Education Center

Explore our gardens

Family Interpretation Experience

Located next to the Gardens & Gore Creek in Ford Park, the Education Center is the best place to start your visit. Discover & learn about the alpine environment and its tough plants through informational displays, drop-in activities and a state-of-the-art alpine house featuring plants from around the world.

Open year round and provides an educational experience for guests of all ages. Spanish translation available.

Current Exhibit

Explore the link between birds – living dinosaurs – and their extinct ancestors. Visit our gardens and the Education Center throughout the summer for the Dinosaurs Among Us exhibit, dinosaur family scavenger hunt, educational activities, and expert speaker events.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is pleased to present this exhibit courtesy of member donations and our sponsors.

Organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York with support from North Museum of Nature and Science, United States; Philip J. Currie Museum, Canada; Museo de Ciencias, Universidad de Navarra, Spain; and Universum Museo de las Ciencias de la UNAM, Mexico, Dinosaurs Among Us explores the practically obsolete boundary between the animals we call birds and those we traditionally called dinosaurs.

This edition of Dinosaurs Among Us is curated by Dr. Akinobu Watanabe, Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and Assistant Professor of Anatomy at New York Institute of Technology. It is adapted from the Museum’s original exhibition of the same title, curated by Mark Norell, Curator Emeritus in the Division of Paleontology.

Past Exhibit

Rocky Mountain High!

November 2023 - March 2024

Are you missing alpine plants while they are covered with snow? Their beauty will be displayed in the juried exhibition Rocky Mountain High, by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has partnered with the RMSBA to illustrate 40 examples of Colorado’s smallest and toughest plants in amazing detail. The exhibit will be on display at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Education Center.

Colored pencil drawing of flowering thorny plant

Alpine House: A Cold Greenhouse

The Alpine House is a cold greenhouse which mimics our alpine environment. The House is monitored and regulated through highly sensitive temperature control and allows Betty Ford Alpine Gardens to house some of the rarest plants 365 days a year.

Learn & Do

Please join us in the Education Center to discover the mountain ecosystem in winter.

Family Winter Scavenger Hunt

Freezing temperatures and deep snow make winters in Vail challenging. Discover how animals have adapted to survive by following the clues!  Children who complete the scavenger hunt get a special prize. The Scavenger Hunt starts at the Education Center, available every day from 10am to 3pm.

Illustration of a Pika - Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Indoor Bird Watching Activities
Indoor Bird Watching - Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
Family Tabletop Activities

Family Tabletop Activities - Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Family Exhibit - Betty Ford Alpine Gardens 

Visit our calendar of events for ways to explore and experience our gardens and participate in learning programs.

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