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The Michigan Historical Museum is a great place to take a field trip! General tours of the museum for groups of ten or more must be reserved through the Capitol Tour and Information Service – telephone (517) 373-2353. You can book a general tour up to one year in advance; if you are working on a shorter time frame, it is a good idea to have alternative dates when you call. If anyone in your group has a special need (e.g. wheelchair, sign language, interpreter for a foreign language), share that information when you call — we do our best to meet our visitors’ needs.
The general tour is a self-guided tour of the Michigan Historical Museum’s permanent exhibits. Groups receive a brief orientation to the museum before their tour. Plan approximately 90 minutes for the tour. Download our Michigan Historical Museum Gallery Map [pdf] to use on your self-guided tour.
Students studying Michigan history will benefit from visits that concentrate on one part of the exhibits or a few selected galleries rather than trying to see the whole museum. This is also true for our youngest visitors. For more information, view our listing of educational programs.
Teachers and chaperons are responsible for their students’ behavior. Chaperon requirements are one chaperon for every four or five students.
Best Times to Visit
The museum is busiest during the spring field trip season. We encourage teachers and other group leaders to plan your visit for other times of the year when your group can get the most out of the museum experience.
When You Arrive
Please check your group in at the information desk located inside the south entrance of the Michigan Library and Historical Center.
Lunch at the Michigan Historical Museum
Students and chaperons can bring sack lunches and eat at the museum’s eating area located on the first floor, across from the Museum Store. Seating is limited, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visitor parking is located south of the building, with a $1 hourly fee on weekdays. Weekend parking is free. Buses park for free every day; please see instructions below. Visitors should use the Kalamazoo Street entrance, turning on to the circle drive to enter the visitor parking lot (area shown in light yellow). The area indicated in gray on the map is Michigan Library and Historical Center employee parking.
Tips for using the automated parking system:
- To enter the lot, take an entry ticket. Bring the ticket with you when you leave your car.
- At the end of your visit—before you return to your car—stop at the pay station located inside the building entrance facing Kalamazoo Street. Insert your ticket in the slot, follow directions on the screen and pay your parking fee. The machine will dispense a validated ticket. Take the validated ticket with you to your car. (Tickets can also be paid at the exit gate.)
- Drive to the exit gate on the west side of the lot (Butler Street). Insert your validated ticket into the slot in the exit machine and the gate arm will open to permit you to exit.
Additional public parking is available north of the building across Allegan Street (east of the Hall of Justice and Vietnam Memorial). However, the north entrance of the Michigan Library and Historical Center building is not accessible to those with mobility impairments.
When you arrive, pull forward close to the entrance gate. Laser sensors will note your arrival and the gate will be opened from a remote location. This may take a moment, so please be patient. If there is a problem, please press the button on the gate for assistance. When exiting the lot, please follow the same procedure as when entering. The exit gate is located across the lot from the entrance gate. Buses never need a ticket. Please park in the areas designated for bus parking.