Planning for Your Visit to the Museum
Here's what you need to know before your scheduled school visit to the Oakland Museum of California.
We encourage groups to take public transportation when possible. The Museum parking garage may be full at times. If you drive, allow extra time for parking. The following options are available for parking:
- Museum Garage: Enter on Oak Street between 10th and 12th Streets. Fees are $2.50 per hour, $1 per hour with Museum validation. Validation is available at the ticketing desk, the OMCA Store, and the Docent Center. Height clearance is 6’8”.
- The ALCO parking structure, located at 12th and Jackson, charges $1.75 per hour.
- Limited metered street parking is available on nearby side streets for $2 per hour.
Buses may drop off students at OMCA’s 10th Street School Group Entrance. There is no designated bus parking.
HOW TO ENTER THE BUILDING
All school groups enter the Museum through the 10th Street School Group Entrance. Groups that are scheduled for a Museum visit will be admitted starting at 9:30 am.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR EVERYONE
Wheelchair access is available via a ramp at the main Oak Street Entrance. Guests using wheelchairs who arrive with scheduled school groups should enter through the Business Entrance on 10th Street, which is accessible by ramp from the sidewalk adjacent to the School Group Entrance. A limited number of wheelchairs are available for loan on site. An elevator is available to access the three levels once within the Museum.
Please review these rules ahead of time with students.
- Backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Please leave them at school. Bench bins are available on the first level near the Koi Pond for bag lunches.
- Do not touch Museum exhibits or objects unless clearly marked "OK" to touch.
- Food and drinks are not allowed in the galleries. They would damage the objects if accidentally spilled and may attract pests, such as insects.
- Take your time and walk through the Museum. Running in the Museum is dangerous to the objects and to you.
- Docent-guided groups have the right-of-way in the galleries.
- Do not block gallery entrances or stairs.
- Do not climb on sculptures or artworks in the Museum gardens or terraces.
- Do not walk on the planter walls or climb the trees.
- You may take photographs in the galleries unless otherwise posted.
- Students should stay with their small group and chaperone at all times.
CHAPERONES AND GROUP LEADERS
We suggest one adult per ten students minimum; one adult per four students maximum. Additional adults will be charged $8 per person to be paid on arrival.
- Remain with your group at all times.
- Keep the group together.
- Support Museum Docents and teachers by helping them direct students.
Student backpacks are not allowed in the Museum galleries. Please do not bring them to the Museum. Adults with backpacks must carry them at their side or on their front. You may store your backpack in:
- Bench bins adjacent to the Koi Pond, and (at busy periods) in open bins on the lower level.
- A limited number of secure lockers near the 10th Street School Group Entrance and outside the Galleries of California Art and History.
The Museum requires that lunches be stored in bench bins near the Koi Pond. These bins, while enclosed, are not secure; valuables must be stored in lockers. Storage is limited; please leave backpacks at school or on the bus.
Bag lunches may be eaten in the Museum Gardens, on the terraces, or on the benches near the Koi Pond.
The Blue Oak café is located on the second level and sells a variety of snacks and drinks. The café is open to the general public and gets busy during lunch hours.
Bag lunches are not allowed in the café, nor at the umbrella tables on the café terrace.
Pens are not allowed in any Museum gallery.
Pencils may be used with a clipboard or other writing surface.
If you have a worksheet to be completed please provide writing surfaces and pencils (not pens). Please save worksheets for after your Docent-led tour. Please note on your reservation form that you will be using a worksheet during your visit.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND CELL PHONE USE
Flash photography is allowed in the Museum for personal use only. Video is prohibited in the Museum.
Check with your Docent about camera and cell phone use during Docent-led tours. Students may photograph objects after their tour. Chaperones are asked to step outside the gallery if they must use their phones.
The OMCA Store, located on the second level, welcomes student customers. To accommodate as many students as possible, we ask for your cooperation in the following:
- An adult must accompany student groups, which may be up to six students. Please limit their shopping to 15 minutes and allow enough time to make purchases.
- Please assist your students in assessing whether they have enough money to cover their purchases, taking sales tax into account.
- Students are asked to leave bags and backpacks outside of the Store.
- Please remind students to ask for permission to touch items in the store as many of them are fragile.