Nearly 30,000 students annually – elementary through university – tour the Toledo Museum of Art . . . all for FREE. Discover TMA as a dynamic resource that complements a variety of subjects, from history and social studies to math and language arts.
As an art institution, the Toledo Museum of Art strives to provide access to works of art in the Museum collection by offering Docent-led tours and a variety of informational programs. The Museum endeavors to educate and inspire by reaching out to our community. We achieve this by teaching Visual Literacy, engaging learners of all ages, and providing learning experiences in a multi-sensory way. During tours, Visual Literacy strategies will be taught to meet the 2012 Ohio Academic Content Standards. Students will learn to use cognitive and visual perception skills as they view and discuss artworks. Students will learn about the language of art: the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. This language is utilized on all Docent-led tours.
School tours are sponsored by
With additional support from
Scheduling and Planning Your Tour
Because student tours are free, there is a high demand and limited availability. Schedule early to ensure your group can get on the schedule. Hours, fees, and conditions for reservations are subject to change. We require three weeks’ notice to schedule any tours. There is a $25.00 charge for any tour changes or tour cancellations (this does NOT include weather-related cancellations).
Dates of docent-led tours
Elementary and secondary student tours are offered September 10, 2013 through May 23, 2014. University tours are offered year round.
Teachers and students may explore the Museum on their own. However, self-guided visits also require an appointment. Due to the volume of student tours, scheduled Docent-led groups receive priority. There is no guarantee we can accommodate unscheduled groups. Fun learning packets are available at Visitor Services for REGISTERED self-guided tours. Groups must adhere to our Self-Guided policies which are sent with the tour confirmation. Chaperones are expected to follow TMA’s Art of Chaperoning guidelines, which are also included with the tour confirmation.
Home School Groups
Groups wanting Docent-led tours with studio sessions need to schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. Those with children in kindergarten or younger will then be able to go to our Family Center during that time. All the students will use Visual Literacy skills. Molten Magic tours are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Classes specifically for Home Schoolers are offered. Please go to www.toledomuseum.org/learn/classes for further information. There is a fee for these classes.
Requesting a Tour and Confirmation
All tour requests are submitted via the Museum website. Depending on the grade of your group, complete the online request form for Elementary Students, Secondary Students, or College/University. Space is limited. We require three weeks’ notice to schedule a tour.
You will receive a confirmation message by email confirming tour date, time, and topic. Any applicable fees will be invoiced via email. Payment is due at least one week prior to your tour or your tour will be automatically cancelled.
Groups scheduled for a Docent-led tour will be contacted by phone prior to their visit to discuss what you’re studying and any special needs your students have. This helps the Docents develop a tour with an appropriate selection of objects for your group.
Only one chaperone per 12 students may accompany a tour. Additional chaperones are welcome to visit the galleries on their own or visit the Café during the students’ touring time. No exceptions, please. All groups, whether Docent-led or self-guided, must be accompanied by an adult.
We regret that there are no lunchroom facilities available at TMA for school use. Weather permitting, groups are welcome to bring sack lunches and eat at the picnic tables on the TMA grounds. Sack lunches are not permitted in the Museum Café or Libbey Court.
Funding is available to help elementary and secondary schools defray transportation costs for Docent-led Museum tours. School groups scheduled for self-guided visits are not eligible. Bus funds are available for three buses per school, per year. Funds are never doubled or tripled if only one bus is needed. Schools are responsible for ordering buses.
To apply for bus funding, complete the Bus Subsidies section on the Student Tour Request Form. funding approval will be indicated on your tour confirmation. Reimbursement is made following your tour and is based on the school’s distance from the Museum as follows:
Frequently Asked Questions
How can my students get the most out of our tour?
Docents ask the students interactive questions using visual literacy strategies. To best prepare your students for their visit, discuss the subject of your tour as well as the Elements of Art and Principles of Design prior to your visit.
Is there a fee for parking?
There are spaces for buses to park at the Main Museum and the Glass Pavilion. A map will be included with your confirmation. Parking in the parking lots is free for Docent-led tours and TMA members. There is a $5 fee for non-members.
Why are there people with radios watching us?
Security is always a priority for our visitors. The security of our collection is also paramount. The staff of Protective Services help in the case of emergencies, locate lost students, and prevent potential damage to the works of art. They maintain a respectful distance.
Why are we being photographed?
By participating in a tour at the Museum, you grant permission for you and your students to be photographed for promotional purposes, without compensation.
What are some Museum guidelines for visitors?
- Please talk! Get excited about art. Discussion leads to better understanding and appreciation.
- Stay about two feet away from artwork and do not touch.
- Backpacks, large purses, satchels, umbrellas, and other bulky items are not permitted in the galleries. Please check them at the door prior to your tour.
- Laser pointers are prohibited in the galleries.
- Please walk, not run, through the galleries.
- Handheld, non-flash photo and video cameras are welcome in the permanent collection galleries. Photography in galleries with special exhibitions is prohibited.
- Eating and drinking are permitted only in designated areas.
- Chewing gum and tobacco products are not permitted in the Museum.
- Vulgar messages or images on apparel are not welcome at the Museum.