School and Youth Group Tours

NMWA’s hands-on, thematic tours promote critical thinking and meet specific standards of learning.

NMWA offers thematic tours led by our experienced guides. Participants will strengthen visual literacy skills, develop and cement vocabulary, and cultivate observational and evidence-based thinking.


Reservations

Guided School and Youth Group Tours:
Guided tours require reservations and must be booked a minimum of four weeks in advance. Please note that the last slot for guided tours is 2–3 p.m.

To begin the reservations process, please review the chaperone guidelines and complete a request form

School and youth group tours with students under 18 years old are free.

One adult chaperone per 10 students in grades 1-12 is required, and one chaperone per three students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten is required; these chaperones are admitted free. Any additional chaperones must pay the regular adult tour fee, $12.

Tours last approximately 60–90 minutes and are typically available for a maximum of 30 students; however, we can accommodate more in certain circumstances.

Please indicate any special requests, such as incorporating a specific topic or interest in the request form.

read tour descriptions

Book a guided or youth group school tour now

Self-Guided School and Youth Groups:
Chaperone-led self-guided groups are permitted, though they must comply with our reservation policies and chaperone guidelines. Self-guided groups require reservations and a completed request form. Entry to all special exhibitions is subject to capacity restrictions.

Self-guided groups with students under 18 years old are free.

One adult chaperone per 10 students in grades 1-12 is required, and one chaperone per three students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten is required; these chaperones are admitted free. Any additional chaperones must pay the regular adult admission, $10. 

book a self-guided school or youth group visit now


Guided Thematic Tour Offerings

Art Explorations for Early Learners (Grades Pre-Kindergarten–Kindergarten):
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students (ages 3–6) will get their bodies moving, minds thinking, hands making, and mouths talking about works of art during these interactive tours. Students go on an adventure through the galleries and look closely at works in the collection. They learn about the National Museum of Women in the Arts, practice museum manners, and discover art concepts through developmentally appropriate discussions, a themed story, and hands-on activities.

Choose from three offerings:

Color-Full Fun
Students become “Color Detectives” during this tour, looking closely at artworks to discover the colors of the rainbow. After listening to a story and discussing two artworks, students explore art materials and make their own colorful creations. This tour introduces students to the ways in which artists use color to represent the natural world and to express emotion. Students learn the difference between primary and secondary colors and between warm and cool shades. They practice color mixing as they create their own colorful artwork.

Portrait Party
Portraits are the focus of this tour. Students learn about people in art through a story and explore the galleries to compare two portraits in the galleries. Through posing, students step into the shoes of the subjects, better understanding how body language and facial expressions express feelings. They discover what artists teach us about sitters through their use of symbols, posture, color, and texture. Students sketch their own self-portraits, adding color and texture through collage to complete their artwork.

Spotting Shapes and Looking for Lines
On this adventurous museum tour, students discover and identify shapes and lines galore. Students use their eyes, bodies, and creativity to observe and express these basic elements of art. They learn the difference between two- and three-dimensional artworks and between geometric and organic forms. Students create three-dimensional multimedia artworks that reflect their understanding of lines and shapes.

Art Explorations for Early Learners tours last approximately 60 minutes and are limited to 20 students. All materials are provided.

Come to Your Senses (Grades 1–2):
Awaken your students’ interest in and understanding of visual arts and social sciences through an interactive, multi-sensory tour of works in the museum’s collection. This program engages students with various learning styles through open-ended inquiry discussions and hands-on experiences.

Come to Your Senses tours last approximately 60 minutes and are limited to 30 students. All materials are provided.

Seeing Through Writing (Grades 4–8):
In this fun, interactive tour, students will use art as inspiration for their own creative writing. Combining group discussion of portrait, landscape, and narrative paintings with individual and collaborative writing activities, this tour fosters students’ visual literacy and language skills.

Seeing Through Writing tours last approximately 90 minutes and are limited to 30 students. All materials are provided.

You Be the Critic (Grades 3 and up):
Students step into the role of art critic in this engaging tour that centers on a selective group of modern or contemporary artworks in the collection. Students will actively describe, interpret, and evaluate works of art on an emotional and aesthetic level through close, extended looking and a series of discussions. Please note that this tour does not provide an overview of the museum’s entire collection.

You Be the Critic tours last approximately 60 minutes and are limited to 30 students. All materials are provided.