Field Trip Planning Guide
At the Cradle, we strive to provide quality programming and a premier museum experience for all of our visitors. We are here to provide you support throughout your booking process and to offer your students an engaging, meaningful visit suited to enhance your curriculum needs. It is our hope that through this Field Trip Planning Guide and collaboration with our team on-site, we can offer you an out-of-this-world field trip!
How to Plan Your Field Trip
We’re excited to have the opportunity to host you and your students. Below are some steps to help guide you through our reservation process.
Here are the basic steps:
- Review our list of classes and planetarium shows
- Determine your preferred visit dates
- Coordinate transportation with your District
- Fill out our Field Trip Reservation Form, including the best time to reach you. Our reservations team will respond to you within two business days to move forward with your booking.
When reservations calls, please provide:
- A count of your students and parent chaperones
- Your selected classes, movie, and/or planetarium show
- Whether your group will be having lunch during their day at the Museum
- Whether you would like to have time in our Museum Store during your visit
Please note: A contract will be shared with you upon making your reservation. However, educators are not assigned for programs and your trip is not confirmed without receipt of a $100 non-refundable deposit or purchase order from your district.
You will receive your itinerary prior to your visit.
Two Days before your Field Trip:
- Assign your students to groups based on your itinerary. Keep in mind, the chaperone-to-student ratio – for all ages – is 1:10.
- Make copies of your itinerary for any additional teachers or parent chaperones.
- If parents are driving separately, please provide directions to the Museum (Directions).
- The final numbers for your trip are due to our Reservations team. If anything has changed, please let them know via phone at 516-572-4066 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are paying for the remaining balance of your field trip in cash, please collect and combine all monies as we require final payment to be done in one transaction in order to expedite your check-in.
- If booking a field trip within two weeks of your preferred date, a deposit is required at the time of booking.
If you are having difficulty with transportation or with your reservation date, don’t worry! We know these things happen sometimes. Our Reservations team is happy to work with you on rescheduling your visit via phone at 516-572-4066 during the business week. However, we ask you to keep in mind, while we do our best to ensure we can replicate your day, sometimes the shows or classes previously selected may not be available for your new visit date.
For cancelations prior to your visit date, the Museum will offer you a credit, minus the non-refundable deposit, to be applied to a future visit. Credits expire one year after the date of your previously selected visit. Any cancelations or changes of numbers must be made 48 hours prior to your visit. There will be no changes on the day of your visit. This also applies to Purchase Orders.
The Museum reserves the right to change its schedule and/or hours of operation. If the Museum cancels a visit due to inclement weather or other extraordinary circumstance, your visit will be rescheduled at no additional costs. If you cannot reschedule your visit, a full refund will be paid.
Purchase orders are accepted at the Museum and, unless paying in full the day of your field trip, must be received in order for your field trip to be confirmed. Purchase orders are a commitment between the Museum and the respective school district. The school will be billed the full amount indicated on the purchase order after the field trip.
Please have accurate student and chaperone counts. There are no monetary refunds for absentees. Complimentary passes may be provided for a return visit to the Museum.
The Museum can serve several school groups on the same day. To help process your school as quickly as possible, we ask for your understanding in following the procedures below:
- Before leaving school, please break your students into their respective groups, introduce any parent chaperones, and provide chaperones a copy of the field trip itinerary.
- Buses should pull up to the front of our building for student departure – any backpacks should be left on the school bus as backpacks are not permitted in the Museum.
- Students can line up outside the Museum’s main entrance (or remain on the bus in inclement weather) while the Lead Teacher checks in at the Box Office.
- During check-in, the Lead Teacher will confirm their count and payment. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, or credit card. When paying in cash, please combine all monies into larger denominations and please avoid coins.
- Once checked in, student groups are welcome into the Museum’s Atrium for a brief orientation.
- Groups will be organized based on your itinerary and, if applicable, lunches will be collected and made available in our cafeteria at your assigned lunchtime.
- Chaperones must remain with their students throughout the course of the field trip.
If your group is running late due to transportation, please contact the Museum’s Reservations Team by phone at 516-572-4066. We will do our best to accommodate a late arrival; however, it may not always be possible for your film selection or programs to be rescheduled. Refunds are not available for late arrivals.
Lunches are collected upon arrival and stored in bins. Museum team members will take lunch bins to the cafeteria to ensure they are available to you during your designated lunchtime.
- When it is time for your lunch, please report to the cafeteria entrance closet to our Museum galleries.
- Bins containing your lunches will be located against the wall for your retrieval.
- Groups and schools should sit together as many schools may have the same lunchtime.
- Lunch is also available for purchase. The cafeteria provides sandwiches, soft drinks, snacks, and some hot meals. Pricing for lunch varies depending on the purchase.
