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Guidelines for a Successful Visit

At the Freer and Sackler Galleries, we do everything in our power to make sure that students have a positive and memorable in-gallery experience. As visitors, you, your students, and trip chaperones play key roles in making the experience the best it can be.

Teachers: Preparing for the visit

  • Please do not ask students to complete assignments during reserved tours. Docents will have activities prepared for students.
  • For self-guided groups, please provide clipboards if students will be writing to discourage them from using walls and display cases as writing supports.
  • All groups must provide at least one chaperone per ten students. Chaperones must remain with their assigned group at all times.
  • Please familiarize yourself with the following information and share it with students and chaperones. We rely on teachers and chaperones to reinforce these guidelines during the visit to the galleries:

Keeping the art safe

  • Food, beverages, and gum are not permitted in the museum
  • Please walk—do not run—in the galleries
  • Please do not lean on cases
  • Use your eyes, not your hands, to examine objects on display in the galleries
  • Pencils are the only writing utensils permitted in the galleries

Respecting other visitors

  • You can speak at a regular level in the galleries, but please do not shout
  • Make sure there is enough room for people to get around your group and through nearby entryways

We look forward to seeing you in the museums!

Related information

Self-guided groups

If your group of ten or more plans to visit the galleries on its own, we ask that you register a week in advance using the online form. Space in the galleries is limited, and advance registration for groups helps us avoid crowding.


To request a reservation for a K–12 school group, here's what you need to know. We currently do not offer experiences for Pre-K school groups.


To request a reservation for an adult or university group, here's what you need to know.


Visit our educators' resource page for an overview of events, online guides, and print materials.


For questions about tours that are not answered here, call 202.633.1012 or e-mail asiatours@si.edu.