Tour & Explore Art Museums

Whether your students are 3, 13 or somewhere in between, a field trip to an art museum can be fun and educational. For preschoolers, an art museum visit can be eye-opening. For older kids, the trip can draw connections with history, literature, even math — and inspire students to create their own works of art. Read on to discover more about fascinating collections, tour offerings and supplements for teachers at area museums.

Barnes Foundation

Opens May 2012 at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Phila., PA 19130

What You’ll See: Thirteen galleries featuring 19th & 20th century paintings by famous artists including Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso. The upstairs galleries are closed as the museum prepares for its 2012 move to Philadelphia, near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Field Trip Facts: Guided tours for grades K-12. Specific curriculum tie-ins are available by request.

Contact: 215-640-0171

Additional art field trip locations:  Museums & Centers  |  Walk-in Studios

Biggs Museum

406 Federal St., Dover, DE

What You’ll See: Paintings, sculptures, illustrations & furniture, with a special emphasis on artists from the coastal region of Delaware, Maryland & Virginia

Don’t Miss: Early 20th century illustrations of pirates, Native Americans & book covers of Robin Hood and Treasure Island in the Frank E. Schoonover gallery.

Field Trip Facts: Tours catered to various ages. Every tour includes an introduction to the museum, tour of the permanent collection and an overview of the temporary exhibition.

Contact: Beccy Cooper, educational programs coordinator, 302-674-2111, ext. 101;

Brandywine River Museum audio tourBrandywine River Museum

1 Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford, PA     

What You’ll See: American art, with a focus on works from the Brandywine Valley and the Wyeth family

Don’t Miss: “Den Den,” a pig depicted in life size in Jamie Wyeth’s Portrait of Pig

Field Trip Facts: Tours catered to various ages, from preschoolers to college students, on topics related to art, the environment, history, language arts and geometry.

Teacher Extras: Planning materials provided. Offers teacher workshops.

Contact: Jane Flitner, associate educator, 610-388-8382,

The Crayola Factory

30 Centre Square, Easton, PA

What You’ll See: How Crayola crayons are made. Kids are encouraged to make art — and even draw on walls — in dozens of hands-on displays and activity areas.

Don’t Miss: Eco lessons that can be learned in “A Green Idea,” an exhibit focusing on Crayola’s use of solar energy

Field Trip Facts: Field trips here are best for grades 1-4. A trip to the National Canal Museum is included.

Contact: 610-515-8000,

Delaware Art Museum

2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, DE

What You’ll See: 19th and 20th century American art and illustrations, and the largest British Pre Raphaelite collection (works from 1800s England that were inspired by art from the Middle Ages) in the U.S.

Field Trip Facts: Guided tours catered to various ages, from preschoolers to college students. Get a general overview of the permanent collections or choose a specific focus, like American art, contemporary art or Victorian life. Art activities available for grades 6 & younger by request. Additional fee applies.

Teacher Extras: Offers professional development programs & workshops.

Contact: Cynthia Smith, 302-351-8514, to reserve a group tour. Contact Courtney Waring, director of education, 302-351-8509, for more information on exhibitions or teacher programs.

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts           

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

2200 S. Madison St., Wilmington, DE

What You’ll See: Constantly-changing exhibits — more than 30 in a year — in various media, from paintings to crafts and video art

Field Trip Facts: Guided tours of the gallery for grades K-12. Art-making activities and tours of artist studios also available. Offers special tours with math, geography, social studies,
science and English curricula connections, and tours focusing on art inspired by nature.

Contact: Zoe Bachman, 302-656-6466, ext. 7106;


Fabric Workshop & Museum

1214 Arch St., Phila.

What You’ll See: “New work in new materials,” including sculptures and textiles.

Don’t Miss: The Fundred Dollar Bill Project. Kids can draw their own version of a hundred dollar bill to participate in this national initiative. The bills will be hung on a giant gallery wall, then traded for a real $3 million to help stop lead poisoning across the U.S.

Field Trip Facts: Guided tours for grades 7-12 at the Fabric Workshop & Museum and grades K-12 at The New Temporary Contemporary, a separate space with additional exhibits and installations. Students tour the galleries and participate in a hands-on activity and discussion.

Teacher Extras: Online curriculum

Contact: Christina Roberts, head of education,215-561-8888, ext. 247;

Grounds for Sculpture

Art activity at Grounds for Sculpture18 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton, NJ

What You’ll See: Contemporary art in a museum and 200+ works in an outdoor sculpture park

Don’t Miss: Seat of Sound by Daniel Goode and Robert Cooke, a permanent collaborative sculpture with iron, brass, aluminum and wood components arranged into a system of gongs that kids can play as a musical

Field Trip Facts: Docent-led tours for all ages. Specific curriculum tie-ins are available by request, such as connections between literature and art, or science and art. When possible, students receive a small souvenir at the end of the tour.

Teacher Extras: Planning materials provided.

Contact: Yoriko Franklin, tour coordinator, 609-586-0616,

James A. Michener Art Museum        

138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, PA

Museum Manners

Remember to discuss art museum etiquette with your group before heading into the galleries. Here are some pointers from the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA.

• Look, don’t touch. We cannot touch the artwork because over time, the oils on our hands would destroy the art.

