Trip Tips

The checklist below (download here) will help you prepare for your visit to the KU Natural History Museum. Planning ahead is the key to making your school group trip a success.


The Visitor Services information desk is located in the main lobby at the main entrance of the museum. Please check in at the desk upon your arrival. To enter at ground level, use the north doors closest to the Kansas Memorial Union. The elevator is to the left.

Buses and Parking

Buses can load and unload in front of the museum. Bus parking is at the football stadium, lot #94. No other vehicles are allowed on campus. All cars must park in the parking garage (lot #68) – one block north of the museum. Rates are $1.75 for the first hour, then $1.50 per hour. A campus map is available for download at parking information.

School Programs

If you have a school program scheduled at the museum, check in at Visitor Services upon your arrival. Groups should arrive 15 minutes before the start of their scheduled programs to split into groups, receive an introduction by Visitor Services and be escorted to the classroom. If you arrive 15 minutes or more after the start of your scheduled program, that program will be canceled to avoid impacting other scheduled groups. If you expect to be late due to unforeseen circumstances, please call 785.864.4173 and we will try to accommodate you.

Please organize your groups ahead of time. If you have multiple groups, each group should meet at the Visitor Services Desk 10 minutes before the scheduled start of their program. A teacher or other appropriate adult chaperone should be present in all programs. Program fees should be given directly to the Public Education staff member who greets your group. Payment can be made by cash, check (made out to KU Natural History Museum) or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). If you are collecting money from each person, please do this ahead of time.


Consumption of food and drink in the museum is prohibited. If sack lunches cannot be left on the bus during your visit, see Visitor Services when you arrive for information on a designated area where lunches may be stored (lunches should be consolidated into boxes or other storage containers).

Lunch space can be reserved at the Kansas Memorial Union, next to the museum. Reservation made more than seven days in advance will be charged a fee. Contact 785.864.4651 or to reserve space. To arrange a picnic space in a Lawrence city park call 785.832.7923.

Chaperones and Safety

We want to ensure visitors have an enjoyable and safe visit. Choose competent chaperones. Be sure they know the behavior you expect of your students and your visit schedule. Adults must remain with the children at all times. Museum staff should not be expected to supervise or deal with discipline problems in the classroom or in the galleries. Noncompliance with museum rules or lack of respect to museum staff or visitors will result in your group being asked to leave the museum and may affect future visits.

Museum Guides: Scavenger Hunts, Checklists and more

Museum guides provide opportunities for groups to explore the museum together. Several options are available: Scavenger Hunts explore specific exhibits, Museum Checklists have a more open-ended format. Museum guides and a Chaperone Guide with suggestions on how they can be used can be downloaded from the museum website. Answer keys are available at the Visitor Services desk.


The museum has a suggested contribution of $5 for adults and $3 for children. Contributions are separate from program fees. They can be given directly to Visitor Services at the main entrance and can be paid by cash, check or credit card. Checks for contributions should be made out to the KU Natural History Museum/KUEA.

Museum Gift Shop - Fossilogics

Establish a policy about visiting the museum gift shop. Decide if, when, and how long your group will visit the store. The gift shop area is small; we allow a maximum of 20 students in the gift shop at any one time. Chaperones must supervise students.

Grab Bags

Grab bags are available for $2 each and can be made to fit your theme for the day. Call 785.864.4450 to order. Payment can be made by cash, check (made out to Fossilogics) or credit card, and should be given directly to gift shop staff.