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Museum Tours

Please read the descriptions below to learn about the programs the Oriental Institute offers. Fill out our reservation form to begin the process of booking a tour program. Tour Program Requests must be received at least 30 days before your visit. Requested dates and times are subject to availability. Tour Program Request forms cannot be processed without completion of the Payment Information section. You will receive an email confirmation when your tour has been booked. Please allow 5 business days for processing after your Tour Program Request form has been emailed to or faxed to 773-834-0233.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and in honor of the volunteerism of Catherine J. Dueñas, we are glad to offer a limited number of bus scholarships for field trips to the Oriental Institute Museum for schools with a majority Latino student population. The applications are accepted continuously and are awarded on a first-come first-served basis while funding lasts . The scholarship covers $150 per bus per school during a given school year. Please note that this scholarship may only be used for school bus rental; cash buses are ineligible for funding. Click here to learn about how to apply, and fill out the Application Form.

Gallery Tour

(1 Hour Total; Up to 60 participants)

Oriental Institute docents lead your group through our world-renowned museum, focusing on the highlights of our collection. Cost: no charge for school groups; $10 for community groups; $7 for seniors.

Play & Learn

(2 Hours Total; Up to 20 children; Recommended for K-3rd Grade)

In conjunction with receiving a tour (detailed above), students enjoy an hour of learning about the ancient world through dressing up in costumes, crafts, and storytelling. Cost: $5 per participant for schools; $12 for community groups.

Kipper Archaeological Discovery

(2 Hours Total; Up to 36 participants; Recommended for 4th-8th Grade)

Become an archaeologist for a day! This hands-on program teaches students the processes of archaeology through our very own simulated dig site. Includes a tour of the galleries that focuses on the development of agriculture, specialization of labor, emergence of cities, writing, belief systems, and modern archaeological practices. Cost: $7 per participant for schools; $12 for community groups.

Artifact Analysis

(2 Hours Total; Up to 76 participants; Recommended for 5th-12th Grade)

In conjunction with receiving a tour (detailed above), students use archaeological methods to examine artifacts. Engaging their deductive reasoning skills, they will draw conclusions about the people who created and used these artifacts as well as gain insight into the science and philosophy behind archaeology. Cost: $5 per participant for schools; $12 for community groups.

Gallery Tour + Film

(2 Hours Total; Up to 120 participants)

Receive a tour of the galleries (detailed above) and watch one of our films. Cost: $3 per participant for schools; $13 for community groups; $10 for seniors.

Film options include:

  • Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt: Recommended for 3rd-7th grade. Arizona Smith talks about these two civilizations through archaeological findings. (23 min each film. Films shown back-to-back)
  • Breaking Ground: Recommended for high school and adult groups. The founding of the OI and its archaeological discoveries (57 minutes)
  • Mesopotamia: I have Conquered the River: : Recommended for high school and adult groups. Life along the rivers of ancient Mesopotamia. Recommended for high schools and adults. (59 minutes)

Self-Guided Group

Groups larger than 10 people should fill out the tour program reservation form, noting “self-guided” in the “Special interests or needs” portion. You need not fill out payment information. Please note that self-guided groups still need 1 chaperone per 10 participants under the age of 18.

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