All groups of 10 or more people must register.

Submit your request for a tour to begin the process of booking your visit. You will receive an email confirmation within 5 business days when your tour/program has been booked. Requests for guided tours and programs must be received 30 days in advance. A 30-day advance notice is recommended but not required for a self-guided visit. Requested dates and times are subject to availability. A credit card is required to reserve a date, 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 your visit has been confirmed via the instructions provided in your confirmation email.

The maximum number of people permitted in a group in our galleries is 60 at a time, and no more than 12 people at a time are permitted in the special exhibitions gallery. If your group is more than 60 people, please consider requesting a Guided Tour & Film, Ancient Innovators Program, or discover the Amplify Collective program – a partnership of arts and cultural organizations at the University of Chicago. Self-Guided Tours for groups of more than 60 people are not possible.

The Oriental Institute is pleased to offer a limited amount of funding to assist schools in attending a Guided Tour, Self-Guided Tour or Guided Tour & Film program at our museum. To learn more about field trip funding opportunities, visit Field Trip Funding Opportunities.

Register for a Guided Tour/Program/Self-Guided Visit

Guided Tour (1 hour)

Take a one-hour tour through the Oriental Institute Museum guided by a docent, focusing on some of the highlights of the collection, which showcase the history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East.

Recommended for 4th grade and up.

10 to 60 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $5 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

The Guided Tour program is one hour total and available Tuesdays through Saturday at 10 am or 1pm, and Sundays at 1 pm.

Self-Guided Visit

Groups are welcome to lead themselves through the museum. You can prepare yourself and your group for a visit to the Oriental Institute Museum by checking our Educator Guides & Resources. You also may rent a $5 audio tour (free for Oriental Institute Members!) of the Museum Galleries or download the Oriental Institute app, free for iOS devices and Android.

10 to 60 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $5 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 24-hours cancellation period. Please allow us up to 10 business days to complete your refund.

Guided Tour & Film (2 hours)

Oriental Institute docents lead your group on a one-hour tour, focusing on some of the highlights of the collection, which showcase the history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East. After the tour, your group will also watch a one-hour film.

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. The founding of the Oriental Institute and its archaeological discoveries. (57 minutes)

Recommended for 4th grade and up.

10 to 120 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $5 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

The Guided Tour & Film program is two hours total and available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am or 1pm.

Ancient Innovators & Tour (2 hours)

Explore the concept of innovation through replicas of ancient artifacts. In this object-based program, students work in teams to investigate how Mesopotamians and Egyptians solved problems in everyday life and participate in a one-hour docent-led tour in the museum, focusing on the highlights of collection to further their cross-disciplinary inquiry.  

Ancient Innovators program aligns with STEAM, Common Core, and NGSS. 

Recommended for 5th-12th grades.

10 to 120 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $10 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

The Ancient Innovators & Tour Program is two hours total and available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am or 1pm.

Junior Archaeologist & Tour (2 hours)

Become an archaeologist for a day at our Kipper Archaeology Discovery Center! In this hands-on program students experience the process of archaeology on our very own simulated dig site and take a gallery tour focusing on the development of agriculture, specialization of labor, emergence of cities, writing, belief systems, and modern archaeological practices.

Recommended for 4th-8th grades. Multi-Age Groups (including Homeschool, Montessori) may request simultaneous Junior Archaeologists and Time Traveler programs.

10 to 44 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $10 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

The Junior Archaeologist & Tour Program is two hours total and available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am or 1pm.

Artifact Analysis & Tour (2 hours)

Students engage their deductive reasoning skills in a one-hour workshop, examining artifacts to draw conclusions about the people who created and used them while gaining insight into the science and philosophy behind archaeology. This program also includes a one-hour gallery tour focusing on some of the highlights of collection which showcase the history, art, and archaeology of the Ancient Near East.

Recommended for 5th-12th grades.

10 to 60 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18.

Cost: $10 per student for school & youth groups grades; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

Artifact Analysis & Tour Program is two hours total and available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am or 1pm.

Time Travelers & Tour (2 hours)

Children enjoy an hour of learning about the ancient world through dressing up in costumes, crafts, and storytelling combined with an hour-long guided gallery tour.

Recommended for K-3rd grades. Multi-Age Groups (including Homeschool, Montessori) may request simultaneous Junior Archaeologists and Time Traveler programs.

10 to 20 participants; one chaperone is required for every group of 10 participants under the age of 18

Cost: $10 per student for school & youth groups; free for chaperones. There is a 48-hour cancellation period.

The Time Travelers & Tour Program is two hours total and available Tuesdays through Fridays at 10am or 1pm.

Questions? Email oi-volunteers@uchicago.edu