Plan a Field Trip - Step 1:Choose Your Experience

Choose your experience from the options listed below. Click “2: Schedule your visit” on the right for the information needed to schedule your trip.

Option A: Self-guided field trip
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It is recommended that you begin your tour before 3:30 p.m. 
Grades: All grades
The Museum exhibits are designed for self-guided discovery. Self-guided tours can be led by the classroom teacher or chaperones. It is recommended that field trips last 45 to 90 minutes. Self-guided tours are scheduled through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau website. Please visit this page to schedule your self-guided trip.

Option B: Play Museum 
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Grades: PreK-Grade 4
Capacity: 30 children plus chaperones
The Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum, the Museum’s children’s exhibition, is an excellent resource for learning through play. Groups grades 4 and younger may reserve a 30 minute session in the Play Museum as part of their self-guided or guided experience. During the reserved time, other school/youth groups will not be permitted to enter the exhibit. The Play Museum can be reserved as part of a self-guided tour or educator-led program. To schedule your trip and reserve the Play Museum, please contact Lorna Shuman by email at or (217) 782-0061.

Option C: Educator-Led Programs
The Museum is currently offering guided programs depending on staff availibility. Programs may be available for the classroom. To inquire about availability and to schedule a program, please contact, Lorna Shuman at or (217) 782-0061.

  • Peoples of the Past – Explores different Native American groups that lived in what is now Illinois and changes in lifestyles of different groups over a 9,000 year span.
  • Animal Habitats – Explore Illinois habitats  and the animals that call these habitats home.  Focus is on wetlands, forest, prairie, and caves.
  • Stories: Bicentennial Exhibit & Beyond – Learn about some of the interesting stories told by objects in this special exhibit in celebration of Illinois’ birthday. Explore these stories and create some of your own.
  • Building a Museum Exhibit - Objects can tell stories. Learn how museums put together exhibits to tell those stories and plan an exhibition of your own.
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Illinois State Museum Children's Program.

1. Choose Your Experience

2. Schedule Your Visit

3. Prepare for Your Visit