Schools & Groups

Schools, day care centers, and homeschoolers as well as special interest clubs, scout troops, and senior groups are all invited to enhance their activities with a specialized program at Schisler Museum and McMunn Planetarium. Inquiries from tour operators offering educational experiences in the Pocono Mountains region are also welcome.

Educational groups should also refer to the Educator Resources page for information about how our programs satisfy teaching standards and learning outcomes.

We want to do everything possible to ensure that your visit is a successful one. Please contact us for any questions about programming, accessibility, or other issues.

Scheduling 

PLEASE NOTE: April and May are our busiest months for group visits. Book early for the best chance of reserving your preferred date.

Before booking, please refer to the East Stroudsburg University non-discrimination policy. East Stroudsburg University reserves the right to refuse booking to any group that does not conform to this policy and to remove any group or guest that violates the policy during a visit.

GUIDED Tours

  • Through May 2017, groups that desire a guided tour during typical school hours (8 a.m.-3 p.m.) should book on Tuesday or Thursday.
  • Through May 2017, guided tours outside of public hours may be booked on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, either 8-10 a.m. or 3-9 p.m.
  • Beginning June 1, public hours expand to Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. School groups are advised to book in April/May to avoid the presence of the general public during your visit.
  • For an additional fee, groups may request a lesson led by East Stroudsburg University faculty (when available) and tailored to your study unit; ask for details or see Add-ons section below.
  • Guided tours are generally not available during public hours (Wed/Fri/Sat, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) due to published film schedules and the presence of the general public. Special accommodation can be made during our busy season, but for the best tour experience, we recommend booking early to ensure your visit occurs outside of public hours.

SELF-GUIDED Tours

  • Visits guided by a group’s own leaders may book on Tuesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Museum/planetarium staff will be present to answer questions, but will not provide a tour.
  • Self-guided visits during public hours should factor in the presence of the general public; this may not be desirable for some groups. For the best experience, we recommend scheduling your visit outside of public hours.

Capacity

  • The museum is most comfortably enjoyed in groups of 25 or less. Groups with more than 25 people are typically divided into two sections for their tour.
  • The planetarium seats 77 with an unobstructed view of films. For visits that do not require a film, the planetarium seats 150.
  • Groups of more than 25 are divided to rotate between the museum and planetarium to ensure full access to all participants. For example, a school bringing 100 students from four different classrooms would direct half of the students to the planetarium and half to the museum. The half in the museum would then be divided into their separate classrooms to tour simultaneously (starting at opposite ends of the museum). When the tours and film conclude, the groups rotate and the process is repeated.
  • A restroom break is offered during the rotations between the museum and planetarium.
  • For groups larger than 125 people (including all children, chaperones, and adults), we reserve the right to divide the visit over multiple time slots, whether on the same day or several days. This is for the safety and enjoyment of all participants.

Group Rates

Required chaperones and special needs aides are admitted free; see Chaperone section below.

  • Children 3–17: $3
  • Non-chaperone Seniors 60+: $3
  • Non-chaperone Adults: $5
  • Children 2 and under, Members, and current or prospective ESU students: free

Chaperones

One adult chaperone is required per eight children.

1-8 children = 1 chaperone 9-16 children = 2 chaperones
17-24 children = 3 chaperones 25-32 children = 4 chaperones
33-40 children = 5 chaperones 41-48 children = 6 chaperones
49-56 children = 7 chaperones 57-64 children = 8 chaperones
65-72 children = 9 chaperones 73-80 children = 10 chaperones
81-88 children = 11 chaperones 89-96 children = 12 chaperones
  • Groups will be charged the full adult rate ($6) for each chaperone under the required minimum.
  • Groups without the required minimum of chaperones may not be able to fully participate in tours and programs.
  • Required chaperones, nurses, bus drivers, and special needs aides are admitted free. Regular group rates apply to all other adults who participate in the visit.
  • Some programs (including scout groups, birthday parties) permit adults to drop off children. Fees will only apply to adults who stay and participate in the program.

Programs

Whether you are a school or community group, we are pleased to offer in-depth tours and programs covering topics in astronomy, ecology, adaptation, biodiversity, endangered species, identification, and more. Developed in collaboration with the educators at East Stroudsburg University, our programs are rooted in current scientific knowledge and are aligned with state and national teaching standards. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to hear about special programs in areas that interest you.

The museum and planetarium are normally both included in a standard visit, but you may choose one or the other as suits your program needs.

  • Groups with fewer than 50 people should plan for at least a 90-minute visit (not including travel). Shorter visits can be arranged; contact us for details.
  • Groups of 50 or more should plan for at least a two-hour visit (not including travel).
  • If choosing Add-ons (below), plan for up to an extra hour of visit time.
  • MUSEUM TOUR: Choose the Animal Adaptations or Nature by Night topic.
    • School groups may request special focus on certain areas within the offered tour topics in support of your study unit.
    • Scout troops may request programs that focus on badge and journey requirements.
    • Community groups may request topics in support of their mission, such as STEM topics for underserved audiences, regional flora and fauna for nature clubs, and seasonal programs for skywatchers.
  • FILM: Please review the list of Planetarium Films to choose one or more shows that fit your topic. Up to two films may be chosen for a standard visit; additional films require more time and must be arranged in advance; a museum add-on (below) may also be required.

Add-ons

Customize your program with these options. Plan for up to an extra hour of visit time. Must be specified in advance; contact us for details.

  • SCAVENGER HUNT: Reinforces the concepts introduced during the museum tour.
  • STORY TIME: Pre-K and Elementary groups may opt for a children’s book reading suited to the desired nature or astronomy topic.
  • LESSON: For an additional fee, East Stroudsburg University faculty (when available) can supplement your visit with a talk tailored to your study unit. Note: Not available for astronomy until Fall 2017.

Group Policies

  • YOUR VISIT IS NOT CONFIRMED until we receive a completed group request form and indication of payment method.
  • A minimum of ten people is required for group pricing, in any combination of children/chaperones/adults.
  • Group rates are available only with advance registration. Drop-ins do not receive group pricing.
  • Groups may request a guided tour or lead their own exploration.
  • An invoice will be mailed after completion of the program, unless the group wishes to pay at the time of their visit.

Deposits and Cancellations/No-shows

  • A 50% deposit is required 30 days before the scheduled program date.
  • For programs scheduled with less than 30 days’ notice, a 50% fee may be charged for cancellation/no-show.
  • Cancellations are required 48 hours before the scheduled program to receive a refund of the 50% deposit.
  • For cancellations/no-shows without 48 hours’ notice, the program may be rescheduled within 30 days of the original date with no penalty.
  • If a cancellation/no-show is not rescheduled, the 50% deposit is non-refundable. For programs that did not pay a 50% deposit, a fee of 50% of the estimated head count will be charged.
  • Scheduled groups and programs that must be canceled due to weather or other emergencies may reschedule with no penalty. Refunds will be provided when necessary.

Dining

Please refer to the information provided on the Dining & Accessibility page.

Parking

Bus/van parking is available. Individual cars require permits, which are provided upon registration. For details, please review the information on the Directions & Parking page.