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Education FAQ

Where can I book a field trip?

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

Admission for regular visits for kids 14 and under is free when accompanied by an adult (minimum of one adult required for every six youth admissions). Special admission rates apply for groups of 10 or more.

There is a cost associated with both MOHAI-guided and self-guided field trips. Some programs also include additional resource fees per class.

Is scholarship support available to help with costs?

MOHAI offers scholarships to schools and student groups for both field trips and the portable museum program.

Learn more about scholarships at MOHAI

How far in advance should a field trip be scheduled?

MOHAI requires a minimum of two weeks’ notice for field trip reservations. 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 March 1 annually.

What are your cancellation policies?

Late changes disadvantage other teachers! All date changes and cancellation requests made within 14 days of your scheduled visit date incur a fee. Guided field trips incur a $50 cancellation fee. Self-guided filed trips incur a $15 cancellation fee.

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

Reservations are required for all youth student groups coming to the museum. This helps staff provide a positive museum experience for all groups and ensure the safety and security of the museum galleries.

What are MOHAI’s chaperone requirements?

MOHAI requires a minimum 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. Students must be with chaperones and vice versa at all times.

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 requires three hours). A standard self-guided field trip lasts approximately two hours, although they can be tailored to groups’ specific needs. 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. Please allow for additional time for a smooth exist from the building beginning at your scheduled exit time.

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.

Does MOHAI have parking?

MOHAI validates parking at the ACG Building Parking Lot on Westlake Ave N, and has 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 space; MOHAI is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Students may not wear backpacks into 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. Camp groups are strongly encouraged to have planned activities.

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

Learn about Educator Resources

Is there an indoor place to eat lunch?

MOHAI does not have dedicated indoor lunch space for groups, and food and drink is not allowed in the atrium or galleries. It is recommended that groups eat lunch at school if possible. If it is necessary to eat lunch at the museum, groups should notify museum staff in advance and plan to eat outside the building in Lake Union Park (even in the case of light rain or chilly weather).

In the event of inclement weather, MOHAI staff will do their best to accommodate an indoor lunch, but cannot guarantee space. Exact space and timing of lunch in this case may vary based on availability and will likely involve students seated on the floor. In the case of rain, please check in with the Education Staff to make a plan.

MOHAI does have a Café to purchase food and dine. However, the Café does not allow outside food or beverages and seating is limited.

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.

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.

What if a student group has a broad range of ages (e.g., homeschool groups, afterschool 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 is the self-guided gallery activity provided by MOHAI?

MOHAI can provide one of two scavenger hunt activities to all field trip groups for their time in the galleries: an electronic hunt on museum iPads (max of 5 iPads per class), or a paper-based hunt (one for each student, clipboards and pencils provided). These activities are not intended to be assignments, and are a tool to help students focus on the content of the museum exhibits and to spur discussion in chaperone groups.

iPad availability is limited and is first come first serve at the time of booking. Paper scavenger hunts are always available.

While some groups are able to 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 exhibits.

View Educator Resources

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