class field tripDiscovery Center is proud to offer a wide variety of field trip styles and formats to suit your classes’ interests, learning level, and needs. Talk to any child who has grown up in the Rockford region, and he or she will most likely have a fond memory of a field trip to our museum.


Basic Museum Tour

Explore over 300 hands-on permanent exhibits on two floors of hands-on fun! Interactive exhibits cover topics on electricity, weather, agriculture, communication, color and light, air and flight, mathematics, simple machines, and the human body. Use Discovery Center Museum to teach a lesson your students won’t forget!

Next Generation Science Standards: ESS2.BD, ESS3.B, ETS1.AB, LS4.CD, LS3.A, PS2.AB PS3.ABCD, PS4.ABC

Length: 2 hours (longer if additional programs, tours or lunchtime is added)

Cost: $5.00 per student or chaperone for groups of 10 or more people; one free teacher per class for public and private schools. Other groups of 10 or more people are $5.00 per person. 

Chaperones: We suggest a ratio of one adult to five children for all tours, but require this ratio for self-guided tours.

Reservations can be made up to a year in advance. Field Trip reservations must be finalized and confirmed at least 10 business days before your scheduled visit. Large groups (<75 people) are encouraged to begin scheduling 12-16 weeks in advance of their visit. Small and medium sized groups should begin scheduling 4-6 weeks in advance. To begin the reservation process, complete the Group Visit Request Form. Someone will contact you to complete the reservation.  For additional questions, contact us at groupvisit@discoverycentermuseum.org or phone 815-963-6769.

Focused Field Trips

A range of theme-based field trips that inspire focused learning.

Planetarium Field Trips

Explore the night sky in our Planetarium.

Terrific Tuesdays

A 3-hour extravaganza of science, movement, and art at three museums!


Summer 2017 Tours

In addition to the permanent exhibits at Discovery Center, the temporary exhibit Hello from Japan will be here June 10–Sept. 3. The exhibit invites families to explore an immersive, child-sized Tokyo streetscape and Shinto park. Visitors learn how time-honored Japanese traditions co-exist with contemporary culture.

Add on a Boat Ride

For added fun, extend your visit to Discovery Center with a ride on the Rock River. The Forest City Queen riverboat will dock at Discovery Center on select Tuesdays this summer. The riverboat will offer 45-minute rides for groups of 15 or more when they book a tour to Discovery Center.

Scheduling your Visit

We are open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. When you contact us to reserve your visit, have several dates in mind and know the number of people in your group. Fridays between June 16–August 4 are not available. We ask for a ratio of 1 adult per 5 children for guided groups, but we REQUIRE the ratio for self-guided groups. Groups can arrive as early as 9:00 am. Please schedule your visit at least 2 weeks in advance.

Option/Group Rates/Time Required

1.  Discovery Center only  - $5/person -  2 hours for museum & outdoor park. Allow extra time for planetarium, boat ride, lunch room, etc.

2.  Discovery Center & Hello from Japan exhibition  - $6/person  - Add 30 minutes to schedule.

3.  Discovery Center & Boat Ride - $8/person - Minimum of 15 people required. Add 45 minutes to schedule if boat ride is reserved. Available boat dates include 6/13, 6/20, 7/11, 7/25, 8/1 and 8/8 at 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm.

4.  Discovery Center + Hello from Japan + Boat Ride  - $9/person - 3 1/2 hours. Add on extra time if you schedule planetarium, lunch room, etc.


Planetarium - $30/session - 30 minutes. Max 30 people/session.

Lunchroom $10 to reserve/session 30 minutes. Max 60 people/session.

For more info and reservations complete the Group Visit Request Form on our website or email fieldtrips@DiscoveryCenterMuseum.org.

Tips for Planning a Group Visit

Trip Times: Tours begin as early as 9:00 am. Monday - Friday. Guided tours are 2 hours in length.

Chaperones: We suggest a ratio of one adult per five children, but require this ratio for self-guided tours.

Payment: Payment in full is due upon arrival.

Gift Shop: Our gift shop offers a variety of fun, educational items, and is available to you and your students upon request. Gift bags range from $2.00-$5.00, and  are available for preorder.

Lunch: Discovery Center Museum's indoor lunchroom is available for $10.00, only by reservation, first-come first-served.

Coupons & Passes: Discovery Center is happy to provide coupons and passes for student incentives, PTO events, and more. For more information or to make a special request, contact us.

To begin the reservation process, complete the Group Visit Request Form and someone will then contact you.  For additional questions, contact us via email or phone 815-963-6769.