Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

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Field Trips

The museum is a popular destination for school field trips, camp outings, after-school programs, daycare facilities, scout troops, neighborhood centers and more. The museum offers a discounted rate for field trips to qualifying groups.

Qualifying Organizations

To qualify for the Field Trip discount the trip must be organized by a school, camp, scout group, club, or other child-care organization.

Those planning a visit to the museum for a larger group of people but not as part of a child-care organization (such as a family reunion, parents’ meetup, informal playgroups, and other multi-family groups) can use our Bulk/Group Advance Ticket discount program.

Field Trip Booking Times

Field Trips must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance (1 week in advance for group memberships) and are all subject to availability.

Field Trips are only available Wednesday through Friday. The earliest field trip start time is 9:30 am and the latest field trip start time is 1:30 pm. All field trip arrivals are booked on the hour or half hour.

MCM is unable to accommodate field trips during particularly busy seasons, such as school vacations and holidays.

Tip: Morning times fill up very quickly so we recommend completing the online booking request form as early as possible! We are already accepting bookings for the 2023-24 academic year.

Group Size

Minimum field trip size: 12 individuals (including both children and adults). If you have a smaller group with special circumstances contact our field trip registrar.

Maximum field trip size: 80 individuals (including both children and adults). For field trips larger than 80 individuals, either divide your group and book two (non-simultaneous) visits or contact our field trip registrar about available options.

January – May 2024, group sizes will be limited to 40 individuals. The Coops to Cathedrals space will be closed for installation of an exciting new exhibit.

Timing & Format

Field trips are two hours in length. To request additional time contact the field trip registrar. Additional fees may apply and a longer visit is not always possible.

All visits begin with a brief orientation with a museum staff member. The group may then stay together or, depending on size, split up into smaller groups for self-guided play in the museum’s exhibits. Children must be supervised by one of your group’s chaperones at all time.

At this time MCM does not offer guided tours or programs for field trips; the museum’s ongoing exhibits provide ample enrichment and opportunities for fun!

Please note: groups including any children older than 5 may not visit the museum’s Wildernest exhibit space.

Food & Dining Options

The museum does NOT have a lunch room or cafeteria that can accommodate lunch or snack breaks during field trips. The Lunchbox cafe area is not large enough to accommodate dining before or after a field trip.

Instead, the Capitol Lawn across the street is a great spot for a picnic! Another option is to contact the Capitol Basement Lunchroom to see about reserving their dining space for your group. Their space is limited so we recommend calling as soon as possible: (608) 266-0382.

Field Trip Rates

The discounted field trip rate is $7 per child. Adult chaperones are admitted free, up to a ratio of one adult for every two children. Additional chaperones beyond this number will be charged the same rate as the group’s child attendees.

This discount is ONLY available to groups of 12 or more who book at least 10 days in advance using the field trip process.

Subsidized rates are available to organizations enrolled in qualifying government assistance programs. Groups affiliated with public and charter schools in Wisconsin and Illinois will be automatically assigned a subsidized rate, determined using statistics published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Illinois Board of Education. Other groups that are enrolled in government assistance programs not affiliated with the Department of Public Instruction may contact the field trip registrar to apply for a reduced rate during the booking process.

Chaperones Required

We require a minimum of one adult chaperone for every 5 children attending. To request an accommodation to visit with fewer chaperones, contact the field trip registrar.

Adult chaperones are admitted free, up to a ratio of one adult for every 2 children. Additional adults beyond this number will be charged the same rate as the group’s child attendees.

Group Memberships

Planning to visit with a group frequently? A Group Membership can save money and make the process easier.

Group memberships are available for groups of 9 to 100 children, and provide a year of free weekday admission to group members and adult chaperones, up to one adult for every 3 member children. Group memberships are perfect for daycares, scout troops, homeschool co-ops, classrooms, and schools!

To learn more about membership, please see our Group Membership page.

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