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. Inquiries from tour operators offering educational experiences in the Pocono Mountains region are also welcome.

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.

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


Group Rates

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

  • $5 per person, ages 3 and above, with these exceptions:
  • Free for required chaperones; see Chaperone policy below
  • Free for school nurses, special needs aides, and bus drivers accompanying the group
  • Always free for ESU students, Schisler/McMunn members, and children 2 & under

Important notes:

  • Group rates are only available with advance notice. Drop-ins do not receive group pricing.
  • Groups must number eight or more, including all children/adults.
  • A 50% deposit is required upon visit confirmation unless other arrangements are made. Payment options are provided at confirmation.
  • Groups may choose to receive an invoice or to pay the final balance at the visit.
  • Special events use a different pricing structure. Please see the Event Rentals page for details.
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Chaperones

One adult chaperone is required per eight children.

  • Groups who arrive without sufficient chaperones are charged for each chaperone under minimum. Groups without the required number of chaperones may not be able to fully participate in programs.
    • Chaperones must remain with group throughout entire visit.
    • Museum/Planetarium staff are not chaperones. The group’s own adults are responsible for maintaining discipline and attention. Tour guides will end the program if chaperones do not maintain order within their groups.
  • Free chaperone policy:
    • Invoiced groups: Required chaperones are free if you are invoiced as a single group.
    • Groups paying as individuals/families (e.g. scout troops, homeschools, bus charters): These groups do not receive the chaperone discount, but the primary contact/group coordinator for the visit is free.
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
  • Maximum capacity is 120 children/adults total. Larger groups must attend over multiple visits.
  • Some group types (e.g. scout troops, homeschools, special events) permit adults to drop off children. Fees apply only to those who participate in the program. Chaperone minimums must still be observed.
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Programs

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.

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

GUIDED TOUR SELF-GUIDED TOUR
Led by museum/planetarium staff.
Standard museum tour is 45 minutes. Planetarium films are each 20-35 minutes long. Plan for a longer visit with Add-ons.
Led by group’s own personnel.
Museum/planetarium staff are present to answer questions, but do not lead the tour. Add-ons must be requested in advance.
Scheduling
  • In general, visits may be scheduled 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Some Monday tours are available during busy times; contact us for more information.
  • Groups planning a visit during public hours should factor in the presence of other visitors. If this is not desirable for your group, we recommend scheduling your visit outside of public hours.
Topics

Full descriptions and educator guides are available at Educator Resources.

  • PA State Standards: Animal Adaptations, Nature by Night
  • Special themes: Animal Families, Strange Science, Royal Friends, Nature by Night flashlight tour
  • With sufficient notice, tours can be adapted to meet your interest; e.g. scout troop badge requirements, regional flora and fauna for nature clubs, or seasonal programs for sky watchers.
Planetarium Films

Please visit Planetarium Films for a full list of available films and descriptions.

  • Films that the university maintains in its collection are the only shows presented in the museum/planetarium.
  • As much as possible, visits scheduled during public hours should plan around the published film schedule.
  • Up to two films may be chosen for a standard visit. More films require special arrangements.
  • The planetarium seats 75 for films. For groups that do not require a film, the planetarium seats 150.
Add-ons

Customize your program with these options for no additional cost! Plan for an additional 30 minutes beyond the standard tour or film time. Must be requested in advance.

  • Scavenger hunt: Reinforce the basic concepts introduced during the tour.
  • Story time: Pre-K groups may opt for a children’s book read by museum staff.
  • Faculty lesson: East Stroudsburg University faculty can supplement your visit with a 30-minute lesson in the museum or planetarium tailored to studies in ecology, environmental science, astronomy, and more. Contact us for more information.
  • The rooftop observatory and telescopes are not part of the museum/planetarium, but opportunities exist to incorporate them into your visit. Please contact us for more information.
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Planning Your Visit

To ensure the best experience, groups may be divided according to head count and facility occupancy. Specific group needs may vary, but general guidelines are as follows:

