School Tour FAQs
What will a museum tour be like for my students?
Tours at the museum last about an hour. Our docent guides are trained in inquiry-based, activity-based teaching, so they will work to actively engage your students through discussion, questions, and activities. At the museum, your class will focus on a selection of works that best address the goals of your visit.
Tour tip: Students have a better experience when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. Review the museum rules with your students before your visit.
Who will lead my group's tour?
For a guided tour, a trained volunteer called a docent will take your students through the museum. When you schedule a guided tour, a docent will contact you to discuss how the tour can be structured to meet your needs and those of your students.
A teacher-led tour is taught by the visiting students’ own teacher rather than by a museum docent. Teachers who will be leading tours are responsible for planning the tour and preparing assignments for their students to do while in the galleries. The Education Department can provide resources to help teachers prepare for these tours.
How many students can I bring to the museum?
If a docent is leading your tour, group size can range from five to fifty, depending on the tour topic and the layout and size of an exhibition. (Some of our galleries are small and cannot comfortably fit a large number of students.)
If you are bringing your students on a teacher-led tour, total group size is limited to twenty-five or fewer students.
How many chaperones do I need to bring with my group?
For a docent-led tour, we require that there be one adult chaperone for every ten students.
For a teacher-led tour, we require that there be one adult chaperone for every seven students.
Chaperones play an important role in the museum visit. Chaperones are required to stay with their students to help encourage good behavior and to assist the docent in moving the students around the museum. If a student were to become ill or have an emergency, the chaperone would be there to assist in that situation as well.
How much does a group tour cost?
Because the Hood Museum of Art would like as many students as possible to visit the museum, there is no charge for either a guided or a teacher-led tour.
Do I have to schedule my group's visit in advance?
Yes. In order to ensure space in the museum for your class, it is important that you contact the museum several weeks in advance to schedule your visit, even if you don’t want a guided tour.
If a group arrives without a scheduled appointment, there is no guarantee that there will be space in the museum to accommodate it.
What happens after I contact the museum about a group tour?
After you have contacted the museum and scheduled your group tour with the tour coordinator, you will receive confirmation materials by email. These materials will include information about parking, lunch facilities, museum rules, and our expectations of the chaperones.
If you have arranged to have a guided tour, a docent will contact you to discuss your goals for your class’s visit.
When is the museum open for school tours?
The Hood is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesday until 9 p.m., and on Sundays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The museum is closed on Mondays and on Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and December 24 through January 1. The museum is also closed for routine maintenance for two weeks in March.
Are lunchroom facilities available for tour groups?
Unfortunately, no lunchroom facilities that can accommodate tour groups are available in the museum or in the surrounding buildings.
Weather permitting, groups are welcome to bring bag lunches and eat outside on the Dartmouth Green or on the lawn behind the museum. Some groups find it most convenient to eat on the bus. A few restaurants in Hanover can accommodate large groups.
Is parking available for tour groups?
Information about parking, including maps and directions, will be sent with your tour confirmation materials. Directions can also be found on the website.
Does the Hood offer guided tours while the galleries are closed?
We currently offer guided tours of public art on campus, including the Orozco fresco located in Baker-Berry Library. Tours are available to Dartmouth faculty and students, K–12 school and college groups, and community members. All tours are free.