Tours for Your Students
FREE student-centered tours explore original works of art and promote:
- Close looking and thoughtful observation
- Conversation and personal response
- Analytical and creative thinking
- An appreciation for and understanding of art from a variety of cultures
FREE tours correlate with the Alabama Courses of Study in visual art, social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science. Admission to the Museum is FREE.
Group Tour Scheduling
There are three ways to schedule a FREE docent-led tour:
- Register online by clicking here.
- Contact the Museum’s Education Department by phone at 205.254.2964.
PLEASE SCHEDULE AT LEAST THREE WEEKS IN ADVANCE. Tour bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours are not confirmed until you receive a confirmation letter by email.
FREE tours are available from 10am to 3:30pm, Tuesday through Friday; Saturday 10am to 3:30pm; and Sunday noon to 3:30pm. All groups are admitted FREE to the Museum except for ticketed special exhibitions.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Your appointment is considered a firm commitment; volunteer docents are scheduled to be at the museum specifically for your tour. If it becomes necessary to cancel a scheduled tour, you must notify the Museum at least 24 hours in advance or your group will be invoiced a $50 late cancellation fee.
Want to tour on your own?
Combine your visit with a trip to another insitution!
If you would like to expand your field trip to include a visit to another nearby organization such as the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Children's Theater, the McWane Science Center, the Southern Museum of Flight, Vulcan Park, or Sloss Furnaces, the Museum is happy to work with you on timing. Just ask!
Important information about your tour
Arrival time and procedure
Museum staff and docents (tour guides) are ready to welcome your group 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time. Please meet your docent in the main lobby on the second floor. If you are running late in transit, please call the Museum’s Education Department at 205.254.2571. If you are more than 20 minutes late, it is necessary to reschedule your tour.
Unload students in front of the Museum on Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard (formerly 8th Avenue North) across from Linn Park.
The Museum has limited parking for cars and vans. Enter the Museum’s parking lot on Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard between Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard and 9th Avenue North. Parking for buses is available in the 1800 block of 10th Avenue North, the 1000 block of 19th Street North, or under I-59 between 17th and 19th Streets North. Buses may park in metered or non-metered areas and may stay within the parking lines as long as they do not block other vehicles.
Accessibility and special needs
The Museum is fully accessible to all visitors; for more information, click here. All tours can be adapted to accommodate your group. If your group has any special needs (i.e. English-language learners, disabilities), please let us know prior to your visit. For wheelchair accessibility from the main entrance on Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard, please follow the garden path on the left side of the Museum and enter through the parking lot entrance.
To help our staff and volunteers best serve your group, we advise one adult for every ten (10) K4 – 3rd grade students, and one adult for every fifteen (15) 4th – 12th grade students.
Duration of tour
Tours for K4 and kindergarten students last 45 minutes. All other tours last one hour unless otherwise arranged with the Education Department prior to your tour.
To help preserve our artworks, the galleries are slightly cool. Visitors may feel more comfortable with a jacket or sweater.
On the day of your visit, please follow the Museum Guidelines for Docent-Led Tours, provided by Museum staff, regarding safety and courtesy in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your group.
Teachers and students are welcome to bring cameras to document their visit, although photography is not allowed in some areas of the Museum. Please refer to the Museum’s photography policy for more information. We ask that teachers and students refrain from taking photographs during tours.
Please refrain from texting or talking on cell phones during tours. This policy applies to teachers, students, and chaperones.
The Museum does not have a lunchroom facility; no food or drink is allowed in our galleries. If you need a place to eat lunch, the Charles W. Ireland Sculpture Garden at the Museum may be available, weather permitting (please discuss with Education Department staff), or Linn Park is located just across Reverend Abrahams Woods, Jr. Boulevard.
During your visit, students may shop at the Museum Store. Please be aware that a maximum of 10 children with at least one adult chaperone are allowed in the Museum Store at any given time.
Your appointment is considered a firm commitment; volunteer docents are scheduled to be at the Museum specifically for your tour. If it becomes necessary to cancel a scheduled tour, you must notify the Museum at least 24 hours in advance or your group will be invoiced a $50 late cancellation fee.
If you need any further information about the Museum’s collection, special exhibitions, other tours, or if you have questions about your scheduled tour, please call 205.254.2571. We look forward to welcoming you to the Birmingham Museum of Art!
Museum Guidelines for Docent-Led Tours
We want your students’ visit to the Birmingham Museum of Art to be an enjoyable learning experience for all. Please take a few minutes to go over these guidelines with your students and chaperones. Our docents (tour guides) are looking forward to your tour!
Everyone – teachers, students, and chaperones
- Food, drinks and gum are not allowed in the galleries.
- To help preserve the artworks, please keep a safe distance from the art. We recommend a minimum of two feet.
- Please do not lean on walls or pedestals.
- Please refrain from texting or talking on cell phones during tours. Phones should be turned off or silenced.
- Cameras may be used to document your visit, although photography is not allowed in some areas of the Museum. Please refer to the Museum’s photography policy for more information. Please refrain from taking photographs during tours.
- Please pre-divide students as evenly as possible into groups according to their age or grade. Docents can accommodate up to 15 students per group.
- Please have students wear name badges that also include the school’s name. It is helpful to color-code these name badges to match the chaperone’s.
- Please do not plan activities, worksheets, etc. for students to complete during the tour. Activities may be completed after the tour.
- Only pencils are allowed in the galleries.
- Please be attentive and respectful of your docent.
- Please walk and talk softly. Be considerate of other visitors.
- Student participation is encouraged during the tour; however, please do not “visit” with other students or adults during the tour.
- Backpacks, heavy coats, umbrellas, and other unnecessary articles should be left on the bus or in the car.
- Please ensure that you and your students wear name badges that also include the school’s name. It is helpful to color-code your name badge to match the student group you are supervising.
- Please familiarize yourself with your group’s schedule.
- Please help the docent keep the students together.
- If possible, please leave small children and babies at home with a sitter.
- Please be respectful of our docents other visitors. Refrain from “visiting” with other chaperones or students during the tour, as it distracts the docent and students.
- Please stay with your group during their tour.
Thank you for taking the time to read and share these important guidelines! We look forward to your visit.