School Tours

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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.

Scheduling and Planning Your Tour

Click on the image above to view the student tours catalog.

Click on the image above to view the student tours catalog.

Because student tours are free, there is a high demand and limited availability. Book your tour 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).

Docent-led tours

Student tours are offered throughout the school year. Student tours during the summer can be scheduled for summer camps or daycares.  A minimum of 10 students is required for docent-led tours.  Student tours are free, unless noted.

Self-guided tours

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 scheduled 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

We ask that home school groups schedule tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those with children younger than kindergarten will be able to visit the Family Center during that time.

The Museum also offers classes specifically for home school students. Please go to for further information. There is a fee for these classes.

Requesting a Tour and Confirmation

All tour requests should be submitted via the Museum’s online tour request forms. 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 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.

Group size

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 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.

Bus Subsidies

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. 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:

Miles Reimbursement
0–30 $50
31–50 $75
51+ $100

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 scheduled K-12 Docent-led tours and TMA members. There is a $5 fee for non-members and all other Docent-led and self-guided groups.

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.

School tours are sponsored by

Health Care REIT



With additional support from


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