Tours

Make the most of your visit with a public Docent-led Tour at the Oakland Museum of California. Deepen your exploration of the galleries of California Art, History, and Natural Sciences on rotating weekend tours, and be sure to check out tours for special exhibitions and seasonal themes. These tours are open to the public and included with Museum admission unless otherwise noted below; for information about scheduling private group tours, click here

California Art Tour
Second and Fourth Saturdays, 2 pm
Every Sunday, 2 pm

Join an OMCA Docent for an exploration of the Gallery of California Art. Learn more about the themes within the Gallery, including California Land, California People, and California Creativity, and discuss the different media and periods represented. Tours may explore a theme specific to a particular topic, current event, or special exhibition, inspiring new perspectives on California’s evolving role in the arts. Tour meets inside the entrance to the Gallery of California Art.

California History Tour
First, Third, and Fifth Sundays, 1 pm

Join an OMCA Docent for an exploration of the Gallery of California History. Tours focus on various themes, including the Gallery’s overarching concept, “Coming to California,” which emphasizes the profound impact of the state’s successive waves of immigration. Tours explore Californians’ varied ethnicities, relationships with the environment, global connections, and dreams and aspirations from the native peoples through the present. Meet inside the entrance to the Gallery of California History.

California Natural Sciences Tour
Third Saturdays, 2 pm
Second and Fourth Sundays, 1 pm

Join an OMCA Docent for an exploration of the Gallery of California Natural Sciences. Tours focus on various themes, including the Gallery’s overarching concept, “Changing California”. The Natural Sciences gallery presents seven real places throughout California that depict the state’s diversity of climate, geology, habitats, ecosystems, and wildlife, while exploring current research, contemporary issues of land use, environmental conflict, and conservation projects. Meet inside the entrance to the Gallery of California Natural Sciences.

OMCA Highlight Tour
Fridays & Saturdays, 1 pm

Join an OMCA Docent for an introduction to the Oakland Museum of California, its history, architecture, and collections. Visit the Museum Gardens and at least two of the three main galleries that explore the art, history, and natural world of California. Meet at the Ticketing Desk on Level 2.

Architecture of the Museum Tour
First Sundays, 1 pm

Meet in front of the Ticketing Desk on Level 2. 
Experience OMCA’s remarkable mid-century modernist building with the guidance of the Museum’s expert members of the Council on Architecture. This tour shares a few of the highlights of the building, from views of Lake Merritt and downtown Oakland from atop a three-tiered roof garden to the serene koi pond. Built in 1969 and designed by Kevin Roche with landscaping by Dan Kiley, the Museum serves as a vibrant urban park and public space. 

Alzheimers' Association Tour: California Encounters
Third Wednesdays, by appointment

This free interactive tour is designed for those with early-stage dementia and their care partners. Join others to explore art in a friendly and welcoming environment—no art experience required! Museum Docents share their love of art and artists in the Museum’s Gallery of California Art with a different theme each month. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Vanessa Souza at vsouza@alz.org or by calling 800-272-3900. Preregistration is required.

Bike Tours
Select Sundays, July through October

From July through October, the Museum's bike-tripping docents lead a group of cyclists on a leisurely ride through many scenic and historical parts of Oakland. Select tours are led by the cycling librarians from the Museum’s partner, Oakland Public Library. Meet in front of the Museum’s Oak Street entrance. Bring your own bikes, helmets, repair kits, and water.  See a full schedule of all upcoming Bike Tours here.

OMCA Docent-led tours are free to the public in July, September and October.

For more information, call 510-318-8470 or email docentcenter@museumca.org

LGBTQ+ History And Art Tours
Select days in June and September

During National Pride Month in June and Oakland Pride month in September, OMCA offers special Docent-led tours of the Gallery of California History or the Gallery of California Art. Come learn about the legacy of early LGBTQ+ leaders in San Francisco such as José Sarria and contemporary Californian issues such as Proposition 8. See a full schedule of all upcoming LGBT History Tours here.

Private Docent Tours for Groups
Private docent tours are available by request for groups of 10 or more. Available tours are California Art, California History, California Natural Sciences or "Highlights of OMCA," and select major exhibitions. There is a fee of $4 per person in addition to admission for a 45-minute tour. Tours generally require 3 weeks notice. To check availability or book, email us at groups@museumca.org.

Don't forget to check out Group Rates for admission tickets, too.

School Tours
Click here for information about school group tours.