Group Visits

Teachers: Are you concerned about the rising prices of transportation and limited funds for field trips? Below are some links to look at regarding grants that might apply to your class/school!

Target Field Trip Grant Information

The National Education Association Foundation Grant Information

Kohl's Cares Field Trip Program Information

Donors Choose Information

**Please note that Exploration Station is not responsible for these grants nor will be applying for these grants for teachers/schools. It is up to the teacher/school to complete the process if they so choose to move forward after further research.

Walk-in groups will pay the general admission fees.

Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult while at the Exploration Station...a children's museum. And, on the same note, adults must be accompanied and supervised by a child in order to visit the museum.

Tuesday/Thursday Donation Afternoons do not apply to groups of 10 or more.

When you arrive at Exploration Station, here are some tips to make your field trip a more enjoyable experience:

  • Remind your students about the three main museum rules: No running, Stay with your adult leader and Pick up after yourself.
  • Chaperones are required to supervise their assigned children in all areas of the museum.
  • Help your children pick up before leaving there play area.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the museum play area. Food and Drinks are only allowed in the lunchroom (multipurpose room) during their assigned lunch times.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult around the Souvenir Stop gift kiosk.
  • Questions can be directed to the front desk/admission clerk or any museum staff member.

When you are ready to book your field trip please have the following information ready to make the reservation as smooth as possible:

  • Group/School Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Dates interested in scheduling a visit
  • Time of arrival and departure
  • Lunch plans and times (50 max capacity in lunch room at one time)
  • Name of program (if interested)
  • Number of children
  • Number of special needs children
  • Number of adults (we require 1:5 ratio)
  • Age of children

For an additional $2.00 per student, your group may add a program to your museum visit. Check below for our listing of program options!

Programs and pricing are subject to change. Please call for availability.

Science Experiments

Blow up a balloon without using your mouth, create snow indoors and more! Children will learn about chemical reactions, air pressure and magnets. Each class will end with free experiment time.

K-PS2-1         K-PS2-2         SL.1.1  SL.K.3          K-MD.A.2     MP.2              W.1.8             CC.1SL1

3,2,1 Blastoff

Children will learn about planets and the sun. At the end of this program, children will have an opportunity to make and blast off a rocket. This program has an early childhood option.

1-ESS1           ESS1.B           CC.KCC.4C    CC.K.R.L.1      CC.K.R.L.10

Spinning & Sand Art

Children will explore colors, mixing, fractions and more all while making masterpieces! The machine spins the paper and the child squirts paint on the surface. This program includes a sand art project and paper craft project.

PS1-1     5PS1-2       CC.1.G.3       CC.1SL1         CC.1SL2         CC.1.SL5


Children will have the opportunity to learn about different kinds of animals; reptiles, birds, mammals, and amphibians, and fish. There are lots of opportunities to touch and feel animal skins. This program ends with an animal craft.

K-LS1.1          K-MDA.1       K-ESS3-1       SL.K.5            CC.1SL1         CC.1.SL2       CC.1SL.5

Exploration Station...a children's museum and Strickler Planetarium have partnered up to offer a discounted rate to any group wishing to visit both destinations on the same day.  Any group that books a field trip to both the children's museum and planetarium will receive $1 off admission per student from each institution. The Strickler planetarium is just a few blocks away from Exploration Station on the grounds of the Olivet Nazarene University.  The planetarium has shows to fit almost any age group. For more information visit click here. For reservations to the planetarium please call 815-939-5395 or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Be sure to mention that you are visiting the planetarium as well in order to qualify for your group discount when booking your trip to the museum!

Book your field trip today by calling the group and reservation coordinator Tammy Anderson at (815) 933-9905 ext 352 or email Tammy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Office hours are Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Field Trip Contract 

Winter Hours:

  • Sundays: 1:00 - 5:00p
  • Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00a – 5:00p
  • Donation Afternoons are Tuesday & Thursday from 1:30 - 5p
  • Closed Mondays (excluding private rentals/field trips)

 *The museum will be CLOSED until further notice for the safety of staff and patrons. Please check Facebook for more active and fluid updates*