The California Automobile Museum is proud to introduce the School Tour Program with tours aligned with the Common Core Standards and California State Content Standards. The museum is open for school tours year round, so there is never a bad time to motor on down for a fun and educational field trip that will explore the automobile history.
How to Schedule a Tour
Please fill out the school tour reservation form at the bottom of this webpage.
Booking & Rates
Group Admission Rates (for 10+ students/adults):
- Students – $2
- Adults – $7
- Seniors (65+) – $6
- Teacher(s) – Free
- Bus Driver(s) – Free
- Ice Cream (Available with advance notice) – $1
Tours must be booked two weeks in advance of requested date. A completed reservation form is required to save the date of the tour. Group tour rates apply to groups of 10 or more. For every 10 students we require one adult chaperone with free admission. Additional adults will be charged the group tour admission rate. School tours can be booked on weekdays from 10:30am to 4:00pm. Exceptions will need to call the museum to check availability. Ice Cream is available with at least two weeks notice before your tour date. Please contact our Education department, via e-mail or phone (916.442.6802, ext 12). Groups can pay upon arrival or provide the museum with a Purchase Order. Any tour canceled less than 72 hours in advance will result in a $50 cancellation fee.
School Tour Options
Wheels, Windows and Weather
Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour A Docent-led tour that takes children through the beginnings of the automobile. From the horse and blacksmith, to the first garage mechanic (the blacksmith) of the early vehicles. Docents ask open-ended questions of the students regarding shapes, sizes, protection from elements, and the progression of safety features on vehicles. Arts and crafts are also utilized for a hands-on experience.
Horseback to Horsepower
Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade Duration: 1 hour This tour focuses on the workers of the community and their transportation from the farmer to the businesses. The goal of this tour is for children to learn how the evolution of the American automobile created new businesses and changed employment opportunities. Learning stations, activities and stories develop concepts about how the automobile changed the way people worked and lived, the innovation of the assembly line and how vehicles are essential to the community we live in are also emphasized.
4th through 6th grade Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour Recommended for groups of 10 or more students. The “Cool Cats” tour takes students on a journey through American culture and automobile design. Students will explore how automakers tried to balance form and function throughout the years and watch for the resulting automobile design changes. This tour engages the students through an understanding of chronological thinking, artistic perception, creative expression and historical and cultural context.
5th through 8th grade Duration: 1 to 3 hours This tour is designed to allow students the opportunity to experience what it was like to work on one of Henry Ford’s famous assembly lines. Students will take a 30-45 minute tour and learn the history of Henry Ford, the assembly line and early Ford vehicles. After the tour, students will be taken to an assembly line and build a multi-dimensional Model T paper car. Each student will take home their own memento (the finished paper car) of their visit to the Museum.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
1st through 12th grade Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour This Docent-led general tour along with a picture scavenger hunt asks historical and scientific questions of the students to be answered as they explore the various exhibits. Docents will lead the student into the correct question and it is requested that the parents / teachers help with the spelling for younger children. Also a good option for large groups on self-guided tours.
Auto Shop/Vocational School Tour and Presentation
Duration: 3 or 6 hour sessions High School or College This tour is to enhance the experience at the Museum for older students with additional special presentations and demonstrations by volunteer mechanics on topics of the educational instructor’s choice. These classes are packaged in two different segments; instructors are asked to pick from two to four topics listed below. Class packages are fee based (Museum admission is included) and instructors are asked to contact the Education Coordinator for cost and availability. Topics Include: Customer Relations, Mechanical Brake Adjustments for Antique or Classic Cars, Computer Controlled Vehicle Operation (Engine Tune Up), Model T or Model A Vehicle Operation Demonstration, History of Racing Purchasing and Servicing a Collectible Car, History of Manufacturers and Automobiles
This Docent-led tour is a hands-on, one to one tour that allows guests of any age with visual impairments to share the joy of experiencing a beautiful automobile using tactile exploration of a variety of historic vehicles within the Museum. The history, shape and material of the cars are explained in great detail. Because Docents are trained and experience in dealing with visually impaired guests, tour group leaders will need to contact the Museum directly regarding the number of guests that can be given this tour at one time. Contact the Education Coordinator. The Touch Tour is sponsored by the Country Club Lions Club, a chapter of the International Lions Club.
California Automobile Museum school tours made possible by a grant from