days prior to the event, and are subject to a $10 processing fee.

Guided Tram Tour

A guide can drive small groups to key garden locations. The tour is 1 and 1/2 hours long; the cost is $50 per group of 20.

Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House

The Butterfly House is available mid-May through September. Discover the life-cycle of the butterfly from egg to larvae to pupae to adult. Learn about the basic needs of wildlife and the specific plants needed by butterflies for food and to raise their young. This program takes about 30 minutes to complete. The fee for the butterfly house is $25 per group of 12, plus $2 for each additional person.

Seeds & Scavenger Hunt

Learn more about how plants reproduce and scatter their seeds by wind, water and wildlife. After a 30 minute program, students are invited to hunt for seeds around the gardens and share their observations.

Plant Parts & People

Learn more about the plants and plant parts we eat as well as the plants we use to make everything from shoes and baseball bats. Students will be invited to see these plants growing around the gardens.

Gray-Campbell Farmstead

Life in 1860s, especially for 5th grade! Course offered 6 weeks in fall and spring. Guided programs for other groups are available by appointment. Contact Michelle Atkinson via email or by calling 417-725-4921. Visit the farmstead website for more information.

Self-Guided Programs

The following programs are available anytime!

Play Trail

Discover nature by play! Designed to engage rigorous exercise for the body and mind these 5 playgrounds can be found near the butterfly house around Lake Drummond. See plants and nature and follow the activities found at each play pod. The recommended group size for this activity is 12 or less. Activity stations include the butterfly, leaves, trees, pond life, and mushrooms. The walking trail's length is approximately 1 mile.

Discover & Dial

The Guide by CellĀ® audio tour is available anytime, anywhere by calling 417-213-3016. Create your own self-guided tour by simply dialing the posted prompt as you enter each garden area or discover an interesting feature! Brochures also list the garden areas and prompt No. s for more information. This program is free, the only cost is your cellphone minutes!


Many trees have been identified and labeled with added information about the plant. Trees are marked by 4-foot tall paddles. Green labels designate native species, brown labels identify non-native species. This is a great resource for plant identification projects!

Visit to learn more about our tree collection. 

The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden

The cost for the stroll garden is $3 per adult, kids 12 and under are free. Guides are available for an additional $2 per person. This garden is open April through October from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. The garden is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Host Lions Club History Walk

The history walk features 28 granite markers commemorating historical American figures. A scavenger hunt can be arranged by contacting a Lions Club representative at 417-833-9879.

South Creek Greenway

The Botanical Center features a major trail-head for people hiking and biking the 7.5-mile Greenway. Observe wildlife, plantings, and different habitats along the creek going both east and west from our central point at Lake Drummond.

Online Forms

Self-Guided Youth Activities & the Play Trail

In a broader initiative to get kids moving and interacting with our gardens and nature, 5 play pods have been installed along the trail and around Lake Drummond. Smaller groups and families are encouraged to start from the Botanical Center and discover more about butterflies, trees, leaves, pond life, and mushrooms. Interpretive signage accompanies each Playpod, so small lessons can be incorporated in each play experience. The walking distance for this trail is approximately 1 mile for a full circle.

Downloadable Resources

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