Keep reading for tools, tips, and protocols to help you plan and prepare for your Nature Museum field trip.
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Field Trip Guide
Use our Field Trip Guide to help prepare your students and create a focused field trip experience. This guide is full of tips and tricks to make the most out of your visit to the Nature Museum. It also includes ideas for activities before your visit, graphic organizers to use on your trip, and suggestions for post-visit activities to connect the field trip back to the learning in the classroom.
Want to know what to expect when you arrive at the Museum for your field trip? Keep reading for a preview of the welcoming arrival and check-in process.
Arrival and Check-in
When your bus arrives, it will pull into the turn-around directly in front of the Museum. One of our staff members will greet your bus and provide the Museum rules to your group, while the lead teacher from each school enters the Museum to check in and receive your group’s tour cards.
In order to ensure that our visitors have the opportunity to explore the Museum fully, school groups will be divided by class into lettered groups (A, B, C, etc.). We will provide one tour card to the leader of each lettered group. These custom tour cards provide an outline for your trip and also include specific times and locations for lunches and workshops. Click here for a sample tour card.
Your classes will then be led off the bus and organized into letter groups by class, each with their own tour card. Once organized, your group will be moved inside to drop off lunches and coats. If you have requested a lunch space, each lettered group’s lunch time and location will appear on their tour card. We ask that you bring lunches in small, recyclable brown paper bags. We will bring them to the lunchroom at your assigned lunch time. Please do not call ahead for lunch times.
Once those have been dropped off, a staff member will escort you to your first exhibit or workshop, and your Museum exploration will begin!
Safety Precautions & Protocols
To see the Museum-wide safety precautions and protocols click here.
Sensory Friendly Nature Museum App
You can download our Sensory Friendly Nature Museum app to use before, during, or after your visit. This app has social guides for all exhibits, a customizable schedule, communication icons, a sensory map, and tips for your visit. You can download the app for Android and Apple devices.
Designed for visitors on the Autism Spectrum and with sensory processing disorders, our Social Guides are appropriate resources for visitors of all ages who are curious about what to expect from a typical visit to the Nature Museum. Click here to access our Social Guide for a Field Trip Visit.
At the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, we believe that nature and science should be available to everyone. We strive to provide an accessible museum experience for all guests. Click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about other available accommodations, general resources, and more information on making a request.
Sensory Kits are available for check out at coat check. Guests may rent them for no charge during their visit. They contain a variety of items to assist guests with sensory processing challenges. We ask that a photo ID be left at the front desk upon rental.
Why Take a Field Trip to the Nature Museum?
From Pre-K to High School, the Nature Museum is the perfect field trip destination. As Chicago’s gateway to nature and science, our educators, scientists, and staff provide a fun and educational experience like no other. Check out our eight amazing reasons why your class or group should take a field trip to the Nature Museum.