What are the tour choices?
You may come for a self-guided tour, a guided tour or an all-day visit with educational programming, available for K-12. Reservation is required.
A self-guided tour will require at least 1.5 hours for an average classroom. This type of visit includes access to all exhibits including time in the navigation simulator and our 17-minute museum film, entitled Rivers: The Heart of our Nation.
A guided tour is reserved in advance and a staff member will host your group. It includes all of the above and the guide will provide additional information.
An “all-day” field trip is one that takes up most of the school day. This tour provides educational programming that is age/grade-specific and is available 10:00am-1:30 pm unless other arrangements have been made. RDC is considered an off-site classroom for this type of visit. Programming can be adjusted for content and for your time constraints.
Can home-schools participate in RDC programming?
Because all programming is age/grade specific, no guided tours will be given to groups with a wide age-range. These groups may enjoy a self-guided tour.
What at the behavior expectations by RDC?
We expect students to be well-mannered and to show respect to staff and to museum property. We will not allow disrespect to staff, loud voices, destruction to property, shoplifting, running or other unacceptable behavior.
How many students do you allow in a tour?
25-30 is the ideal tour group size. RDC staff will work with you to accommodate larger groups.
Are we required to have a guided tour?
The exhibits are designed to be self-guided.
Where does the bus park?
School buses may drop the students off in front of RDC, but will then need to park in the city parking lot located one block away on Broadway.
Do you have a place for us to eat lunch?
If visiting the center over lunch time, arrangements may be made for the students to eat inside the museum or down at the riverfront if preferred.
Do the students shop in the gift shop?
We offer a new program now that makes shopping so easy for teachers. We deliver pre-sell sheets to the teachers about a week prior to your visit. Those forms are sent home with the children and then they are brought in the day of the visit. The orders will be filled and bagged up with the students’ names. There will just be one large bag or box to take back to school to be distributed. This method allows the students to shop, allows more time devoted to learning and the teacher doesn’t have to worry about the hectic nature of students shopping en masse. Also, this is a private way to make purchases that results in no child feeling left out. Non-profits depend on gift shop sales for operation expenses. Thank you in advance for shopping with us.
Do you have preparatory or summation materials for the teachers?
When time allows, we will use the last few minutes of your visit to have a “review” with the students to reinforce the learning process. In addition, if you request, we can send you information in advance of your visit to give you a guideline for your field trip. Likewise, if you request any follow-up material, we can provide that as well.
How much does it cost?
A few of our Core Content programs are free to students: Animal Encounters for 2nd graders and Skippers for 3rd graders. We have sponsors who make your visits possible for these programs. Mound Builders is an award-winning 5th grade program with fee of $150 per classroom. If three classrooms come spread over 2 visits, the fee is still for 3 classrooms($450).
Otherwise, general tours are $5.00 per student. Adults/teachers are allowed to come with the group at no charge at a ratio of 1 adult per 10 students. If you bring 25 students, for example, you may have 3 adults at no charge. Additional adults are $8.00 each.
How can we expect the day to go?
Two dynamics govern your schedule for the day: your number of students and the total time you are here. We divide your total number into sub-groups and we strive to limit those to #10-15 students per staff member. We will rotate groups through with everyone doing all the same activities. Your registration form will ask for your arrival and your departure times. This is important information and must be accurate. We make out a schedule for the entire day and when a group arrives late, that first rotation is cut short, likewise, when a teacher tells me they will be leaving early (usually because of the bus driver), then that last rotation will be shorted. If in doubt, check with the bus drivers BEFORE you send in your reservation. It is difficult to change a finely-tuned schedule after you arrive.
We will still start the program at the designated time. If you arrive early, your students may view the floodwall or you may otherwise engage your students. Our programming starts at the specified time- no exceptions.