Registration for school programs begins in August and can take place anytime during the school year if openings exist. Please remember to check bus/school schedules before contacting us to avoid holidays and school activities.
In order to offer quality programs, class size is restricted to 24 students for preschool classes and 30 students for grades K-12. Special arrangements may be made for those teachers needing to accommodate a full bus. Please call for details. Children other than students are not permitted. One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students. Chaperones are expected to stay with the group at all times, provide discipline and participate in the activities.
Classes are invited to bring picnic lunches for before or after programs. Please advise the Forest Preserve District educator when you make your registration if this is planned. Lunch facilities are available outside or inside, depending on the weather. Restrooms and drinking fountains are located nearby. Please remind students and chaperones that gum, drinks and food are not allowed in the museum.
Contact the staff below to register for their respective programs. If you wish to schedule an Interdisciplinary Full-day Field Trip, contact the appropriate staff for one of the programs you’re interested in, and they can help you set up your field trip day.
For a well-rounded education experience, schedule two programs for your class in one day. Up to two classrooms (60 students) can be accommodated. For example, in the morning, one class could attend a Plant Science program while the other attends a Historical Education program. Both classes eat lunch, and then switch programs in the afternoon.
Participants must bring their own sack lunches. Fees are per student per program. For example, the fee for two programs for a Champaign County school is a total of $3 per student. Time slots are limited, so please call early.
Prairie Adventures is an in-depth inter-disciplinary learning experience for students in grades 3-6. This program explores the interdependency of Illinois prairie animals, plants and people in the past and present. Prairie Adventures is offered September through October at the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden and Buffalo Trace Prairie in Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet.
Programs begin around 9 a.m., break for lunch, and end around 1:30 p.m. Up to three classes can be accommodated. Fees for the program are $3 per student for Champaign County schools, and $4.50 per student for out-of-county schools. Teachers and chaperones are free.
Reservations made by Aug. 27, contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 896-2455.
If your class cannot come to us for a field trip, consider an in-class program. Our educators can tailor a visit to meet your classroom needs. Presentation length varies from 30 minutes to one hour per classroom. Call to discuss any idea you have for your class. This experience could be scheduled for one class or multiple classes.
Teachers and chaperones are free. A $20 minimum fee will be charged for all field trips.
Morning programs at preserve sites begin at 10 a.m., and afternoon programs begin at 12:30 p.m. Most programs last approximately 1.5-2 hours. Specific arrival and departure times may be flexible.
After you have decided on a program, please pick a location to visit. Three forest preserve sites are available:
All programs will be conducted outdoors. Students must dress appropriately for the weather.
Programs are offered for a morning, afternoon or all-day slot. Depending on your travel time and the length of the program, programs can begin between 9 and 10 a.m. or 12 and 1 p.m.
Fall programs are offered September through December. Special holiday programs are offered in December. Programs are offered late February through May.
Gift shop proceeds help fund education programs and projects. Please consider including time to shop in your schedule. The museum gift shop is open to grades two and up. The shop stocks a number of educational and program-related items, beginning at $.50. The shop is required to charge Illinois sales tax. Groups of ten must be accompanied by at least one adult. Please let us know when you make your reservation if you would like to visit the museum shop.
Specific field trip content will be determined by teacher and educator at time of scheduling. Most visits include presentation, discussion, topic-related student activities, and a tour of several museum galleries. Free exploration of gallery interactives is not included.
On-site programs are conducted at the Mabery D. Gelvin Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet. Most programs last approximately 1-1.5 hours. Morning programs begin at 10 a.m., and afternoon programs begin at 12:30 p.m. Specific arrival and departure times may be flexible. Programs are conducted outdoors. Students must dress appropriately for the weather.