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Education FAQ

Booking Questions

Where can I book a field trip?

You can book any of our available programs from the Education page.
Self-guided explorations and Guided programs can be found under “On-Site Fieldtrips”. Portable Museum trunks, kits, and digital trunks can be found under “In the Classroom”.

How far in advance should a field trip be scheduled?

MOHAI requires that field trip reservation requests are submitted a minimum of two weeks prior to the preferred field trip dates. However, dates for our popular guided field trips book up much earlier, typically by the early fall of any given school year. Self-guided field trips can also book up, particularly in the spring and summer. Groups are encouraged to book field trips as far in advance as possible.

Field trip scheduling for the following school year opens on April 1 annually.

What are your cancellation policies?

We receive significantly more field trip requests than we can accommodate. Due to this, we are often unable to accommodate requests to reschedule your trip once the reservation has been made. All date changes and cancellation requests made within 14 days of your scheduled visit date incur a fee. No show/no pick-ups will also incur a fee.

Guided field trips incur a $50 cancellation fee. Self-guided field trips incur a $15 cancellation fee. Portable Museums incur a $25 cancellation fee. Failure to pay cancelation fees will result in a school being unable to book future education offerings.

If MOHAI’s field trips are sold out, can educators bring their class to the museum without a reservation?

No. Reservations are required for all youth and student groups coming to the museum (including school groups, youth groups, summer camp groups, home school co-op groups, or similar groups). This helps staff provide a positive museum experience for all groups and ensure the safety and security of the museum galleries.

Program Information

Does MOHAI offer museum tours?

MOHAI does offer staff-led field trips, although these are not traditional gallery tours. Each facilitated program is a one-hour, inquiry-based challenges using real artifacts, documents, and historic photos to explore various topics in Seattle and Puget Sound history. These programs also involve a high degree of chaperone involvement, and each chaperone leader helps guide students through the program.

How long is a standard museum visit?

Each guided field trip requires one hour per class, and therefore the total length of a field trip depends on how many classes are visiting (a one or two class visit requires two hours; three classes require three hours). Guided programs will begin 15 minutes after scheduled arrival time to ensure smooth entry into the building. It may take more or less time depending on the size of your group. A standard self-guided field trip lasts approximately two hours, although they can be tailored to groups’ specific needs. Please allow for additional time for a smooth exit from the building beginning at your scheduled exit time.

What is the self-guided gallery activity provided by MOHAI?

MOHAI scavenger hunts are a tool to help students focus on the content of the museum exhibits and to spur discussion in chaperone groups. These activities are not intended to be assignments. While some groups complete the scavenger hunt in one hour, most do not—and that’s okay! Scavenger hunts are meant to be a starting point for students to engage with the exhibits.

MOHAI offers the scavenger hunts in two formats: an electronic hunt on museum iPads (max of 5 iPads per class, 1 iPad per chaperone group), or a paper-based hunt (one for each student, clipboards and pencils provided).

iPad availability is limited and is first come first serve at the time of booking. Paper scavenger hunts are always available. You do not need to print them for your field trip. MOHAI Educators will have a set ready for your classes.

View Educator Resources

Can more than one class do the guided program at a time?

MOHAI educators can only lead one class (maximum 30 students) at a time through a guided program, due to limits on the primary resources and program space available. Classes cannot be combined, as programs are designed to be highly-facilitated and inquiry-based and are successful in groups of 30 students or fewer.

What if a student group has a broad range of ages (e.g., homeschool groups, after school programs, small private schools, etc.)?

Our Hands on History guided field trip program is specifically designed for mixed-age groups, and we recommend that field trip groups visiting with students of varying ages request a Hands on History program for their students. Self-guided field trips are also a great option for mixed-age groups.

What types of opportunities are available for homeschool groups?

MOHAI education is excited to host homeschool cooperatives, unschoolers, ALE, and similar mixed-age/grade groups for self-guided field trips and the Hands on History guided program.

Download Guide Now

Day Of / Logistical Questions

What are MOHAI’s chaperone requirements and expectations?

