Plan Your School Visit

Students gathered around young Lincoln

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) encourages educators and students to visit our exhibits to learn more about the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. The information below includes everything you need to know to plan your school visit and ensure the optimal experience for your students.

“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” - Abraham Lincoln

Speech to the People of Sangamon County, March, 9, 1832

Step 1: Do You Qualify as a School Group?

To book a school group visit, your group must meet the following criteria:

  • You originate from a(n): (1) state-accredited primary or secondary public school, (2) primary or secondary private school recognized by the state’s Department of Education, (3) home school group, or (4) accredited public or private institution of higher education.
  • All students represent an academic class wherein they receive credit or a grade; if no credit or grade is assigned, the class must be a requirement to graduate.
  • The visit must be scheduled and the tour led by the class instructor(s) who are currently on the school/district/institution payroll.
  • A school administrator will sign the School Admission Form acknowledging their approval of the visit.

If you meet the criteria for School Group, please proceed to Step 2. If you do not meet the criteria for a School Group, please see information about scheduling a non-School Group visit.

Step 2: Schedule Your Visit

ALPLM uses different trip booking protocols for groups of 15 or more and groups with fewer than 15 individuals. Please follow the instructions that describe your group.

Groups of 15 or More

All groups of 15 or more must schedule their visit through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB). School groups who book their visit between the months of June-February are admitted to the museum free of charge. School groups who visit between March-May are required to pay a small admission fee, detailed on SCVB’s site.

Groups of Fewer Than 15

Please email Tonya Lacy or call (217) 558-8939 to schedule your visit.

Need to Change a Reservation?

To change your reservations, please contact your booking agency or individual.

Groups of 15 or more must make changes through the SCVB Group Tour Reservation Request website. Groups of fewer than 15 booked directly through the museum should contact Tonya Lacy or call at (217) 558-8939.

Step 3: Pay for Your Visit

Regardless of whether you book your visit, when required, payment must be rendered when you arrive. ALPLM accepts business checks, cash, and Visa or Mastercard. We are unable to invoice schools.

Step 4: Ensure You Have the Required Chaperones

Once you have scheduled your tour, please ensure you have a sufficient number of chaperones for the visit. The ALPLM strictly enforces a requirement of one chaperone for every ten (10) students. Chaperones within this 1:10 ratio receive free admission. Additional chaperones must pay full admission to the museum upon arrival and will check-in separately from the group. The ALPLM cannot invoice for additional chaperones.

Bus drivers transporting a school group always receive free admission.

Step 5: Request an Extension Program

After your visit is scheduled, you may want to consider adding an extension program for your students. ALPLM’s Education Department offers a variety of extension activities for school groups visiting the Museum. To learn more about these opportunities, please see the Enhance Your Experience page. Extension programs are free of charge and available on a first come, first served basis; please book your extension as soon as your visit date and time are confirmed.

Step 6: Apply for a Field Trip Grant

Field Trip Grants may be available to assist educators required to pay for their school visits. Depending on the grant, costs covered may include transportation, lunches, or entrance during our March-May season. To learn more, please see our Field Trip Grants page.

Step 7: Prepare for Your Visit

We are excited to welcome you and your students to ALPLM! To create the best possible experience for your students, we have compiled information to help you prepare for your visit. Additionally, we encourage you to take advantage of our free educator pass so you can preview the exhibits and plan engagement activities for your students prior to your visit.

Review All Visit Expectations

Please review the information below and ensure your students and chaperones are aware of our policies and expectations prior to your arrival.

NOTE: On the day of your trip, each bus must have a completed “School Group Admission Ticket” to hand to ALPLM staff when they arrive to orient the bus.

Preview the Exhibits

To ensure the best experience for your students, ALPLM encourages educators to review our Exhibit Guides and preview the exhibits before your school visit. To facilitate your pre-visit, we provide a complementary Educator Pass. The pass must be accompanied by a valid teacher identification card or a letter from your administrator on school letterhead.

Step 8: The Day of Your Arrival

Please arrive at the museum 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time. It is important to remember that your scheduled tour time is an exact time -- late arrivals may forfeit their tour and early arrivals may not be granted entry until their scheduled tour time.

Upon arrival, your bus will be met by an ALPLM docent who will provide you with further instructions. Please do not unload your bus before speaking with an ALPLM docent.

Bus Drop-Off and Parking

Many of the streets surrounding ALPLM are one-way streets. Please use the Bus Drop-Off Map to determine the best way to approach the museum and arrive at the designated drop-off point. Busses should not be unloaded until an ALPLM docent has instructed you that it is okay to do so.  

Once your students have unloaded, all buses should park in the designated lot off 6th Street between Madison and Mason. Parking in this lot is free, however, a code is required to exit the lot. A member of the ALPM staff or a docent will provide your driver with the code upon your arrival.

Bus Pick-Up

Please instruct buses to pick students up on the west side of the ALPM on Sixth Street (one way North). The provided map includes the exact location.


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