School Tours

Art museums are the perfect place for students to exercise skills that are essential to achieve success in the 21st century. Bring your students to CMA for a guided learning experience that fosters collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Spend your day at CMA collaborating, thinking, and creating. We encourage students to practice their critical thinking and creativity as they discuss and interpret works of art. Every tour can be customized to align with grade-level curriculum and across disciplines. Tours are led by CMA docents, our highly-trained volunteers who facilitate conversations.

School Tour Basics

When: Tuesday through Friday beginning at 10:00 AM, and last 50 minutes.
Cost per Child: Between $4-$8. Teachers and chaperones are free.
Size: Minimum of 8 for preK students, minimum 10 for K-12
You may request self-guided time after your Docent-led tour (rules for Self Guided Groups apply). Schedule tours October through February when possible to avoid our most crowded period: March, April, and May.

Guided Themed Tours
A wide array of tours is available for preschool through K-12 student audiences. Choose from the below themed tours.
For Preschool Children

Artful Adventures
This unique preschool experience focuses on play, imagination, and wonder in CMA galleries. Groups explore CMA with specially trained education staff members to discuss, imagine, and engage in hands-on activities that foster imaginative thinking. Availability: Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 am (limited afternoon availability)
Age: 3-6 yrs. old
Length: 1 hour
Cost per Child: $5
Group Size 8 – 24

Materials Exploration
This hour-long new tour experience includes an Artful Adventures “mini-tour” and a chance to explore the ideas with (non-messy) artists’ materials. Availability: Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 AM (limited afternoon availability)
Age: 3-6 yrs. old
Length: 1 hour
Cost per Child: $5
Group Size 8 – 24

Adventure and Exploration Combo
For those who want to spend more time at the Museum, book a full Artful Adventures tour and Materials Exploration combo. Together these experiences run for 1.5 hours. Availability: Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 am (limited afternoon availability)
Age: 3-6 yrs. old
Length: 1 hour
Cost per Child: $8
Group Size: 8 – 24
For K-12 Students

Adventures with Animals
This playful and imaginative tour is designed for our younger visitors. They may act out a painting or go on a hunt while exploring works of art that depict animals.
Age: K-3rd
Length: 50 min.
Cost per Child: $5
Group Size: 10-90 children

Art and the Language of Poetry
Students work collaboratively to engage with works of art and explore the language of poetry. Students will have the opportunity to play with language and begin a poem inspired by a work of art.
Age: 4th-12th
Length: 1 hour 50 minutes
Cost per Child: $6
Group Size: 10-60

Art and the Picturebook
Picturebooks are often the first exposure students have to art. Carefully selected picturebooks inspire students to connect big ideas of the story with works of art.
Age: K-2nd & 3rd -6th
Length: 50 min for K-2nd & 80 min. 3rd-6th
Cost per Child: $6
Group Size: 10-90

CMA Sleuths
Students will play detective and investigate works of art with a docent.
Age: K-12
Length: 50 min.
Cost per Child: $5
Group Size: 10-90 children

Special Exhibition Tour
Explore the inside story of one of our special exhibitions. Availability: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 AM
Age: K-12th
Length: 50 min.
Cost per Child: $5
Group Size: 10-90

The French Connection
Can’t make it to Paris? Have your students look closely at the Impressionists at CMA! Availability: Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 AM dependent on exhibitions.
Age: 6th-12th
Length: 50 min.
Cost per Child: $6
Group Size: 10-30

Tours for Students with Disabilities
Specially trained guides facilitate highly customizable tours that can be designed to meet your students’ special needs. Availability: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 AM
Age: K-12th
Length: 50 min.
Cost per Child: $4
Group Size: 10-90

For all guided tours, 1 free adult chaperone per 8 students; additional adults $4 each any tour, can be combined with a Studio Thinking Workshop.

Self-Guided Tours
School groups must be accompanied by at least one adult chaperone for every 8 students during both self-guided visits and docent-led tours. Teachers and chaperones are asked to remain with their group at all times, maintain orderly student conduct, and comply with all Museum regulations.
Preschool Children
Age: 3-5
Cost per Child: Free
Group Size: 10-90

K-12th
Age: 6-17
Cost per Child: $4
Group Size: 10-90
For all self-guided tours: The fee for adult chaperones is $4 each.

Studio Thinking Workshops
The Center for Creativity Studio is home base for lively and creative studio thinking workshops. Students will generate new ideas, use their imaginations, and problem solve in collaborative groups. They may be asked to tell a story, perform a sketch, or build something in response to creative challenges.
Each 50-minute workshop is unique and can be adapted to desired themes. Pair a Studio Thinking Workshop with any of our 50-minute guided tour offerings.

More About CMA School Tours and Field Trips

Lunch: Indoor and outdoor spaces are available to reserve for your brownbag lunch free of charge when a tour is booked. 30-minute slots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for up to 60 students. Ask to reserve a room when you book your tour.
Explore: Self-guided time in the Museum is encouraged. Activities and resources to direct your self-guided time are available at the desk. Explore the galleries or Imagine the Possibilities in our first-floor JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity.

Classroom Pre-Visits Docent-In-the-School visits are offered free of charge to any Franklin County classroom that books a tour at CMA. During the pre-visit, the docent will talk about what to expect at CMA and introduce your students to critical thinking strategies that will be used during the tour. A docent-in-the-school presentation is available for every tour. Request a Docent-in-the-School visit when you book your tour. Available on a case-by-case basis for schools outside of Franklin County.

School Tour Parking
Buses
Buses may drop off students on 9th Street in front of the group entrance. We suggest your bus driver drop off students and return for pick up at the specified time (pick up is at the same location as drop off). If your bus is parking at the Museum for the duration of your tour, the bus may park for free on Broad St. (in front of the Museum), but a driver MUST stay with the bus the entire time. If the driver cannot stay with the bus then you will need to pay the meters located at the Broad Street parking location (additional metered parking is available on the north side of the building on Gay Street).

Cars
Cars and vans may park in the Museum parking lot (located off Gay Street on the north side of the building).
Book Your School Tour

Book Your School Tour