Plan Your Tour

We are excited for your visit! Please review the following information to help you plan for a successful museum experience.

Tour Fees

  • Tours are FREE. A voluntary contribution of $3 per student will help us sustain educational programs for students.
  • Studio experiences are $3 per student for non-Title I schools. There is no studio fee for Title I schools.

Before Your Museum Visit

Double check! Review your confirmation letter carefully for accuracy. Notify your tour coordinator of any changes as soon as possible.

  • Tell us about your students. Please include as many details as possible on your registration form, including accessibility needs or learning differences. You can also email schoolprograms@thewalters.org with questions or additional details regarding your group. The museum will provide free sign language interpreters with three weeks’ advance notice.
  • Schedule your bus and give instructions to your driver. Print and share the directions and map provided with your confirmation materials.

Visiting from a Title 1 school that received a bus stipend? If you’re unsure, review your confirmation letter. Submit reimbursement paperwork to both school administration and the museum, if necessary.

  • Prepare your students for their visit and review museum guidelines. Visit the teacher resources page for curricular connections, activities, and lesson plans to extend your students’ learning.
  • Plan with your docent. A volunteer tour guide will contact you before your visit to learn more about your trip goals and your students. Please share any pertinent information (including changes in numbers) that will help us provide you and your students with the best possible museum experience.
  • Divide your students into the number of groups indicated in your confirmation letter. Please provide color- or number-coded name tags for students and chaperones, and get into groups prior to entering the museum.
  • Prepare your chaperones. Print and distribute museum and chaperone guidelines to all adults attending with your group.
  • Arrange for payment of your studio fee and/or donations, which help to sustain our educational programming. Invoices are included with your confirmation letter. Receipts cannot be issued onsite. Email schoolprograms@thewalters.org to request a receipt.

For Chaperones

Please share with your chaperones the following information about exploring the museum, museum manners, and logistics.

Exploring the Museum

As a chaperone, you play an essential role in ensuring that your group has a successful trip to the Walters. By taking an active role in your visit, you can encourage enthusiasm and help students deepen their experiences.

You don’t need to be an art expert to help spark conversation with your group! Asking open-ended questions can prompt further thought and exploration. Below are examples of questions you might ask students while looking together.

  • What is going on in this artwork? What do you see that makes you say that?
  • After a 30 second look, close your eyes and try to describe the artwork from memory. What details are the most memorable? What details did you forget?
  • What materials do you think this artist used?
  • How does this artwork change as you look at it from different angles or distances?
  • Reveal the title of the work. How does knowing the title change your initial observations? What would you title this artwork?
  • Use all five senses and imagine that you are inside this artwork. What would it feel like to enter this space?

Museum Manners

You are responsible for the behavior of your students. For safety and security, both guided and self-guided tours must be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. You can help keep your group together by addressing students by name, engaging in conversation, and encouraging participation on your tour.

Please remind students of these important museum guidelines prior to and during your visit:

  • Look with your eyes, not with your hands. Students and chaperones should keep an arm’s-length distance from artwork at all times. This will help us preserve the art for future generations.
  • Walk. Do not run.
  • Use inside voices. Your group will be sharing museum space with other visitors.
  • Stay together. Use a buddy system and visit restrooms or water fountains as a group. Keeping your group together also helps make room for other visitors.
  • Photography is allowed. Photography is permitted in all permanent collection galleries, but please be respectful of your tour guide and refrain from taking photos while discussing works of art. The use of flash is permitted as long as the flash device is an integral part of the camera (no external attachments are allowed).
  • No backpacks, food, beverages, chewing gum, pens, or umbrellas are allowed in the galleries. Storage bins will be at the entrance for your convenience. Please note that pencils for sketching are permitted.

Logistics

  • Everyone in your group should be wearing a color- or number-coded name tag in the museum.
  • If brought inside, student lunches will be stored in bins at the entrance for the duration of your tour. If you are self-guiding, a coat check with lockers is located on Level 1 at the Centre Street entrance.
  • If a student is lost or injured, notify a Walters staff member. Security Officers monitor all galleries, and security desks are located at both the Centre Street (Level 1), Charles Street (Level 2), and 1 West Mount Vernon Place entrances.

When You Arrive

  • Check in at the Charles Street entrance. Please have your total number of students and chaperones ready for our security staff. If your group needs assistance with mobility, please notify your tour coordinator to make arrangements to enter via the Centre Street building.
  • For safety, buses are prohibited from stopping on Charles Street. Students must disembark the buses on the south side of Centre Street (between Charles and Cathedral) only. Please use the bus loading zones indicated on the map included in your confirmation materials.
  • Leave belongings on the bus. Backpacks, food, beverages, and umbrellas are not permitted in the galleries. These items must be left on the bus or stored in the bins provided when you enter the museum.
  • Please silence or turn off cell phones while on guided tours.
  • Have fun exploring the museum and works of art with your students!

Running late? Call 410-547-9000, ext. 517, as soon as possible. Please allow extra travel time as traffic and construction are unpredictable. Groups arriving more than 20 minutes late are not guaranteed a tour/studio experience.

After Your Visit

Reflect on and reinforce what your students discovered during their visit. Ask your students about their favorite works of art on the bus or in class, and visit teacher resources for more post-visit activities.

Encourage students to visit the Walters again with family and friends! The museum is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday.

FAQs

How many chaperones should accompany our group?
On guided tours, we require at least one chaperone per every 10 K–12 students, and one chaperone for every five PreK students. Due to limited gallery space, please bring no more than one chaperone per every three students. Chaperones want to learn too, so please remind them to stay with the group at all times.

What should my students bring with them?
Students do not need to bring anything to the museum. If you are registered for a guided tour and would like students to complete an assignment, please allow extra time following the tour for students to finish any handouts, written assignments, or sketching. Only pencils are permitted for writing and sketching in the galleries.

Can my group explore the museum before or after our guided tour?
If your group is visiting on a Tuesday, the museum is closed to the public and no self-guiding before or after tours is permitted. If you are visiting Wednesday through Friday and would like to explore the museum further, please contact your tour coordinator to confirm gallery availability.

Are lunchroom facilities available for touring groups?
The Walters does not have a lunch facility and the Museum Cafe is unable to accommodate school groups. Groups may eat outside in the parks adjacent to the museum. Lunches can be stored in the bins provided upon entering the museum. Some groups also choose to eat on their buses.

Can we take pictures?
Yes! Please ask your tour guide to let you know when there is a good time for a photo op. You can also find high resolution images of the Walters’ collection online.

What if our school or district has a delay or closure?
If your school is closed, your tour will automatically be canceled. We will do our best to reschedule, however, there are no guarantees. If your school is delayed and your visit is scheduled for the afternoon, contact your tour coordinator to determine if your trip will proceed as scheduled.

Photography Policy: The Walters Art Museum occasionally photographs museum activities for future promotional purposes. If you do not want your child photographed, please notify the museum in writing.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you need to cancel your visit, please email schoolprograms@thewalters.org or call 410-547-9000, ext. 232, immediately so that volunteer docents may be informed.
  • Fees are non-refundable.
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