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 schools/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 Lorna.Shuman@illinois.gov or (217) 782-0061.
Option C: Educator-Led Programs
The Museum is currently offering guided programs depending on staff availability. Programs may be available for the classroom. To inquire about availability and to schedule a program, please contact, Lorna Shuman at Lorna.Shuman@illinois.gov 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. The focus is on wetlands, forests, prairie, and caves.
- Tracks, Scats, and Skulls – STEM activity. Explore 8 mammals of Illinois through their tracks, scats, skulls, and pelts. This program uses keys to help students identify differences in animals.
- 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.