School Tours

Come to the Bowers Museum to experience world art, history and culture in nearby Orange County! There are so many treasures at Bowers Museum, you can’t see them all at once. With our docent-led gallery tours, Bowers Museum offers an in-depth exploration of one of our permanent galleries or special exhibitions. You also have the option of participating in a hands-on art project to give your experience an ample slice of creativity. Our ever-expanding collections provide exciting new ways for our guests to interact with world art, history and culture. It's easy, accessible and fun for all ages and learning styles.

Educational Experiences include:

Docent Guided Tours of Permanent and Changing Exhibitions

Self-Guided Museum Experiences

Hands on Art Making

Culture 360 Student Performance Programs

Teen Career Development Programs

Afterschool Programs

Treacher Professional Development Programs


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, please contact the Tours Office directly at 714-567-3680 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION Tours & Art Projects 2016-2017

FRIDA MG 2649 fridaFrida Kahlo - Her photos

February 25. 2017 - June 25, 2017

Frida Kahlo - Her Photos offers an intimate glance into the life of one of the world's most beloved artists. Throughout her life, Kahlo meticulously collected over 6,000 photographs of loved ones as well as scenes of Mexican culture, politics, art, history, and nature. Recommended for grades 7 and up.

Art classes: Frida Kahlo- Self Portrait Lesson

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 100 students per visit

Image Credit: Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo, 1932 ©Frida Kahlo Museum
Banco de México Fiduciario en el Fideicomiso Museso Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Permanent gallery Tours & Art Projects



The region of California has the first evidence of Indigenous peoples as early as 17,000 BCE, and, in countless villages across this ecologically diverse land, had the highest population density north of Mexico in the Pre-Columbian eras. Come celebrate these rich and enduring cultures through this extensive collection of Native Californian art and material culture. Explore the history, lifeways and customs of California’s First Peoples, how they thrived, and the ways they shaped their cultural identities that still survive today.

Art Classes: Clay Pinch Pots or Sand Painting

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 60 students per visit

Click here to download our Southern California Indian Curriculum Guide


California Legacies: Missions & Ranchos

The Missions and Ranchos Gallery illustrates the vibrant, diverse, and colorful history of the people who settled the West Coast and Orange County. It begins with the conquest, Christianization and colonization of California during the Spanish Mission period (1768-1822) and carries through to the Mexican Rancho period (1832-1848). Our artifacts tell local stories of a borderland culture where Indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, California and Yankee traditions jostled together in a world both old and shockingly new.

Art Classes: Cattle Brands, Rancho Cochineal Textile Prints

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 60 students per visit

Click here to download our Early California History Exploration and Settlement Curriculum Guide

California BountyCalifornia Bounty: Image and Identity, 1850-1930

Viewers will take a rambling journey through California’s visual history, a history shaped by a unique mixture of Mexican and Anglo traditions as well as the state’s position on the Pacific Rim. Each painting epitomizes California’s land, people and offerings as a place of produce and plenty. The exhibition brings together many of the museum’s most cherished paintings, including works by early artists documenting the Mission and Rancho periods; landscapes by plein air painters portraying California’s coasts and canyons; sumptuous portraits and still-life paintings of flowers and paper-wrapped fruit by Alberta and William McCloskey; and a small selection of works indicating California as a continued place of possibility. This will be the first public display of many of the selected paintings, some of which have spent years in storage.

Art Class: Watercolor Landscape Painting

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 90 students per visit

bodhisatvaAncient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy

Journey back 5000 years across time in masterworks of the world's oldest living civilizations. Witness the breathtaking evolution of Chinese art and culture spanning from the Neolithic Era to the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. This feast for the eyes includes a tomb demon from the Warring States period (475-221 BCE), a laughing trio of terra cotta horses prancing out from the early Ming Dynasty (960-1460 CE), and many other Chinese treasures that can only be seen here. You may also participate in hands-on activities with real artifacts!



Art Class: Chinese Watercolor Scroll or Clay Dragon

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 120 students per visit

Spirits & Headhunters: Art of the Pacific IslandsSpirits and Headhunters Art of the Pacific Islands

Venture into the magic of Oceania, where over 2,400 artifacts weave stories of birth, marriage, war, death, and the spirit world. Masterworks in this comprehensive exhibition originate from Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Particular focus is placed on New Guinea, land of the headhunter. These shadowed halls conjure sights of wooden totems, fire masks, tools of the shaman, and sounds of a living rain forest. Come immerse yourself in the rich artistic traditions infused into daily and ritual lifeways. Recommended for grades 6 and up.


Art Class: Clay Spirit Masks

Minimum 15 students, Maximum 120 students per visit

Create Your Own Tour

Is your class studying a particular culture, theme or topic? We would be happy to work with you to develop a customized tour and art project to accommodate your student’s needs. Contact the Tours Office for more information on how to create your unique and specialized museum experience.


School Tour & Art Class Pricing – General Admission Galleries

Pricing for regularly priced galleries is $13 per student for tour and an optional art project. 

1 chaperone for every 10 students is required, and is free, with additional chaperones at $13 each.

All teachers and special needs aides are free.

Pricing includes admission to one gallery.

School Tour & Art Class Pricing – Special Exhibitions

Pricing for special exhibitions including Frida Kahlo-Her Photos is $15 per student for tour and an optional  art project. 

1 chaperone for every 10 students is required, and is free, with additional chaperones at $15 each.

All teachers and special needs aides are free.

Pricing includes admission to one gallery.

Are you a title I school?

Your school may be eligible to receive grant funds to cover all or part of a tour, art class, and up to $250 reimbursement per bus. For more information on our grant program, click here


Minimum 15 students, Maximum number of students per visit is dependent on gallery size and docent availability.

School tours can be scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays starting at 9:30am.

We recommend allowing at least 2 1/2 hours for tour, break and art project. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early. 

QUESTIONS? Ready to schedule?

Please contact the Tours Office at 714-567-3680 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




TEL: 714.480.1520

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714.636.RIDE (7433)


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