Group tours

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.

Admission fees

Group discount rates are applied for 15+ tickets (shown)2. Regular admission fees apply to groups under 15. Please see our ticketing page for rates. Tours are not recommended for children under 10, but children under 10 are permitted and admitted free.

Group Reservation Form
Additional Information

Reservations must be made three weeks in advance. Each tour accommodates a maximum number of 25 people. If your group is larger, we will split it between guides.

Group Reservation Form

All tours last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. 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.

View Tours

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?

Note: Please arrive 30 minutes early and have your group leader check in at the Admissions desk.

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User Agreement *

By checking the box below, you acknowledge that you have read and will abide our group visit and field trip policies, terms and conditions.

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2Group tour fees represent a significant discount from our regular ticket prices. Group prices may be further reduced at our discretion for Geneva Lake-area nonprofit and community groups.