K-12 Student Visit Information

How do I schedule a school visit to the DMA?
What is the difference between a docent-guided tour and a self-guided visit?
What types of docent-guided tours are available?
When are docent-guided tours available?
What are the fees associated with a visit to the DMA?
How many chaperones do I need?
Where should we park our school bus/charter bus/oversized van?
Where can my students eat lunch?
Can we bring our sack lunches/coolers/backpacks into the Museum?
Can we order box lunches from the DMA's Cafe?
Can my students take pictures/sketch/write essays during their visit?
What do I do if I have to cancel or reschedule my visit?
More information and resources

How do I schedule a school visit to the DMA?

To schedule a visit, follow these four easy steps:
STEP 1: Decide if you would like a docent-guided tour or a self-guided visit (descriptions in the next question).
STEP 2: Choose three dates that work best for you. Make sure you double-check testing dates, holidays, and bus availability before requesting a visit.
STEP 3: Submit the Docent-Guided Tour Request Form or the Self-Guided Visit Request Form. This should be done at least three weeks before your visit date. Once submitted, you will receive a copy of your request form at the email address used for the request.
STEP 4: In approximately 1–3 business days, a DMA staff member will send you an initial confirmation email with your scheduled date and time, as well as additional information to prepare for your visit.


What is the difference between docent-guided and self-guided?

Docent-guided tours are one hour long and allow students to form meaningful connections with works of art through close looking and interactive gallery experiences. Led by trained volunteers, these visits encourage critical and creative thinking while addressing all learning styles. A typical docent-guided tour includes five or six works of art and is presented appropriately for each group's grade level and subject interest. Tours are also aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. 

A self-guided visit allows students and chaperones to independently explore the Museum's collection galleries or special exhibitions as quickly or as slowly as they would like. This option is available whenever the Museum is open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Thursdays, self-guided visits are available from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The DMA is closed on Mondays.

Docent-guided tours and self-guided visits cannot be scheduled during Second Thursdays with a Twist (held after 5:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month) or Late Nights (held after 5:00 p.m. on the third Friday of the month, except December) as admission for these programs is required to visit the Museum. 


What types of docent-guided tours are available?

We have LOTS of different docent-guided tours available that relate to many aspects of what your students are learning in the classroom. You can choose a special exhibition, a tour created for a specific grade level, or even a location in the world or a specific time period! And if one of these tours isn't quite right, you can choose a custom tour option and tell us what you're looking for.


When are docent-guided tours available?

Docent-guided tours are available Tuesday–Friday from September 11, 2018, to May 24, 2019, and are offered on the hour starting at 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. Docent-guided tours can be scheduled one hour before the Museum opens to the public because one of our trained Museum representatives and a gallery attendant will be with your students throughout the entire tour in the galleries. Because self-guided visits do not have a staff presence, they cannot be scheduled until the Museum opens at 11:00 a.m.


What are the fees associated with a visit to the DMA?

The Dallas Museum of Art offers free general admission to our permanent collection!
For docent-guided tours: If your tour is scheduled more than three weeks in advance, the fees for the docents as well as any special exhibition tickets (if applicable to your guided tour) will be waived.

For self-guided visits: Student groups must still schedule their visit at least three weeks in advance to secure a place on our calendar. If you are interested in viewing a paid exhibition for free, you must request this on your original form at least three weeks before. With less than three weeks' notice, students will have to pay the ticket price to visit a special exhibition.


How many chaperones do I need to bring?

One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students for both docent-guided tours and self-guided visits. If there are not enough chaperones available upon arrival, your visit to the DMA may have to be canceled on the spot. Not having enough chaperones for your students is both a safety concern for your students as well as a safety concern for the Museum and the art on display. Chaperones must stay with their students until their visit is over, including docent-guided tours.


Where should we park our school bus/charter bus/oversized van?

Buses are granted free parking on Harwood Street along the right curb between Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Flora Street. Bus parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum security and the Dallas Police Department require that bus drivers stay with the buses while the students are in the Museum.

If anyone in your group is coming by car, parking is available in the Museum's underground garage for a flat rate of $15 per car. DMA Members park free!


Where can student groups eat lunch?

Eating lunch in the DMA's Sculpture Garden is a fun, convenient option for school groups bringing sack lunches. Reservations are not required, and your group may eat in the Sculpture Garden during normal Museum hours as space allows. Groups are not allowed to bring sack lunches into the DMA Cafe or the dining area on Eagle Family Plaza.

The Sculpture Garden is outdoors and the Museum does not have an indoor eating facility for students in the event of inclement weather. The Museum may close these areas due to wet or slippery conditions. Teachers are responsible for making alternative arrangements on cold or rainy days. 

Located right outside the Museum's Main Entrance is Klyde Warren Park. There are many places to sit and eat, and students may like having a wide open space to explore. 


Can we bring our sack lunches/coolers/backpacks into the Museum?

Food and beverages are not permitted in the galleries; therefore, please leave all sack lunches on the bus or in your cars until your group is ready for lunch. All outside food, including sack lunches and lunch boxes, should stay on the bus or in cars during your visit to the DMA. Backpacks, coats, and umbrellas should stay on the bus, but we do have a coat check located across from the main Visitor Services Desk for keeping teacher items safe during your visit.


Can we order box lunches from the DMA Cafe?

Absolutely! Reservations are required for groups of 15 or more. Call 214-922-1859 or email atriumcafe@DMA.org for menu options, pricing, and reservations. DMA Cafe Box Lunches Order Form


Can my students take pictures/sketch/write essays during their visit?

Absolutely! Photography is allowed in the Museum's collection galleries without a flash; however, photography is not allowed in special exhibitions. Sketching and writing are permitted in the galleries with graphite and pencils only.


What do I do if I have to cancel or reschedule my visit?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your visit, please email tours@DMA.org as soon as possible. If you have a docent-guided tour and you have to cancel on the day of your visit, please email tours@DMA.org AND call the Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs at 214-922-1842 as soon as possible so we can contact the volunteers assigned to your tour and let them know they are no longer needed.


More information

If you would like to learn more about K–12 programs and visiting the Dallas Museum of Art, please sign up to receive our monthly Educator Newsletter. Click here to sign up and check the "Information for Teachers" box. 


DMA Docent-Guided Tour Guidelines 2017-2018
DMA Self-Guided Visit Guidelines 2017-2018
DMA Education Team's Blog
DMA-Created Gallery Guides
DMA Smartphone Tours