Student Tours

The Columbus Museum of Art fosters the critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration that students need to thrive. Click here to request a tour.
Tours are led by highly-trained volunteer docents who use thinking routines and question strategies to facilitate observation, imagination, consideration of different viewpoints, and reasoning with evidence. Research shows that students who participate in CMA’s inquiry-based field trips demonstrate lasting impacts in areas of creative thinking, critical thinking, sensorial responses, and human connection.
Guided tours are available for children K-12. Tours are $6 per student and include 1 free chaperone per 5 students. Groups may also visit for a self-guided experience for the same price.
Guided Tour Limitations:

  • Tours are 50 minutes long and are offered Tuesday through Friday at the following start times: 10AM, 11AM, and noon.
  • All guided tours must be booked 6-weeks in advance (no exceptions), and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A minimum of seven students is required to book at tour. Maximum group size depends on availability and existing reservations. Groups larger than 60 students will be divided into a rotation between guided tour and group exploration with a chaperone.

Chaperones: CMA recommends the following minimum ratio of chaperones by grade level:

  • 1 adult for every 5 students, grades K through 2
  • 1 adult for every 10 students, grades 3-7
  • 1 adult for every 15 students, grades 8-12

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Peak field trip season is March-May; reserve your visit early and, when possible, schedule tours October through February.

Guided Tours Options for K-12 Student Audiences

Studio Thinking Workshops

Studio Thinking Workshops develop innovative problem-solving skills. Learning department staff prompt students with surprising creativity challenges, using unexpected materials and techniques. Each 50-minute workshop can be tailored to specific themes. Pair a Studio Thinking Workshop with any of our 50-minute tours for an additional $6 per student.

Age: K-12th

Length: 50 min.

Cost per student: $6
CMA Sleuths

Students will investigate works of art in small groups, with docents supporting careful observation and critical thinking. Students will examine clues, carefully describe, develop interpretations, and reason with evidence – all while thinking creatively and collaboratively.

Age: K-12th

Length: 50 min.

Cost per student: $6
Art and the Picturebook

Picturebooks are often the first exposure students have to art. These tours begin with a carefully-selected children’s book that connects to works of art in our collection. Students will be inspired to compare big ideas of the story to paintings and sculpture.

Age: K-2nd

Length: 50 min.

Cost per student: $6

*These group rates apply to general admission to the Museum. There is an upcharge to access special exhibitions.
More about CMA School Tours and Field Trips

In addition to your guided tour, you can request time to eat a brown-bag lunch and/or independent group exploration time.
Lunch: Indoor and outdoor spaces are available to reserve for your brownbag lunch free-of-charge when a tour is booked. Thirty-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. [Note: These spaces do not have tables and chairs, but a limited number of stools may be available for those who need them.]
Explore: Self-guided time in the Museum is encouraged. Our Chaperone Engagement Guide has some activities for learning and play in the Museum; additional resources to direct your self-guided time are available at the welcome desk. Participatory activities can be found throughout the Museum, particularly in the JP Morgan Chase Center for Creativity.
School Tour Parking:

Buses: The Group Entrance is located on the west side of the building. Buses may drop off people on 9th St. in front of the group entrance.

We suggest your bus driver drop off people 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 9th St. (in front of the group entrance), but there is limited parking in this location. If there is no parking available at the 9th St. entrance, there is additional metered parking on Broad St. and Gay St.
For Cars: Cars and vans may park in the Museum parking lot (located off Gay Street on the north side of the building). There is a flat rate of $7 for parking in the East Gay lot.

Self-Guided Visits

CMA welcomes self-guided groups with advance reservation. To receive the discounted group rate, please call 614.629.0342 to make a reservation at least two days in advance. Groups without reservations will be charged the regular admission fees.

All groups are required to follow Museum Guidelines, which can be found here.

For information about adult guided tours, call 614.221.6801. Group rates available.

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