Plan Your School Visit

Plan Your School Visit

Each year, our museums make over 20,000 school children think, dare and become inspired through our science and history programs, outreaches and loan kits designed to support elementary curriculum. Our special programs include The BIG Lesson and 3rd grade Michigan History Week: From Furs to Fire.

To learn more about all of the engaging hands-on opportunities for schools, please download our Teacher’s Guide below.

Download a List of Our Virtual Programs >

You can schedule the Live Virtual Museum Programs via Zoom or Virtual Explorers Packs with our Assistant Program Manager, Jennifer by email at

You can schedule our Historic Sites Virtual Tours via Zoom with the Historic Sites Director, Erin at

1. Select a program from our Teacher’s Guide and several possible dates and times.

2. Please contact Jennifer Reeths at or by calling (231) 724-5543 at least two weeks in advance to schedule a guided program. Reservations are also required for self-guided tours. No more than two classes will be scheduled at one time.

3. You will receive a program confirmation by mail.

4. At least one adult for every 10 children is required unless otherwise noted. Supervision is the responsibility of the teachers and chaperones.

5. Would you like to preview the museum before your visit? Click Here to print the Educator Preview Pass from the button below. Bring the completed form along with your school ID or a pay stub to receive free entry (where entry fees apply). Check our hours prior to your visit, while the Museum Center is open year-round, our other sites have seasonal hours.

Students are required to wear nametags. Please let us know if you have any special needs. The Museum’s handicap accessible entrance is on Fourth Street (Press the buzzer to notify us of your arrival).

Grants are available for Muskegon County schools. Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis while funds last, but will be saved in case more funds become available. Only one grant will be given per grade for each school during any given school year.

Grants will not be awarded for trips that were made prior to receiving the application. Grant recipients will be notified by phone and a check for $100 will be sent after the field trip has been completed. Recipients are also asked to provide a thank you letters or a card that we can pass along to bus grant donors.

Download a Bus Grant Application >

Lakeshore Museum Center has a wide variety of Educational Loan Kits containing many useful and fun tools to enhance almost any lesson. Resource binders include lesson plans, helpful teaching tips, artifact/specimen explanations and websites for additional information. The Loan Kits are available at no cost and can be checked out for a maximum of two weeks.

Loan kit subject descriptions are available in our Teacher’s Guide. Information on education standards associated with each of our education loan kits is available Here.

To reserve a loan kit, call Jennifer Reeths, at (231) 724-5543 at least two weeks in advance. Please have a program or loan kit and several possible dates and times selected.


Muskegon County Schools

Free Class Admission to Museum


Out-of-County Admission and Program Fees

Class Admission to Museum
(Includes 1 teacher and up to 5 chaperones)

  • $90 for a class of 16-30 students
  • $45 for a class of 15 or less students
  • $3 for each student over 30
  • $5 for each additional chaperone

Museum-led Program
(Includes 1 teacher and up to 5 chaperones)

  • $30 for up to 30 students for each program
  • $1 for each additional student over 30
  • $5 for each additional chaperone


Out-of-County Outreach Fee

Outreaches are now available to schools outside Muskegon County, within a 50 mile radius of the museum. Contact the Programming Department at 231-724-5533 if you are unsure if your school is within this radius. For a list of available programs see the Teacher’s Guide at the top of this page.


  • $100 for the 1st presentation for up to 30 students, and $50 for each additional presentation of up to 30 students.
  • Plus federal mileage rate for round trip from museum.
  • $100 deposit is required 2 weeks prior to program with remainder due the day of program.

Special Program:

The BIG Lesson

Grade: Second – Fifth
This is an award-winning education model for partnerships between schools and the Lakeshore Museum Center.

Have you ever wanted more from a museum visit? Do you wish that you could have a study trip that incorporates special activities, behind-the-scenes tours, experiments and guest speakers? Imagine the impact that a week-long study trip held at the Lakeshore Museum could have on your students for the remainder of the school year!

For more information, email

Special Program:

From Furs to Fire

Grade: Third
A registration lottery will take place for this program. Call the Programming Department at (231) 724-5533 or email to be entered into the lottery.

During this interactive educational experience, students will learn how Michigan Indians survived prior to western contact, and, once contact was made, how they used furs to obtain goods and technology from the fur traders. Participants will:

  • View demonstrations
  • Listen to Native American presenters
  • Interact with a Voyageur Re-enactor
Interactive Worksheets

Teachers, community groups and parents can use the PDF resources below for even more interactive fun during your museum visit.

Animal Detective

Artifact Detective

New Museum Challenge and Key
Coming to the Lakes Challenge & Key

Habitats Gallery Advanced I Spy

Habitats Gallery Mammals I Spy
I-Try Scavenger Hunt

Nearly Impossible Scavenger Hunt & Key

Additional primary resources and exhibit related information is available for teachers. Please email if you need additional materials.


BIG Lesson is always the highlight of our year. The students are immersed in the learning and are able to make meaning of and connections to history. Education has become student-driven and this week is truly all about the kids! I try to use this same construct with other units, but the resources at the museum are invaluable. Former students often stop me and ask if I’m going to the museum again!

-Dee Lakos, Teacher, Lakeside Elem


The BIG Lesson has not only made an impact on my teaching, but also my students. The museums amazing staff has teamed with me to create engaging meaningful lessons that will stay with students for a lifetime.

-Tracy Lemkie, Beechnau Elem


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