Tours  |  Workshops  |  Museum Quest  |  Homeschool Programs  |  FAQs

School Programs Frequently Asked Questions

For an overview of our tours and workshops and what you need to know to plan you trip and visit our Museum, we suggest starting with the Tours at The Farmers' Museum: School Field Trip Information for Teachers and Workshops at The Farmers' Museum: School Field Trip Information for Teachers documents. 

Booking

Do I have to let you know about my trip in advance?
Yes. All school groups visiting The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum must make reservations prior to visiting.

What time can we arrive for a school program?
The Farmers’ Museum can accommodate students for a tour or workshop beginning at 9:00am. Please note that while your guided group can enter the museum at this time, interpretive staff do not staff the buildings until 10:00. The Fenimore Art Museum begins programming for students at 10:00am. School programming is expected to finish by 4:00pm each day.

The tour I want is too long for my students. Can it be shortened?
Please contact our Education Department if you are concerned about the length of a tour. It may be possible to lengthen or slightly shorten a tour under special circumstances. Tours are designed to offer students a unique experience, while fulfilling specific state learning standards. We hesitate to shorten a tour, as it would eliminate important content and components designed to enhance your students’ learning.

The workshop I want is too long for us. Can it be shortened?
Unfortunately, workshops cannot be shortened. Workshops are activity-based, and require a set amount of time to be accomplished.

Cancellations/Inclement Weather Policies

What happens if it is raining/snowing?
Except in cases of severe storms or flooding, school programming occurs even if it is raining or snowing. If the weather is so severe that your school or our museum is closed, you will not be billed and we will attempt to reschedule. Please make sure that your students dress appropriately for the weather on the day of their visit, including rain or snow gear if necessary.

How do I schedule a rain date?
We are not currently accepting requests for rain dates.

How do I cancel my trip?
You need to cancel your trip at least 48 hours in advance or your school will be billed for the cost of the program. Please do so by contacting Sara DeSalvatore at (607) 547-1461. If there is a last minute emergency or cancellation, please call Keelin Purcell, Manager of School and Farm Programs, at (607) 547-1484.

What happens in case of an emergency the morning of our visit, and we can’t attend?
Please call the Education Department as soon as you are aware. We can be reached at (607) 547-1484.

Admissions

How many chaperones should I bring?
We offer complimentary admission to teachers and adult chaperones at a 1:10 adult-to-student ratio. That is, we ask for one adult for every ten students. If you would like to bring more than this, please let the Education Department know prior to your visit. Each additional chaperone (above the 1:10 ratio) will be asked to pay admission. Teachers are considered chaperones and are included in this 1:10 ratio.

Who is a chaperone?
We consider any adult visiting with the school group who is not a one-on-one aide to be a chaperone. This may include teachers, parents, school administrators, or other non-student adults.

What about one-on-one aides?
Any school staff that is necessary for the participation of a student is admitted to the museum without charge. This includes interpreters, one-on-one aides, and essential nurses. One-on-ones do not need to be counted in the 1:10 ratio.

Do chaperones need to stay with the group during the tour or workshop?
Yes. While your group will have a guide, the teachers and chaperones are ultimately responsible for the students, and must stay with them at all times.

Do bus drivers need to pay to enter the museums?
As a professional courtesy, bus drivers receive free admission to the museum that your group is visiting. They can inform admissions staff, who will count them as complimentary admission.

Some students have family memberships. Do they get in for free?
All visiting students are asked to pay admission. School trips are special programs for which we bring in extra staff and use special resources. These programs go above and beyond museum membership, and so we do ask for a nominal entry fee. If an additional parent chaperone is a member, they can get free admission by showing their membership card upon arrival. 

How should we pay?
We ask that you pay as one group, including all students and chaperones. This means that you should collect payment from students and any parents and chaperones who are attending prior to arrival. Please submit payment in one form only if possible, i.e. all cash, one check, purchase order, or credit card. Any additional adult chaperone whose money is not collected ahead of time and submitted with the group payment will be asked to pay the full adult admission rate and will not receive the group discount.

Do you offer any travel or admission assistance?
Grants are available on a limited basis during the year. If you require monetary assistance with travel or admission, please submit a grant application to the Education Department for review. Grant applications are available here.

On Our Trip

Do you have a space for us to eat lunch?
We offer our grounds and picnic tables in nice weather, and have the fully enclosed and modern Louis C. Jones Center for school lunches. This indoor space is at The Farmers’ Museum and must be reserved when booking your school trip. Please note that if you are only visiting the Fenimore Art Museum, you will need to walk to The Farmers’ Museum to get to this lunch space.

Can we purchase lunches from your museum?
We do not offer the option of purchasing lunches at this time.

I am covering a specific topic in my class. Can you discuss this during our visit?
Contact the Education Department if you have any specific topics you would like covered and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Will we have time to stop at your gift shop?
Yes. The Farmers’ Museum offers Todd’s General Store, an 1845 shopping experience, as well as our Museum Shop. The Fenimore Art Museum also has a gift shop. Please notify the Education Department when scheduling your field trip to let them know if you are planning on visiting any of these shops. You may need to schedule extra time outside of your workshop or tour to visit our gift shops.

Will we be able to ride the Empire State Carousel?
Absolutely! All student admission includes one complimentary ride on the carousel. You’re welcome to ride more than once, but you will need to purchase tokens for these rides. If you would like to buy these as a group, please notify us during booking.

Are your museums handicap accessible?
Both The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum are handicap accessible, as well as our Empire State Carousel. All but a few of the historic buildings at The Farmers’ Museum are wheelchair accessible. For the best experience, leaders of groups with special needs should plan their visit with museum staff by calling 607-547-1461.

What should we bring?
Please bring your lunches, and any other necessary items you will need during your trip. Please make sure that your students dress appropriately for the weather, including rain or snow gear if necessary. You don’t need to bring notebooks, unless you are doing a special in-class project that would require them.

What should we wear?
Be sure to check the weather report the day before visiting Cooperstown, and dress accordingly! We recommend rain coats, waterproof shoes, and umbrellas for the fall. Mittens/gloves, warm coats, hats, and boots are a must for the winter months.

Where will my bus be parked?
Your bus will need to park in the Yellow Trolley Lot, down the street from the museum. You will not have access to your bus during the day.

Travel

Do you offer any travel or admission assistance?
Grants are available on a limited basis during the year. If you require monetary assistance with travel or admission, please submit a grant application to the Education Department for review. Grant applications are available here.

Where are your museums located? How far apart are they?
The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum are located on State Highway 80/Lake Road in Cooperstown, New York. They are approximately a 5 to 10 minute walk apart, just across route 80.

How long does it take to get to Cooperstown? Where is Cooperstown?
We suggest you consult an online map to determine the answers to these questions. Our physical address is 5775 State Highway 80/Lake Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326. It is always wise to allow extra time for travel, especially by school bus.

What time period will my students learn about on their visit to The Farmers’ Museum?
While at The Farmers’ Museum, you will step back in time to an 1845 farm and village. Students can learn all about the effects that westward expansion and continued industrialization had on post-colonial New York State. While there are some parallels to colonial life, by 1845 many aspects of life had changed.