  • 20 visitors or less, including all children/adults: Group stays together for entire visit.
  • 20-75 visitors, including all children/adults:
    • Planetarium: Group stays together.
    • Museum: Group divides into two halves that tour at the same time from different starting points.
  • 75-120 visitors, including all children/adults:
    • Planetarium: Group is divided upon arrival so that half go to the planetarium and half go to the museum.
    • Museum: Two halves tour at the same time from different starting points.
    • At the conclusion of the tour and film, the groups rotate and the activities are repeated.
  • 120 visitors or more, including all children/adults, must book their visit over multiple time slots, whether on the same day or several days.
  • Ideally, groups with 75 or more people should plan to arrive between 9:00-9:30 a.m. This allows us to show the same film to both sections with minimal disruption to the published film schedule. However, we will work to accommodate your schedule.
  • A restroom break is offered when rotating between the museum and planetarium.

Visit Length

  • Groups with under 75 visitors: Plan for at least a 90-minute visit, not including travel. Shorter visits can be arranged if museum tour is self-guided (not led by museum staff).
  • Groups with more than 75 visitors: Plan for at least a two-hour visit, not including travel.
  • Any group, regardless of size, requesting a faculty lesson AND a scavenger hunt or story time requires 2.5 hours minimum. If only 2 hours is available, scavenger hunt/story time is not an option.
  • Special events are booked in blocks of three hours; contact us for more information.
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Group Policies

YOUR VISIT IS NOT CONFIRMED until a signed copy of the acceptance page is received and the university sends a notice of confirmation to the visit coordinator.

Cancellations/No-shows
  • More than 48 hours: Cancellations 48 hours or more before the program may receive a deposit refund if desired, or the deposit may be forwarded to a rescheduled visit date.
  • Less than 48 hours: If the visit is rescheduled, there is no penalty for no-shows and cancellations.
  • Without rescheduling: If a no-show/day-of cancellation is not rescheduled, the 50% deposit is non-refundable. For groups that did not pay a 50% deposit, a fee of 50% of the estimated attendance will be charged.
  • Cash, credit, checks, and money orders are accepted. Payment options will be provided when visit is confirmed.
Weather Closings and Emergencies

Cancellation/no-show penalties do not apply to weather closings or other emergencies. Refunds will be provided upon request.

Refunds

If you have not received a refund that you believe is due, please submit your request in writing:

  • Email: conferences@po-box.esu.edu
  • Mail: Office of Conference Services, 200 Prospect St., East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
  • In person: 403 Normal St., East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
  • Please allow six to eight weeks for refund processing.
  • No refunds will be issued to guests removed for violation of university policies.
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Dining, Parking, and Visit Guidelines

Dining & Accessibility

For full information about options September-April, please refer to the Dining & Accessibility page.

  • In general, campus dining facilities are not open during summer or breaks when university classes are not in session.
  • Groups are not permitted to picnic/brown bag on university property.
  • Group discounts are not available for campus dining hall.
Directions & Parking

For full information about group parking, please visit the Directions & Parking page.

  • Bus/van drop-off and parking are at the bus pull-in on Ransberry Ave.
  • Buses may NOT park in university lots or side streets without a permit from the museum/planetarium. The bus pull-in must be used for all museum/planetarium visits.
  • Permits and maps will be provided when the visit is confirmed.
Visit Guidelines

For full guidelines including photography and visitor conduct, please see the Guidelines for Visiting page.

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Notice of Non-Discrimination

Before booking your visit, please refer to the full East Stroudsburg University discrimination and harassment policy at esu.edu/about/policies/list/policies/po2011002.cfm. The university reserves the right to refuse booking to any group that does not conform to this policy and to remove guests who violate the policy.

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania is committed to equal opportunity for its students, employees and applicants. The university is committed to providing equal educational and employment rights to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran’s status. Each member of the university community has a right to study and work in an environment free from any form of racial, ethnic, and sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual assault. (Further information, including contact information, can be found on the university’s website at esu.edu/titleix.) In accordance with federal and state laws, the university will not tolerate discrimination.

This policy is placed in this document in accordance with state and federal laws including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 as well as all applicable federal and state executive orders.