Frequently Asked Questions: School Tours

What if I have questions before my visit?
Please review our How to Prepare for Your Visit resource prior to your trip. If you have any additional questions or concerns, contact the Museum at tours@mfah.org or 713.639.7324. About one week before the scheduled guided school tour, Museum staff will contact the lead educator to confirm all details. (Educators who book self-guided visits or the Discovery Through Art program will not be contacted.)

How much does the visit cost?
Visits are free for school groups with four weeks’ advance registration.

How long will my visit last?
Guided tours last for 60–90 minutes, unless otherwise noted on your confirmation.

Groups on self-guided visits can explore the museum on their own for as long they like.

Discovery Through Art: Elementary visits last 2.5 hours.

What if I need to cancel my visit?
In the event that you cannot make your planned visit to the Museum, contact tours@mfah.org or call 713.639.7324 as soon as possible.

What happens if our group is late?
If your group arrives late to the Museum, your program will be shortened and will finish at the originally designated time. Visits for groups that are more than 30 minutes late may be canceled.

Where do we enter and check-in?
Buses should drop off and pick up school groups at the Caroline Wiess Law Building, located at 1001 Bissonnet between Montrose and Main. 

Backpacks, heavy coats, and umbrellas should remain on the bus. Groups are welcome to store these items in bins available at check-in, if needed. If your group plans to have lunch in the Cullen Sculpture Garden, leave lunches in bins available at check-in.

Refer to the How to Prepare for Your Visit resource for more details regarding student drop-off and pick up. Please present your school tour check in form to your lead docent or guest services attendant upon arrival.

Where can buses park?
The MFAH does not have designated parking for buses. However, areas of Hermann Park have been designated for school bus parking during the day. Refer to this map of Hermann Park for more information. If you or your bus driver needs assistance, please ask Museum staff or security to provide directions.

How many chaperones should I bring?
One adult chaperone per 10 students is required. Chaperones receive free admission and must remain with the group for the entire visit. Please share the information regarding Museum guidelines in our chaperone tip sheet with all chaperones before the visit.

A maximum of 2 chaperones per every 10 students may shadow a docent guided group. Any additional chaperones still gain free admittance but must self-guide.

Will students be able to work on an assignment during the visit?
Guided tours at the MFAH involve student participation. To help students remain focused, please allow time after the tour for students to complete any handouts, written assignments, or sketching. Students are welcome to work on assignments during self-guided visits. When writing and sketching in the galleries, please use pencils only.

Where can we eat lunch?
• The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden
If your group plans to bring sack lunches, you will be asked to leave them in bins available at check-in. Picnic lunches can be enjoyed in the Cullen Sculpture Garden, located across the street from the Museum. Hermann Park and Bell Park are also within walking distance. The Museum does not have an alternate venue for lunch in the event of inclement weather.

• Food Trucks
A selection of Houston's finest food trucks parks in the lot adjacent to the main entrance of the Cullen Sculpture Garden every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or until sell out. Groups are welcome to purchase lunch at the day's food truck to enjoy in the Sculpture Garden. Visit mfah.org/foodtrucks for more details. 

Cafe Express
Lunch is available for purchase at Cafe Express, located in the lower level of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. Box lunches and meals for groups may be arranged directly with Cafe Express. Outside food and drink is not permitted in the café. Contact 713.639.7370 or cafe-express.com for more information.

May we take photographs?
Photography is not permitted during guided tours. If your group is interested in taking pictures, please allow for additional time after the tour. Refer to our photography policy for more details.

Will there be time to visit The MFAH Shop?
Students are welcome to stop at The MFAH Shop after the guided tour or at any point during their self-guided visit. Ten students accompanied by an adult chaperone may enter the shop at one time.

Will my group be able to visit ticketed exhibitions during our visit?
Yes! School groups are welcome to visit special ticketed exhibitions at an additional discounted rate. Make sure to request this as an option in advance on your school tour request form. See the Museum's current and upcoming exhibitions.