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Filoli is closed until Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Please join us when we reopen.

Nature Education

How to Register

Use the link below each class to register or call 650–364–8300, ext. 508, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Refund Policy

Click here for our Education Programs Refund Policy.

Sally MacBride, one of the founders of the Filoli Nature Education Program and dedicatee of the Filoli Nature Museum, on the goal of the program:

Adult Education at Filoli: Nature Education Hike

“To promote awareness, respect for and understanding of the importance and total interrelatedness of the natural resources of the earth, and all forms of life, by sharing the undeveloped portion of Filoli with the community, young and old, through a program of informative walks.”

Our students say it best…

“This was by far one of the most informative and educational classes that I’ve attended in many years.” From Basic Animal Tracking and Awareness.

“Wonderful, approachable, personable, knowledgeable.” From The Mystery of Bird Song with David Lukas.

“Loved the stories, insights, and challenging thoughts that the docents brought up. thanks so much for a great tour!” From a Nature Hike attendee.

2017 Classes

Blevins Bee keeping


Beekeeping Basics

Instructors: Charlie Blevins

Come learn the basics of beekeeping. Classes will cover everything from hive setup to regular maintenance of your colony. No experience or prior knowledge of bees is required as we will bring you up to speed on how these fascinating creatures operate, how important they are to us and the world, and why they need our help.

Fee for each class: $45 members; $50 non–members.

Beekeeping Equipment

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come and learn about the various equipment options you have in starting your own beehive including the best price options as well as how to prepare you equipment for bees. Beekeeping equipment vendor catalogs will be proved.

Beekeeping 101

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Discover how to install your bees in your equipment, what to expect month to month and how to manage your first season bees in this basic beginner class.

Extracting Honey

Saturday, August 5, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Now that you have the basics down you’ll be shown how to extract and process your delicious honey from the hive.

Overwintering Your Hives

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn how to manage your hives through the winter months and into spring.

Bee Keeping Basics


Beekeeping Basics – Field Workshops

Instructors: Bonnie Morse

Using hives on the property, as well as classroom instruction, you will find out about the tools and techniques used to care for them, how to identify the health of a queen and the colony, and how to identify and help problems.

Fee for each class: $65 members; $80 non–members.

Beekeeping Basics

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

You have your bees, now what?? Learn tips and techniques for using smoker, bee brush and hive tool. Learn how to work your frames and what to be looking for to determine health of your queen and the colony as a whole. As urban beekeepers, it is important to prevent swarming (to the best of our ability), so you’ll learn what causes swarming, how to prevent, and how to recognize early warnings that a colony is making preparations to swarm.

Intermediate Beekeeping

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

An overwintered colony requires different spring management than a new colony. Some of the topics covered will include space management in the hive, queen issues (when you might need to replace and how you do that), and splitting a hive - for colony increase, swarm prevention, or as a method of parasite (varroa) control.

Summer and Fall Hive Management

Saturday, August 12, 2017, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Late summer can bring a variety of problems including increasing mite counts, yellow jacket attacks and lack of forage. Learn to identify the signs and symptoms and how you can assist the colony during difficult times. Your bees have already started getting ready for winter and so should you: how and when to reduce colony size, determining how much honey you can remove, and how to remove excess honey frames from hive. We’ll be doing sugar rolls to determine levels of mite infestation and discuss mite management options.

Group in Medow

Nature Discovery Series

Fridays, October 6 through November 3 (except October 13) or Saturdays, October 7 through November 4 (except October 14), 2017, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructors: Filoli Nature Education Docents

Join this exciting new program and discover the 5 habitats found at Filoli - Redwood forest, Oak woodlands, riparian and chapparal, and grasslands/meadow. Each session will focus on the unique geography, geology, flora and fauna of the area. Gain an in-depth knowledge of our natural world so you can enhance your experiences and share your knowledge with others.

Fee for each series: $140 members; $170 non–members

2017 Nature Hikes

Nature Hike Group

Saturday Nature Hikes

Saturdays, February 11, March 11, 25, April 8, 22, May 13, 27, June 10, 24, July 8, 22, August 12, 26, September 9, October 14 or 28, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Guide: Filoli Nature Education Docents

Did you know that Filoli's nature preserve has over seven miles of trails crisscrossing six different types of native California habitats? Join experienced Nature Education Docents on a guided 2 hour hike along some of these well-maintained trails. Experience the beauty and tranquility of our nature preserve while learning about our natural environment and the wildlife that makes Filoli their home.

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $20 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members. Children age 12 and up are welcome.

Filoli at Sunset

Sunset Hikes

Thursdays, June 15, July 20 or August 24, 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Guide: Filoli Nature Education Docents

Experience the tranquility of Filoli’s nature preserve in the light of the setting sun. Bring your family for a hike in the woodlands at dusk, the ideal time of day to spot our resident wildlife. Don’t forget your cameras and binoculars! This is a two-hour hike on varied terrain. At times it can be strenuous. Please discuss any physical limitations with your docent before you head out. For safety reasons (narrow, steep & rocky) strollers and wheelchairs cannot be accommodated on the trails.

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $15 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members. Children 5 and older are welcome. Non-member fee includes same day admission to the House and Garden.

2017 Unique Hikes

Several mushrooms growing from the ground

Mushroom Walks

Saturdays, February 11 or March 4, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Guide: Filoli Nature Education Docents

The winter rains provide an excellent opportunity to look for signs of fungi. Please join us on a discovery excursion along the hills at Filoli. Over the years, over 350 different fungi have been identified at Filoli, so be prepared for surprises at your feet! The ground may be damp and soggy and it might be raining, so please be prepared. Wear layered clothing, sturdy shoes and bring an umbrella if you wish. Children age 12 and up are welcome.

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $20 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members

California Newt

Newt Exploration

Sundays, March 5 or April 2, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Guide: Filoli Nature Education Docents

Newts are amphibians in the salamander family and Filoli boasts one of the largest newt migrations in the west. The moisture-rich habitat of our nature preserve is ideal for the California Newt. Every year they travel several miles during migration and have a special homing ability that allows them to return to our pond where they were born. Though they are long-lived, newts are extremely vulnerable to a variety of human-caused conditions. Take a hike with one of our trained nature docents and learn more about these fascinating woodland creatures.

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $20 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members. Children age 7 and up are welcome.

The Property through Time

Sundays, May 7, June 11, August 6 or October 1,
Fridays, June 23 or July 21, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Guide: Filoli Nature Education Docents

Discover how the families that lived at Filoli used what is now the Nature Preserve. Go on a Docent led hike to visit these special locations – the pond and water tanks, the Bocce court, the cemetery and so much more. This hike covers approximately 2 miles of trails with steep inclines; dress for hiking and don’t forget your camera!

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $20 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members. Children age 7 and up are welcome.

Red Shouldered Hawk

Bird Walks

Saturdays, April 29, May 20 or June 17, or Thursdays, May 11 or June 8, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Guide: Members of the Sequoia Audubon Society and Friends of Filoli

Enter the world of fly catchers, grosbeaks, swallows, warblers and red-shouldered hawks on a Filoli bird walk. Hundreds of migrating birds visit Filoli each year on their way from Central and South America to their breeding grounds farther north. Many birds decide to stay in these woodlands and nest. Don’t forget your binoculars and a bird field guide (if you have them).

Adult fee per walk: $10 members; $20 non–members
Child fee per walk: $5 members; $10 non–members