• Don’t lean against or climb on walls, pedestals, sculptures or buildings.

• No running or shouting in the galleries.

• No gum or food in the galleries.

• No flash cameras. The light from a camera flash is bright, and over time, would be harmful to a piece of artwork

What You’ll See: Art of Bucks County and Pennsylvania. There are more than 2,500 pieces total, including a collection of almost 60 Impressionist paintings, plus other paintings, photographs and drawings, along with sculptures in an outdoor garden.

Don’t Miss: The largest painting at the Museum, the 22-ft. A Wooded Watershed mural of the Delaware Water Gap by Daniel Garber.

Field Trip Facts: Tours catered to various ages, from preschoolers to grade 12. Choose a tour of the permanent collection or special exhibitions. Additional art studio and language arts activities available by request. Additional fees apply.

Teacher Extras: Downloadable lessons and curriculum guides. Offers continuing education programs.

Contact: Melissa Sandquist, 215-340-9800, ext. 124;

Noyes Museum of Art

733 Lily Lake Rd., Oceanville, NJ

What You’ll See: 19th to 21st century fine and folk art, with an emphasis on New Jersey and regional art

Don’t Miss: The Young at Art Gallery, which displays works created by students in South Jersey schools. To sign up your class, contact the education department.

Field Trip Facts: Tours catered to various ages, from preschoolers to grade 12. Take a general tour or focus on a specific theme, such as folk art, or “Meet the Artist” during special presentations for students by working artists.

Contact: 609-652-8848, ext. 303;

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

"Lucky Daredevils (The Thrill of Dealth)" by Reginald Marsh, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

118-128 N. Broad St., Phila.

What You’ll See: 19th and 20th century American paintings, sculptures and works on paper

Field Trip Facts: Tours for grades K-12. Choose from topics with connections between art and language arts, American history, ecology, architecture and science.

Teacher Extras: Planning materials provided. Offers continuing education programs and workshops.

Contact: 215-972-2069,

Philadelphia Museum of Art  

26th St. & the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Phila.

What You’ll See: More than 225,000 objects, spanning ancient art to contemporary pieces from America and around the world

Don’t Miss: The life-size Japanese Teahouse structure in the Asian Art gallery on the second floor, part of the permanent collection and a favorite experience for kids. Through June 5, the Museum exhibits Roberto Capucci: Art Into Fashion, featuring colorful dresses and pieces incorporating abstract materials, like glow-in-the-dark beads.

Field Trip Facts: Tours catered to various ages. Preschoolers have a picture book read to them, look at works of art that relate to the book and make art projects. School-level students explore works of art in connections to classroom curriculum. Activities include group discussions, worksheets and drawing and writing activities.

Teacher Extras: Buy or borrow teaching poster sets and kits. The Wachovia Education Resource Center offers resources, workshops and in-service programs for teachers.

Contact: 215-684-7587; see School Visit Lesson Request Form

Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center

1Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center501 Glasstown Rd., Millville, NJ

What You’ll See: More than 7,000 objects in the Museum of American Glass

Don’t Miss: The world’s largest glass bottle (it’s more than 7 ft. tall and holds 188 gallons!) and the “What Is It?” collection of strange items made from glass, such as an iron, a bird feeder and shovels

Field Trip Facts: Tours for students in grades K-12 include a visit to the Museum of American Glass, Glass Studio Show, Ceramics and Woodcarving Studios, Down Jersey Folklife/Education Center. Hands-on activities, such as ceramics and beadmaking, are available by request. Additional fees apply.

Before You Leave: Browse and shop for handmade gifts, homemade treats and classic toys in the Museum Stores.

Contact: Beverly Narbut, office manager/group tours, 800-998-4552 or 856-825-6800,

Woodmere Art Museum

9201 Germantown Ave., Phila.

What You’ll See: Works primarily by Philadelphia area artists, in the setting of a historical Victorian mansion

Don’t Miss: Student art in the Helen Millard Children’s Gallery. Rotating exhibits are usually collaborations with local schools.

Field Trip Facts: “PhilArtdelphia” program, for grades 1 through college, combines visits to the museum with in-classroom programming. Curriculum tie-ins include history, literature, music and writing.

Teacher Extras: Slide registry of artworks available for loan. Offers workshops.

Contact: 215-247-0948

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.


Make the Most of Your Visit

Consider the advice of these art museum educators to make the experience most enjoyable for your students.

  • Ask students  to look for familiar colors, shapes or patterns in the artwork, or even to create an imaginary story that the artwork is telling. — Cassandra E. Demski, Curator of Education, Grounds for Sculpture
  • Have a conversation about what you’re seeing and engage each child at his or her own age level. Look at a painting and ask children to describe three things they like about it. — Emily Schreiner, Manager of Family and Children’s Programs, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Don’t rush the kids when they are working on projects. They really enjoy the environment to be creative and if you allow enough time, they won’t miss out on anything. — Susan Kiefner, Brand Experience Supervisor, The Crayola Factory
  • After the trip, encourage children to speak about their favorite works of art. Children might draw their own versions of the paintings they liked best. — Mary Cronin, Supervisor of Education, Brandywine River Museum


Categories: Field Trips