Open today 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Plan Your Field Trip

It’s Easy. And Free.*

Planning Tips

  • Plan to spend two to three hours at the Museum including lunch. Visits begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Request 30-minute lunchroom seating (available for up to grade 8). Storage is provided for students who bring their own lunches and beverages. You may also order bag lunches for your students.
  • Indicate the size of your group. Maximum group size is 120 for a self-guided visit.
  • Secure chaperones. We require one adult for every ten students in grade 3 and above. For groups in grades Pre-K–2 we require one adult for every five children. Each adult exceeding these ratios will be charged $8.
  • Divide your students into groups of 10 prior to arriving at the Museum. A map of the Museum will be prepared for each group leader.
  • Backpacks are not allowed in exhibition spaces. Place medical supplies and emergency information in a shoulder bag or fanny pack.
  • All Illinois school groups are admitted free of charge. *Out-of-state groups are charged discounted admission. See the chart below for details.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a field trip reservation?
To schedule your trip, complete our online form. Reservations are not accepted via telephone.

How will I know if my reservation is confirmed?
Your visit is not guaranteed until you have received a confirmation letter, which should arrive by fax and e-mail (or mail, if requested) in seven to ten days. If you don’t receive a confirmation letter, call 312-642-4600.

Can I make a lunchroom reservation?
Request a lunchroom reservation using the reservation form. The lunchroom is available for students up to grade 8. Students should bring their own lunches and beverages; storage will be provided.

How far in advance should I schedule my field trip?
Please schedule your visit at least three weeks in advance. Spaces fill quickly, so please make your reservations early. Consult a school calendar in advance that indicates holidays, in-services, report card days, and school events.

Can I select my entrance or exit time?
Yes, you should choose both your entrance and exit times. Visits begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 12:00 noon on Sunday. Visits can last from one hour to three hours.

What is the maximum group size?
Maximum group size is 120. We ask you to subdivide your students into groups of 10 prior to your visit.

Can I schedule a field trip for students from pre-K to grade 2?
Yes, young students are welcome in the Museum. Be sure to reserve your Crazy for Trains discovery bags to explore transportation history through music, dress up, and picture books.

How many chaperones do you require?
We require one adult for every ten students in grade 3 and above. For groups in grades Pre-K–2 we require one adult for every five children. Each adult exceeding these ratios will be charged $8.

What are the Museum’s gallery rules?
The following are not allowed in the our galleries: coats, backpacks, food, drinks, chewing gum, and pens. These rules apply to students, teachers, and chaperones alike. Storage for coats and lunches is provided. A limited number of clipboards are available for school groups working on assignments while in the galleries.

My question isn’t answered here. How do I contact you?
Please use our contact form or call 312-642-4600, and we’ll be happy to answer your question.

History à la Cart activity station schedule

At History à la Cart stations, students actively analyze and interpret the past. Facilitated by trained staff and volunteers, these 20-minute hands-on experiences are located in the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition. Recommended for students in grades 3 to 8.

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Although we try to stick to this schedule as closely as possible, we may occasionally have to substitute one station for another.

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