We host private tours for schools, businesses, science and arts clubs, and families. Please fill out the Group Reservation Form and we’ll provide you a rate quote tailored to you your group. Each tour has a maximum of 25 people, so if your group is larger we have to divide into sub-groups.
Plan an outing that goes
above and beyond.
Schedule your group tour with us! We welcome conventions, families, schools, community organizations, and groups of all kinds. All tour bookings support the restoration and preservation of this international landmark.
Group Admission Information
All tours last approximately an hour and a half. Tour guides will discuss the history and architecture of the Observatory, the astronomers and astrophysicists who worked here, and the ongoing restoration and preservation of this iconic landmark in the history of science.
Group tours for telescope nights will begin in the future once telescope restoration is complete. Currently, all tours are walking tours inside the Observatory, though we can schedule group tours of the Olmsted-designed landscape. Please email to inquire. Due to the preservation work, some spaces may not be accessible on your tour day.
For your comfort and safety
All tours involve walking up and down staircases. There will be a fair amount of walking in general, sometimes through narrow or low spaces, so dress comfortably for the conditions. Unfortunately, the three domes and third floor are not wheelchair accessible, but we’re working every day to expand our accessibility.
Yerkes tours are family-friendly but oriented toward adults and students over 10 years old. Keep in mind that although children under age 10 may find the big dome and telescope interesting, the astronomical and architectural topics being discussed may not hold their attention for an hour. In addition, there are many delicate and priceless artifacts displayed in small spaces, so we’d encourage adults to be respectful of this when considering bringing children under 10. For school groups, there must be two adult chaperones per 25-student group.
Your group may bring food and drink. You can eat outside at no cost or in the historic Drake Family Library for an additional cost of $200. Wine and cheese receptions are welcome. The library seats 30 people.
COVID-19 policy: Yerkes Observatory follows federal, state, and local laws regarding COVID-19 mask use and safety. When a mandate or ordinance has been updated, we will update our policy accordingly.
Group Reservation Form
All submissions to this form are forwarded to our Group Sales office. We will verify availability, create a group reservation, and send you a confirmation message via email within 2–3 business days of receiving your request. If we are unable to accommodate your preferred date, we will contact you via phone and/or email to find an alternative. Please note, if your visit is less than one week away, submit the reservation form and call the Group Sales office to confirm your request.
Questions about the reservation process or your request?