MOHAI requires a minimum of one adult teacher or chaperone per six students. Groups may bring additional chaperones up to a ratio of one adult per two students at no extra cost. Additional chaperones beyond this ratio must pay regular admission rates. Additional chaperones are welcome for students with support needs. Students must remain with chaperones at all times and vice versa.

Chaperones should not bring additional children who are not part of the class and are asked to mute their cell phones in order to give their group their full attention and guidance.

Does MOHAI have parking?

MOHAI can offer a special daily rate of $10 for parking at the AGC Building Parking Lot on Westlake Ave N (see the parking information page for details). There is dedicated parking for ADA-permitted vehicles closer to the museum. Additionally, there are a number of private and public parking lots surrounding the museum.

View Parking Information

Where can school buses drop off and pick up?

There are several bus loading areas available near the museum, as well as parking lots that may be used for temporary load and unload. Buses are not allowed down the driveway of the museum or to park in the North Lot.

View Bus Parking Information

What should we bring with us on our field trip?

MOHAI will provide a storage area for coats and lunches. Please leave backpacks, valuables, and unnecessary belongings at school as we have limited storage space; MOHAI is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students may not wear backpacks in the galleries.

MOHAI will provide either clipboards and pencils or iPads for scavenger hunts depending on your reservation. Pre-visit curriculum and other preparatory activities are available. These resources are a great way to introduce important concepts to students that complement museum visits.

Learn More About Educator Resources

Is there an indoor place to eat lunch?

MOHAI does not have an indoor lunch facility. Groups eating lunch at the museum should plan to eat in the surrounding Lake Union Park, which does not have covered seating. In the case of exceptional inclement weather, museum staff will do their best to accommodate an indoor lunch space, though cannot guarantee a space for your group. Eating lunch back at school is recommended in these instances.

A café is located on-site. Seating is for café patrons only; outside food and drink (including sack lunches) is not permitted and seating is limited.

Is masking required at MOHAI?

MOHAI is no longer requiring the use of masks in our facilities. However, masks are encouraged and welcome at any time.

Payment and Scholarship Questions

What do group visits cost? I heard that admission for kids is free.

MOHAI offers free youth admission for youth 14 and under when accompanied by an adult for visitors purchasing standard admission tickets through the front desk. Visit our website for standard admission rates details (for visitors other than schools, youth, homeschool groups).

Field trips are considered a type of group visit and are subject to different pricing and admission requirements. MOHAI Education offers competitive rates for school or youth groups. Field trip prices are listed by program. Program cost covers program fees, and student and chaperone entrance up to 1 adult per 2 student ratio.

Reservations are required for all youth student groups (including school groups, youth groups, summer camp groups, home school co-op groups, or similar groups) coming to the museum.

Does MOHAI Education offer scholarship or financial support?

  • MOHAI offers scholarships to schools and student groups for both field trips and the portable museum program.
  • MOHAI offers partial bus reimbursement for groups visiting with scholarship support.

Learn More About Scholarships

How do I make a payment on an invoice?

MOHAI Education can accept the following types of payment:

  • Credit card payments can be made by calling the general education extension at (206) 324-1124 x 106 Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.
  • Please do not leave your credit card information on our voicemail or send credit card information via email. At this time, we are not able to accept credit card payments online.
  • Checks can be mailed to:

MOHAI
Attn.: Education Dept.
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

You may also pay for your field trip at the front desk at the time of your field trip or Portable Museum rental. The desk can accept cash, checks, or credit cards. Payments at the desk must be made in one transaction.

All payments are due on the date of your field trip or Portable Museum pick up.

MOHAI Resources

Can MOHAI help create a field trip for a particular topic?

While MOHAI does not tailor individual field trips to specific, requested topics, resources are available to help teachers plan their own self-guided gallery activities or assignments relating to the subject area of their choice. Please visit Educator Resources for more information, or contact the Education Department with additional questions.

Are there additional MOHAI Resource to support our field trip?

MOHAI has a wide range of resources available to extend your learning:

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