Book a Tour Today!

Please read the descriptions below to learn about the tours and programs the Oriental Institute offers for various age groups.

Submit your request for a Guided Tour/Program to begin the process of booking your visit. You will receive an email confirmation when your tour/program has been booked within 5 business days. Requests for Guided tours and programs must be received 30 days in advance. Requested dates and times are subject to availability. A Credit card is required to reserve a date (including free guided tours for school/youth groups), but will not be charged until the date of the visit if a charge is required.  Arrangements for alternative methods of payment can be made once visit has been confirmed via the instructions provided in your confirmtation email. Guided Tours & Programs are available Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10 am or 1pm, and Sundays at 1 pm.

Groups of 10 to 60 people (per hour) who wish to come for Self-Guided Tour/Visit must also register.  You will receive an email confirmation when your Self-guided tour/visit has been scheduled within 5 business days.A 30 day advance notice is recommended but not required for a self-guided visit only. Dates and times subject to availability.  

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 of Latino students or schools that are classified at Title 1. 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. Learn more about the Catherine J. Dueñas Bus Scholarship >

Register for a Guided Tour/ProgramRegister for a Self-Guided Tour/ VisitBus Scholarship Application FormField Trip Planning Guide

Questions? Contact oi-volunteers@uchicago.edu.


Tour Programs at a Glance

  • Guided Tours (1 Hour Total; 10 to 60 participants. Cost: free* for school & youth groups; $10 per person for adult groups; $7 per person for seniors.) *credit card required to hold date
  • Tiny Time Travelers (2 Hours Total; 8 to 20 participants; Ages 5 to 8 yrs. Cost: $5 per participant)
  • Junior Archaeologist & Tour (2 Hours Total; 10 to 36 participants; Grades 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th. Cost: $7 per participant.)
  • Artifact Analysis & Tour  (2 Hours Total; 10 to 60 participants; Grades 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th. Cost: $7 per participant.)
  • Guided Tour + Film (2 Hours Total; 10 to 120 participants. Cost: $3 per person for school & youth groups; $13 per person for adults; $10 per person for seniors.)
  • Self Guided Tours (Free or suggested musuem donation; 10 to 60 people per hour)

Guided Tour

1 Hour Total; 10 to 60 participants

Cost: free* for school & youth groups; $10 per person for adult groups; $7 per person for senior groups (age 65+).
*A $75 credit card "deposit" is required to book tour.  There is a 48 hour cancellation period. This will not be charged unless group in a "no show". 

Oriental Institute docents lead your group on a one hour tour, focusing on some of the highlights of the collection which showcases the history, art and archaeology of the Ancient Near East. One chaperone is required for every group of 10 people under the age of 18 (no charge for chaperones).


Tiny Time Travelers

2 Hours Total; 8 to 20 participants; Ages 5 to 8 years
Cost: $5 per participant. (No charge for chaperones.)

Children enjoy an hour of learning about the ancient world through dressing up in costumes, crafts, and storytelling combined with a guided tour through the museum. One chaperone is required for every group of 10 children (no charge for chaperones).


Junior Archaeologist & Tour

     - explore the Kipper Archaeology Discovery Center

2 Hours Total; 10 to 36 participants; open to Middle School Students (5th,6th, 7th & 8th grades; ages 9-13)
Cost: $7 per participant. (No charge for chaperones.)

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. One chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants (no charge for chaperones).


Artifact Analysis & Tour

2 Hours Total; 10 to 76 participants; open to High School Students (9th, 10th, 11th & 12th grades; ages 14-18)
Cost: $7 per participant. (No charge for chaperones)

This program includes a one hour interactive program where 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. Also included is a one hour docent-led tour in the museum focusing on some of the highlights of collection which showcases the history, art and archaeology of the Ancient Near East.  Tour and Program are two hours total. One chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants (no charge for chaperones).


Guided Tour + Film

2 Hours Total; 10 to 120 participants
Cost: $3 per person for schools & youth groups; $13 per person for adults groups; $10 per person for senior groups (age 65+).

Oriental Institute docents lead your group on a one hour tour, focusing on some of the highlights of the collection which showcases the history, art and archaeology of the Ancient Near East. You will also enjoy watching a one hour film.  The tour and film are two hours total. One chaperone is required for every group of 10 people under the age of 18 (no charge for chaperones).

Film options include:

  • Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt: Recommended for 3rd-7th grade. Archaeologist 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 Oriental Institute 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

10 to 60 people per hour
Cost: Free or Suggested Musuem Donation.

Groups who wish to lead themselves through the museum that are larger than 10 people must fill out the self-guided tour/visit registration form. Please note that self-guided groups are required to provide 1 chaperone for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.


Questions? Email oi-volunteers@uchicago.edu