Group Visits

Please note that the Bassett Planetarium will be closed during the 2022/23 and 2023/24 school years for maintenance.

To schedule an onsite group visit to the Beneski Museum for 10 or more people, please read the following guidelines before filling out the form to schedule a visit.

  • Group visits can be scheduled for the museum, the planetarium or both. Please note that the two facilities are located on opposite ends of the Amherst College campus (a 10- to 15-minute walk).
  • Before choosing a date for your visit, please check our group visit calendar to see what dates and times may be available. You will receive an email confirmation of availability soon after submitting the form below.
  • Groups are encouraged to visit the museum during the Beneski Museum open hours. With advance notice, it is possible to schedule a visit outside of regular hours; contact Alfred Venne, Museum Educator, for more information.
  • The museum maintains a 45-person maximum limit for group visits (Chaperones should be included in this maximum person count). Larger groups should be divided and visit over multiple periods. We request that Pre-K through grade 8 groups provide a minimum supervision ratio of 1 chaperone for every 10 students.
  • The museum is wheelchair-accessible and has one wheelchair and one walker for use on site.
  • Currently Closed - The planetarium maintains a 60-person maximum capacity and is not wheelchair accessible. Should your group require wheelchair accessible planetarium programming contact Alfred Venne, Planetarium Director to discuss alternative programming possibilities.  
  • No matter the size of your group, admission to the museum and/or the planetarium is always free of charge.

Note: Group visits to the Beneski Museum and/or Bassett Planetarium can also be combined with visits to the Emily Dickinson Museum in downtown Amherst and/or the Mead Art Museum, located near the Beneski Museum. Contact Alfred Venne, Museum Educator, for more information.

The Beneski Museum Offers Three Types of Group Visits

  • Self-guided visit: Available to all groups year-round during the museum’s open hours.
  • Guided visit: Available to community and school groups of up to 45 people year-round. Guided visits are conversation-based learning experiences facilitated by Amherst College Student Museum Docents.  Our Docents gain important teaching practice by leading PK12 school and community adult groups in making meaningful connections to our Natural History Collection. To assist the museum staff in preparing for guided visits, we request as much advance notice as possible (two weeks or more is preferred).
  • Virtual visits: Modified programming is available for groups.  

The Bassett Planetarium Offers Guided Visits Only (Closed for maintenance 2024/25)

  • Guided Visit: Available to community education and school groups of up to 60 people from September through June. To assist the planetarium staff in preparing for guided visits, we request as much advance notice as possible (two weeks or more is preferred).

Find more information for educational visits, as well as access to field guides, on our Visiting Groups page under Education.