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. If a group has more than 10 people,we highly encourage registering for a group for the convience of your group.

Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult while at the Exploration Station. One adult is mandatory for every five children and must be supervised at all times.  On the same note, adults must be accompanied and supervised by a child when visiting our facility.

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

*Illinois PreK-12 schools receive free Museum Entry, while out-of-state schools will receive a group discount.

    • *Free Entry only includes general admission between the operating hours of 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays with no additional services including orientation, storage for coats/lunches or use of lunch room. Groups are first come, first serve and contracts with pre-reservations will be required for all group visits.
    • Free entry groups meeting above criteria must be reserve 30 days prior to booking date.

We do not accept groups at the door without a proper reservation and confirmation.

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

  • One adult chaperone over the age of 18 is required for every five children. Children must be supervised at all times.
  • 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 each 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 use the field trip packet as a guide for booking your trip!



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 Guest Services Coordinator, Kayla Blackman, at (815) 933-9905 ext 352 or the prefered method is booking by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To help book your field trip, here is some information we will need from you to get started:

-Name of School/Organization

-Physical Address

-Phone Number

-Time of Visit (2 hour slot)

-Will your group need a reserved area for lunches?

-Any children with special needs for accomodations?

-How many teachers/adults are coming?

-How many children are coming?

For more information on our group visits, please take a look at our Field Trip Packet and Field Trip Contract! 



Exploration Station Hours:

New Hours starting Tuesday, September 12!



Monday:        CLOSED

Tuesday:       2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

 Thursday:     10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Friday:           10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday:       10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday:        CLOSED


Sundays are available for birthday parties or private rentals. Mondays are available for group visits only.