Preparing for Your Field Trip

Michigan Historical Museum docent demonstrates canoe activity with children.

Booking your program

The Michigan History Museum offers self-guided visits, guided tours and programs and special programs. There are different processes for booking depending on the type of field trip experience you would like.  

Booking Self-Guided Visits: 

Many educators combine a visit to the museum with a tour of the Michigan State Capitol building. To make the booking process for both locations easy, we have partnered with the Capitol Tour Service, where teachers can schedule both visits at in one place. 

To book a self-guided visit to the museum, call Capitol Tour Services at 517-373-2353. Dates become available for making reservations one year in advance. For example, if you would like to bring your group to the museum on October 7, 2020, the earliest date that you can call to make your reservation is October 7, 2019. You can try to make reservations with a shorter lead time but please be aware that dates fill up fast and your first choice may not be available.

Please note that pre-registration is required for groups of 10 or more. Unscheduled groups of 10 or more may not be granted admission if the museum is at general visit capacity for the day.

Booking Guided Tours and Programs: 

The Michigan History Museum staff works directly with educators to book facilitated tours and programs. 

Guided tours and programs must be scheduled a minimum of three weeks in advance. Payment is due the date of your program; please do not mail payments in advance.  The museum accepts cash, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover only) and checks.  Please make checks payable to “State of Michigan.” If bringing a check please bring only the amount you owe, we are unable to process refunds on site.

For more information, or to schedule a guided tour or program, please call 517-335-2581. 

Booking for Special Programs: 

  • The Governor’s Decision Room – Visit the program website at
  • The BIG History Lesson – Teacher applications for the BIG History Lesson are typically due in late spring of the previous school year for the upcoming school year. For more information on applying to become a BIG History teacher, visit the program information webpage

Arrival and Departure

Please check your group in at the information desk located inside the south entrance of the Michigan Library and Historical Center, or at the admissions desk under the "Museums - Archives" archway. Classroom size lockers are provided for groups to store their lunches and belongings while visiting the museum. Visitor services staff members will assist you with lockers upon your arrival. Please be advised that the lockers are small, and teachers and students are advised to leave big items and backpacks at the school or on the bus. 

If you have scheduled a guided tour or program, please allow extra time in your schedule to arrive, use the restroom and eat lunch (if applicable). Our museum educators are committed for the exact times that your programs are scheduled. Should you not be able to begin your program at the scheduled time the content will be modified to fit in the time you have remaining. 

Parking Information

Buses may park free, and cars or vans pay $1.00 per hour at the Michigan Library & Historical Center south parking lot at Kalamazoo and Butler Streets. The lot entrance is off Kalamazoo Street, via the circle drive in front of the south entrance to the building.  

Buses may drop off students in the circle drive at the south entrance of the museum. Parking is not allowed in the circle drive. 

For cars and vans, please be advised that a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card is needed to access the parking lot. It does not accept cash or American Express. 

Food and Beverages

Please note that food, beverages (including water) and chewing gum are not allowed in the museum galleries. Drinking fountains are available in the museum. If a member of your group has a special need that requires food and/or drinks to be on hand while in the galleries, please notify our Visitors Services Team prior to your visit at 517-335-2581. 

The museum has a small lunch room where snacks and sack lunches can be enjoyed on site. Please note that space is limited, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If table space is not available in the lunch room for your group, we encourage you to enjoy your lunch on our lawn or at the picnic tables near the Kalamazoo entrance if the weather is nice. Please arrive with a back-up lunch plan in case the lunch room is not available during your visit. 

A snack shop is open weekdays and offers items such as pizza, sandwiches and soups, however quantity is often limited on a drop-in basis. To order lunch for your students or if brining a large group who will need food services, please call Capital City Vending directly at 517-894-2586 to make arrangements.

Museum Store

The Michigan History Center museum store carries many affordable souvenirs, snacks, toys and books, and is very popular with students. Please be advised that all students must be accompanied by an adult when visiting the store. Students entering without an adult will be asked to leave. During the busy spring tour season, lines can be quite long. Please plan time for visiting the museum store into your schedule. 

Chaperone Policy

The Michigan History Museum requires a minimum of one chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones are responsible for monitoring student behavior and must accompany their assigned students during the entire visit, including when using the restrooms. Download our chaperone instructions (PDF) to hand out prior to your arrival.

Behavior Guidelines

Teachers, groups leaders and chaperones are responsible for monitoring student behavior at all times in the museum. If students are disruptive and disrespectful towards staff and other groups, your group may be asked to leave. If students’ behavior causes damage to the facilities or the museum exhibits, you group may be asked to leave and invoiced for any damage. Specific behavior guidelines for your visit to the museum are: 

Please DO:

  • Take photographs and post them to social media, but please turn off the flash.
  • Encourage students to touch and interact with items clearly marked with a "Please Touch" sign.
  • Leave large bags and backpacks in your storage locker or on the bus.

Please DO NOT:

  • Climb on the exhibits, especially the scenic areas like the glaciers, forests and mines.
  • Run in the museum, for your safety and the safety of others.
  • Bring food, chewing gum, or drinks (including water) into the museum.


Updated 06/04/2019