Reservation times

Registration for fall programs (Oct–Dec) begins Sep 1.
Registration for winter/spring programs (Jan–May) begins Dec 1.

We recommend that you book early, as we cannot guarantee a reservation for every request.

Program times

Artist-led tours (grades 1–12) are available, Tue–Fri, 10 am and 11 am.
Creation Labs (grades 3–12) are available Tue–Fri, 10 am–noon.
Off the Beaten Path tours (grades 5–12) are available Fridays, 11 am–12:30 pm.

Group size

Typically, the maximum number of students for a guided tour is 30, but during certain months we may be able to accommodate up to 60 students. The maximum number of students per Creation Lab is 30 students.


You must provide one responsible chaperone for every 10 students. Designated chaperones must be at least 21 years old and remain with the students at all times. The MCA reserves the right to refuse admission to any group that does not meet the minimum chaperone requirement.

Self-guided tours

High school students may self-guide in the galleries by prior arrangement only. Self-guided tours are only available for group of 30 students or fewer. To make self-guided arrangements, please contact the Coordinator of School Programs.


Our programs are FREE for all groups of 10 or more from Illinois schools.

All for-profit, colleges/universities, and out-of-state groups are subject to applicable admission and guided-tour fees. For more information about private guided tours for adult and college/university groups, visit Tours and Group Visits. For information about visits for out-of-state and for-profit K–12 schools, and groups of youth under 18 years of age, please call 312.397.3838.


Transportation for Chicago Public Schools is free, pending availability. A maximum of 10 buses per school each academic year is permitted. The earliest possible pick-up time from your school is 9:15 am and the latest pick-up time from the museum is 1 pm. The bus will not make stops between the MCA and your school.

CPS schools: If you have scheduled a bus with the MCA and need to cancel or reschedule, you must call the MCA at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to give adequate notice will result in your school being charged a bus fee of up to $140.


Please call the Coordinator of School Programs at 312.397.3842 with a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Be aware that guided tours and Creation Labs fill up quickly and we may not be able to reschedule your group.

Special needs and students with disabilities

The MCA is fully wheelchair accessible and provides wheelchairs for visitors who need them. If members of your group have behavioral or developmental disabilities, please let us know so we can provide the best possible experience for your group. Interpreters for the hearing impaired are available, pending availability. Please call for further information, 312.397.3838.

Additional information

To ensure an optimum experience, there is a limit of one tour per group per day. Groups may not span more than three grade levels. Any additional information you can give us about your group is welcomed. Our guides adjust tours based on information we receive from you. Answering the following questions may be helpful: Have your students been to the MCA before? How might we connect the exhibition to what your students are currently studying in the classroom?