- At the end of lunch, all lunchboxes and bags should be returned to your school’s designated bin. There is no food or drink permitted in the Museum galleries.
Below are our current school group rates. The school group rate is only accessible during the academic week and during the school year (September through June). Prices are per person (student or chaperone).
Museum/Theater Combo $13.00
30 min Museum Class $1.00
50 min Museum Class $2.00
Teachers and school personnel are admitted to the Museum complimentary. Parent chaperones are admitted at the same admission as the students. Please note: any parent chaperone not included in the initial reservation will be required to pay full price; the school group rate is not available at our Box Office.
How do I book a field trip for my class?
The reservation process for a field trip begins with this "how-to" guide. After you have submitted the Field Trip Reservation Form, a member of our Reservations team will contact you within two business days to prepare your field trip.
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept cash, credit cards, and checks. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required. The balance of your field trip will be due on the date of your visit. To expedite your check-in, please try to combine any collected monies into larger denominations in advance. Checks should be made payable to 'Cradle of Aviation Museum.'
Purchase Orders are also accepted. Upon receipt of a purchase order, your field trip will be confirmed. Full payment will be invoiced based on the numbers provided on the purchase order. Any change to a Purchase Order must be received 48 hours prior to the date of visit. Changes to the purchase order are not permitted on the day of your visit.
What is the difference between a “school group” and a “group”?
Schools are defined as educational institutions. We offer other group rates for community organizations, scouts, and senior groups. Unfortunately, the school group rate is not available in the summer months – late June to August.
What is the minimum group size required to participate in an educator-led program?
In order to purchase an educator-led school program, we require at least 10 student participants.
How many chaperones are required?
We require a chaperone-to-student ratio of 1:10. Chaperones are required to stay with their group for the entirety of the field trip. Students without chaperones will be asked to report to the Museum Atrium until a chaperone for their group is found.
How do I pay for my chaperones?
Parent chaperones should be included in your count upon making the reservation. Parents are charged at the same rate as the students. These monies should be collected with the student monies prior to your arrival at the Museum. Any parent chaperones not included in the initial reservation will be charged our regular museum admission rates and do not qualify for the school group rate.
What if the bus is running late?
If you are running late, please call Reservations at 516-572-4066 and notify the team of your new arrival time. Reservations will work with other departments to determine what alterations can be made to your itinerary.
Where do the buses park?
The Museum has a large parking lot available for buses and there is no cost to park.
Are students allowed to bring backpacks?
Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum. We suggest students leave their backpacks at school or leave them on the bus.
Where do I check in for my field trip?
The Lead Teacher (who made the reservation) will check in at the Box Office on the day of the field trip. At that time, you will be required to confirm your final count and make a final payment.
What is a “field trip itinerary”?
Your field trip itinerary will be emailed to you prior to your visit. Itineraries will indicate if your reservation has been split into smaller groups to accommodate your group size. Note: reservations with more than 30 students will be divided into multiple groups.
Can I change my itinerary?
Any changes to your itinerary must be made in advance with our Reservations team. On the day of your trip, no alternations can be made.
Will my school/students stay together throughout the course of the field trip?
To get the most out of your Museum experience, students are broken into groups of no more than 30 (not counting chaperones and teachers). These groups will be indicated on your field trip itinerary. Students will all participate in the same events, but these instances may occur at varying times during your visit due to educator availability or location capacity.
How is lunch handled during our visit?
Lunches are collected upon arrival. Groups should report to the café at the time scheduled on their itinerary. Lunches previously collected will be in labeled bins. Students wishing to purchase lunch are welcome to do so as soon as their group is in the café.
I booked a film or planetarium show, but should I be worried about motion sickness?
Our theater experiences are immersive. While the seats do not move, at times, it can feel overwhelming. Looking down momentarily can help reorient yourself. If you have students or chaperones concerned about motion sickness, we suggest they sit at the top of our theater for an easy exit should they wish to depart the program.
Is the Museum store available?
The Museum store loves to have student shoppers! If you’d like the store added to your day, please let our Reservations team know as you book your field trip. Time in the store will be allocated on your field trip itinerary by Group to help process students as quickly as possible.
What if I did not book any programs for my field trip?
If you elected not to choose a museum educator-led class, that’s okay! We have docents available in our galleries who are able to speak to our collection and artifacts. We also have a free Educator Guide and scavenger hunts available on our website for some suggested learning extensions.
What if I need to cancel my field trip?
Please call 516-572-4066 as soon as possible. Cancelations made less than 48 hours ahead of time do not warrant refunds.
My question was not answered here, how can I speak to a Museum team member?
Please contact Reservations at 516-572-4066, Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.