School Programs

What We Offer

Cross Orchards Historic Site: Students experience history at a historic orchard. Docent led tours can provide additional information on and experiences in historic crafts and lifeways.

Museum of the West: Provides students with an overview of Western Slope prehistory and history.

  • Scavenger hunts available for older students
  • Basement Exploratorium allows students a behind the scenes experience
  • Guided and self-guided tours of Historic Downtown available

Dinosaur Journey Museum: Teaches students about geology and paleontology, with special focus on the Western Slope.

  • Two video presentations available
    • Dinosaurs the Roamed America (20 minutes) recommended for younger students
    • Dinosaurs of the Western Slope (30 minutes) recommended for older students
  • Nearby Dinosaur Hill provides a one-mile hiking trail that goes past the location of the Museum’s Apatosaurus collected in 1901.
  • Colorado National Monument located three miles up the road
  • Nearby access to James Robb State Park (fee required)

Education Kits: Are available for checkout and come with curriculum and teacher training materials.

  • Prehistoric Native Americans: The “Ancient Ones” kit provides students with an understanding of the peoples that inhabited the Western Slope before the arrival of the Utes. They learn about their environments and lifeways and how these changed over time.
  • Paleontology: focuses on the natural history of the Grand Valley and western Colorado over the last 225 million years. Students are able to interact with casts and real fossils in engaging, standards-based embedded activities.

For more information, please email our Education Coordinator, Carly Jones here.

 

Schedule a School Tour

school group DineWe welcome all school-age learners. We invite you to request either a guided visit led by trained Museum educators and volunteers or a self-guided visit, which allows you to lead your own students through the Museums. Please note that reservations are required for all school groups visiting the Museums.

Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis by appointment only. Guided-visit reservations can be made no less than three weeks in advance of the requested visit date, and self-guided-visit reservations can be made no less than two weeks in advance.

We are open to school groups Monday through Friday for the Museum of the West and Dinosaur Journey MuseumCross Orchards Historic Site is open to school groups on Thursdays and Fridays during open season (April-October).

Schedule a tour here.

Group Prices

For all sites, payments must be made online prior to your visit.

  • $3.50 per student for nonguided tours
  • $4.00 per student for guided tours

We require one chaperone for every ten students. We include one free adult admission per every ten students (K-12). Additional chaperones are charged the group admission rate. Above grade 12, we include one free instructor admission. Groups must be accompanied by teachers and chaperones throughout the museum for the safety of the students and the museum collections. See more in the FAQs below.

 


Before your field trip, check out this video produced by KQED, about museum rules and why they exist, which will help prepare anyone for a museum visit. More Museum policies below.


Click the titles below to expand more content:

Frequently Asked Questions

Group Prices

For all sites, payments must be made online prior to your visit.

  • $3.50 per student for nonguided tours
  • $4.00 per student for guided tours

 

Group Size

In order to respond to high demand, we must limit each school to no more than one group of up to 50 students at a time at each of our sites. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis only.

 

Chaperones

We require one chaperone for every ten students. We include one free adult admission per every ten students (K-12). Additional chaperones are charged the group admission rate. Above grade 12, we include one free instructor admission. Groups must be accompanied by teachers and chaperones throughout the museum for the safety of the students and the museum collections.

 

Hours – Be sure to allow an hour to an hour and a half for each visit.

Museum of the West:

May 1-September 30: Monday – Friday,  9:00 am to 5:00 pm

October 1-April 30: Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Dinosaur Journey Museum:

May 1-September 30: Monday – Friday,  9:00 am to 5:00 pm

October 1-April 30: Monday – Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Cross Orchards Historic Site:

April 1-October 31: Thursdays and Fridays, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

 

Lunch

Museum of the West – Lunch area provided in the Exploratorium.

Dinosaur Journey – Nearby Dinosaur Hill provides a covered lunch area.

Cross Orchards – Lunch can be eaten on the grounds or inside the barn in the case of bad weather.

 

Busses and Parking

Groups may be delivered to the front of each site and busses may park in the parking lots.

Museum Policies

When visiting, please instruct your students to use their best Museum Manners:

Do Not Touch – Objects are fragile and it is the Museum’s job to protect them for future generations. Your hands may seem clean but there are always oils on your hands that can damage the objects. Everything in the Museum is special and cannot be replaced.

Food, drinks, and gum are not permitted in the Museums – Spilled food, drinks, and gum can pose a real threat to the preservation of objects. Bugs and pests are attracted to food particles and eat holes in objects or leave behind messes of their own. Oils and acids from food and drink can also damage objects.

Put away your coats and bags – Store these items in designated areas. Coats and bags can be bulky and damage objects without you being aware of it.

Raise your hand and use inside voices – It is difficult to hear one another in the galleries and it is important to respect the ideas of others. We want you to ask questions and to share your thoughts, so please be considerate and raise your hand first.

Stay with your group – Chaperones need to help make sure children remain with their class or group and don’t wander. Museum staff and volunteers are not responsible for disciplining students.

No running or Horseplay – You could bump into something and hurt yourself or an irreplaceable object.

Gift Shop Rules – Students are allowed in the shops no more than ten at a time when accompanied by a chaperone. We will gladly do lessons on sales tax but appreciate help, especially with younger students.

Suggestion: Wear name tags – Having students wear name tags is incredibly helpful for our Museum Docents and Educators to interact on a more personal level with your class.

If Museum Staff feel that the safety of the collection is in any way jeopardized, or that you have failed to adequately supervise your students, your group may be asked to leave the Museum.

The Museums reserve the right to refuse future entry to groups who fail to follow museum policies.

Thank you for helping us take care of the collections!