Planning for Your Visit to the Museum

Find everything you need to know to prepare for a successful museum visit below. We highly recommend you share the Your Visit to the Museum video with your class and field trip chaperones. If you have any questions about your field trip, please contact us at or call 510-318-8473. 


Jump to:
How to Enter the Building
Lunch and Backpack Storage
Museum Rules
Teacher Guides and Student Worksheets
Accessibility for Everyone


We encourage groups to take public transportation when possible. We are located 2 minutes walking distance from Lake Merritt BART Station and an 11 minute walk from 12th Street BART Station. The AC Transit Bus Lines 1, 14, 18, 29, 33, 40, 62, 88, 96, 801, 840 are all within a 5 minute walking distance to OMCA.

The Museum parking garage may be full at times. If you drive, allow extra time for parking. 

  • Museum Garage: Enter on Oak Street between 10th and 12th Streets. Fees are $3.00 per hour, $1.00 per hour with Museum membership. 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 $1.50 per hour or $7 minimum per day
  • Limited metered street parking is available on nearby side streets for $2 per hour

Buses may drop off students at OMCA’s Oak Street Plaza Entrance, which is located at Oak Street, at the intersection of 10th and Oak Street. There is no designated bus parking.


Temporary School Group Entrance - Spring 2020

With construction at the 10th Street entrance to the Museum, school groups will be asked to enter the building through the front entrance at 1000 Oak Street beginning Wednesday, February 26.

At the Oak Street entrance, school groups will continue to:

  • Receive a group orientation and a warm welcome
  • Be provided with a space to store their lunches
  • Be escorted to their initial destination per the start time of their program

During construction, school groups will continue to:

  • Have access to the California Natural Sciences Gallery, California History Gallery, California Art Gallery and special exhibitions
  • Have access to the upper levels of the OMCA Gardens for breaks and lunch

All school groups will enter the Museum on 1000 Oak Street, through the Oak Street Plaza Entrance. Groups that are scheduled for a Docent tour will be admitted starting at 9:30 am during the school year and 11:00 am during the Summer. Be sure to check-in with your school ambassador for your mandatory orientation, and they will then lead you to your tour, program, or self-guided experience.



  • Backpacks are not allowed in the galleries; please leave them at school or on the bus. Lunches will be stored while you visit OMCA and can be picked up when you are ready to eat
  • Adults with backpacks must hand-carry them at their side or on their front
  • Limited secure storage is available in lockers near the 10th Street entrance and outside the Galleries of California Art and History


  • The Museum requires that lunches be stored while you visit the Museum and may be picked up when you are ready to eat. Our storage, while enclosed, is not secure. Valuables should be stored in lockers. Storage is limited, so please leave backpacks at school or on the bus
  • Bag lunches may be eaten in the Museum gardens, on the terraces, or on the picnic tables near the Koi Pond
  • Bag lunches are not allowed in the café, nor at the umbrella tables on the café terrace


Please review these rules ahead of time with students. 

Share this Plan Your Visit guide and video with your students before your visit.


  • Do not touch museum exhibits or objects unless the “OK To Touch” symbols says that you may  
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the galleries
  • WALKING ONLY through the Museum
  • 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
  • Students should stay with their small group and chaperone at all times


  • Remain with your group at all times
  • The Museum requires these chaperone to student ratios through grade 12:
    • 1:10 minimum
    • 1:4 maximum
    • 1:6 in the OMCA Store
  • Support Museum Docents and teachers by helping them direct students
  • Adults accompanying groups are responsible for supervising students at all times. This includes while your group: 
    • Visits the Museum galleries
    • Enjoys lunch on the Museum grounds
    • Shops in the OMCA Store


  • 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 your students with writing surfaces and pencils (not pens). Save worksheets for after your Docent-led tour. Please note on your reservation form that you will be using a worksheet during your visit


  • 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
  • Students may not use their phones in the galleries for anything other than photography

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, up to six students at a time. 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


Written student guides and curriculum materials are available for a range of grade levels and topics. Go to Teacher Resources for more information.


OMCA’s tours are accessible to visitors with learning disabilities, visual impairments, and physical challenges. Guests using wheelchairs who arrive with scheduled school groups should enter at the Oak Street Plaza entrance which is accessible by ramp from the sidewalk on Oak Street. 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 call 510-318-8473 if you would like any tour or program adapted to the special needs of your group. Groups with special needs who require a special tour should reserve at least three weeks in advance.

Before 11 am, request entry assistance at the 10th Street Security entrance.


Contact us at or 510-318-8473.