Plan a Field Trip
Tours of the IMA galleries are available to educational groups (universities, preschools, after-school programs, homeschool groups and traditional classrooms) for grades preschool and up. Tours can be scheduled using the online tour request form at the bottom of this page.
- All school tours require 3 weeks notice.
- For every 10 students under the age of 13, 1 adult chaperone is required.
- Minimum group size for a guided tour is 10 students.
- School tour hours are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am-3 pm; Friday 11 am-3 pm. After school and weekend tours are also available upon special request (4 weeks notice is required).
- Entry to all special exhibitions is subject to capacity restrictions.
- The museum will offset the cost of bus transportation up to $150 per day on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check the appropriate box on the online request form.
- Limited lunch options are available. Groups wishing to eat at the museum can purchase lunch in the Museum's cafe or may bring their own lunches and picnic on the grounds. The Museum has only one indoor lunch room that is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please indicate your lunch preferences below and note that the Museum is not responsible for storing food.
- All guided tours are conducted by professionally trained volunteer educators (docents) who are specifically assigned to your tour.
- If students have studied a particular topic before their visit and you would like to carry that topic over into their IMA visit, please select the most relevant themed tour and note this on the tour request form (below). All attempts will be made to accommodate the request.
- If students have an assignment to complete while they are at the Museum, please note this on the online tour request form. Assignments must be completed outside of the guided tour (i.e. before or after). It is recommended that groups bring clipboards and pencils for their assignments. The IMA will not provide these materials to school groups completing school assignments.
- Indiana Common Core Standards for each themed tour offering available upon request.
Once you submit your tour request form (below), you will receive an email with your tour confirmation attached, as well as tour information sheets, IMA guidelines, parking information, etc. NOTE: Your tour is not officially scheduled until you receive this confirmation. Please contact the Senior Coordinator of School and Group Services at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately if any of the following occur:
- Your confirmation or tour materials contain inaccurate information or do not arrive shortly after you scheduled your tour.
- The number of students who will be visiting IMA changes.
- You must cancel a scheduled tour.
- Your arrival is delayed for any reason.
NOTE: Gallery space and docents cannot be guaranteed for groups arriving more than 15 minutes late unless the Museum has been notified of the delayed arrival. The Museum cannot extend tour times to accommodate late arrivals. Your tour will end at the scheduled time regardless of when you arrived.
- Do not touch any of the works of art. This includes walls and pedestals on which art is displayed.
- Pens and colored pencils are not allowed in the galleries.
- Food, beverages and gum are not permitted in the galleries.
- Do not play on the escalators.
- Bags, purses and backpacks larger than 11 x 15 x 6 inches must be checked or stored in a locker.
- Photography for private or educational use is permitted of works of art from the Museum's permanent collection with the exception of the IMA's contemporary collection on Floor 4. Read our photography policy.
- Use of flashes, tripods and video cameras is not permitted.
- Photography of special exhibitions and works on loan is not permitted.
Coming by School Bus?
For Scheduled School Groups - the area along the mall has been designated as bus parking for scheduled school groups (see map below). If those spaces are filled, Security personnel will route you to alternate parking. Accommodations can be made for scheduled groups only. The IMA encourages schools to use buses whenever possible to minimize strain on the surface parking lot.
Coming by car?
IMA members can park for free in the main surface lot and parking garage by scanning their membership cards. Other guests can pay $5 to park in the main surface lot or in the parking garage. The lots closest to the Michigan Road entrance are open to all visitors free of charge.
Free handicap parking is available in the small lot beside the museum entrance closest to 38th Street.
100 Acres Parking
Free parking for The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres is available off of 38th Street just West of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's primary parking lot. Visitors can also reach the Park by walking from the IMA's main campus.
Please do not leave valuables in personal vehicles. The IMA is not responsible for any lost or missing items.
The IMA is grateful to the teachers, parents and other adults who take the time to join their children and students in their Museum experience. We value your time and we believe you can play a key role in making your child’s visit more enjoyable and educational. The information below will help prepare you for your visit to the IMA.
Overview of Field Trips at the IMA
- Tours for students in grades 4-12 last approximately 60 minutes. Tours for students in grades preschool-3 last approximately 45 minutes.
- Tours may be led by an IMA volunteer educator or docent or by the teacher (a self-guided tour).
- Docent-led tours are typically organized around a general theme and are designed to be grade specific.
- Tours are designed to actively engage students in the galleries and often include both discussion and student-driven discovery.
- Chaperones are responsible for helping to keep their groups together while they are at the IMA.
- Chaperones should support student learning and exploration taking place on the tour, by assisting the docent or teacher when necessary.
- Chaperones should be familiar with IMA guidelines. (see above)
The IMA offers students the chance to see inspiring works of art in the galleries. We also offer several opportunities for students to work with our education staff in thinking about and creating their own inspired works of art in our labs.
Sketching in the Galleries (Grades 3-12) Further enrich your IMA visit by spending self-guided time sketching in the galleries. School groups using graphite pencils (no colored pencils, please) are welcome to sketch in the Museum's galleries. There is no fee for this program, but please note on your online school tour request form that you would like to have your students sketch in the galleries (and indicate, if possible, the galleries in which they will be drawing). All materials (including drawing pads or surfaces) must be provided by the school. Classes wishing to use easels or wet materials should contact the Senior Coordinator of School and Group Services at email@example.com at least 30 days in advance for guidelines.
When visiting the IMA, school groups can choose from several docent-led tours, or self-guided tours. All tours need to be booked at least three weeks in advance using the online tour form at the bottom of this page.
Guided K-12 School Tours
The IMA offers a variety of group tours of the galleries, the gardens, Oldfields and the Art & Nature Park led by a trained guide. We also offer guided audio descriptions and touchable tours for blind-low vision visitors, as well as garden tours for people with limited mobility.
For a detailed description of all expert-led group tours, download the PDF below.
Self-Guided K-12 School Group Tours
Visitors interested in structuring their own exploration of the IMA can schedule a self-guided tour of the galleries, grounds and/or featured exhibitions.