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School Tours FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about preparing for your class to visit the MCA.

How to Prepare for Your Tour

  • Review our Teacher and Chaperone Guidelines with the adults accompanying your trip.
  • Come prepared to divide your class into three evenly sized groups. It’s most helpful if you can assign each group a color (ex. Green, Red, Blue) or a number (1, 2, 3) so we can easily identify them when you arrive.
  • Tours are inquiry-led and dialogue-based. The best way to prepare your students is to let them know to come ready to share their ideas and engage in discussion. The teaching artists who lead our tours are masters at facilitating discussion and connecting the artwork on display to the students’ lives


IF YOU ARE A CPS SCHOOL, the MCA makes free bus arrangements on your behalf through the Alltown Bus Service, 847-674-0090.

IF YOU ARE A NON-CPS IL SCHOOL, you are responsible for your own transportation to and from the museum.

We use the following standard schedule* for buses:

10 am Tour: 9:20 am school pick-up, 11 am departure from the MCA.

11 am Tour: 10:20 am school pick-up, noon departure from the MCA

*Any desired changes to your bus schedule must be communicated to the Coordinator of School Programs directly at least one week before your visit. All changes are ultimately made at the discretion of the bus company.

If you need to cancel your tour, you must inform the Coordinator of School Tours at least 48 hours before your scheduled tour. Shorter or no notice may result in a bus charge to your school and affect your ability to book tours with us in the future.

In the case of an emergency cancellation less than 48 hours before your tour, please call the School Tours Hotline 312-397-3838 immediately.

The MCA is deeply committed to providing an [accessible and developmentally appropriate experience for all our visitors]( https://mcachicago.org/Visit/Accessibility). Please contact the Coordinator of School Programs at least two weeks before to your visit to ensure that we can arrange appropriate accommodations and modifications for each student. Potential accommodations include, but are not limited to wheelchairs, ASL interpreters, sensory-friendly spaces, and differentiated curriculum.

There are no lunch facilities at the MCA for student groups, but there are dining options in Water Tower Place. Additionally, there are a number of parks in the immediate area where bagged lunches may be eaten in the case of good weather. Please be sure to request late departure at least one week before your visit if you plan on eating lunch in the area. If you are using an MCA-provided bus, the latest possible departure from the MCA is 1 pm.

Visit our exhibition page to see what will be on view during your visit. Check back often, as descriptions are frequently updated.

Contact the Coordinator of School Programs at [email protected] or 312-397-3838.

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