The IVDM offers field trips for schools, scout groups, camps, birthday parties, etc. throughout the year. Field trips are designed to meet grade level specific curriculum standards through engaging, hands-on experiences in history, arts, and science.


Field trips are offered Tuesdays-Wednesdays 9:30am -1pm, at $5 per student.  Requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance.  Due to the high demand for these programs, not all requests may be successfully filled.

Contact the Education Coordinator: (760) 358-7016


Field Trip Modules

Our field trips are broken down into 3 components based on grade specific curriculum.  Students are put in three groups and rotate through all of the modules.  We are open to additional suggestions or requests by teachers to personalize your field trip experience.

1. ScienceDSCN8020.JPG

Students are led on a short walk on museum grounds.  One of our most popular modules, students explore the desert, learning about geology, the desert, and adaptation by plants, animals, and people.



2.  ArtDSCN8023.JPG

Students explore the traditional art of making pottery using the paddle and anvil method.  This method has been used by the Kumeyaay and other Native Americans in the southwest for over 1,000 years.  Teachers should note: students do NOT take home their work.



3. History22092633626_fe4098b1e4_k.jpg

Students learn about life on the shoreline of Lake Cahuilla through our interactive object theater: a diorama where they will watch the lake fill and recede, discover the desert is a toolbox, and see how Native Americans adapted to live in the Imperial Valley both with and without the lake's presence.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a minimum number of students per visit?

The minimum number of students is 8. If there are fewer students, the group leader must commit to paying for the minimum number of students.

How much does a field trip cost?

$5 per student. Teachers and chaperones are given free admission as we expect their active participation in supervising students.

How do I pay?

All payments are accepted upon arrival on the date of your tour.  We accept cash and checks.  Checks should be made payable to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum. We can also invoice your school or organization if necessary. 

Will we eat lunch there?

The museum provides a picnic area for students to enjoy lunch outside (weather permitting).

Is there a gift shop?

Yes! We stock many items geared towards all ages, including children-both for interest and in price.  We leave it to the teacher to decide whether they wish to tell students if they can bring money for the gift shop.

Should I provide chaperones?

Yes. We require at least 1 teacher/chaperone per 10 students.  We request that chaperones do not bring along other children or babies in strollers as we expect chaperones to be engaged in the supervision of the group.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel your tour, please do so at least 1 week in advance.  No-shows and last minute cancellations (less than 48 hours) will be invoiced $25.

Can teachers get previews?

Teachers are always welcome to preview the museum and field trip components during our regular hours of operation.  We encourage teachers or group leaders to visit the museum beforehand to familiarize themselves with the museum's layout and exhibits.  They can review the exhibit and any available teacher resources with a staff member to answer any questions regarding field trip preparations for their students.  We are committed to providing exciting and educational field trips and are willing to work with you to personalize your group's experience.

Do you come to the classroom?

We offer a History on the Go option if teachers cannot bring their students to the museum.  Please contact our Education Coordinator (760) 358-7016 for details.


 Member of the American Alliance of Museums since 2013

All photographs taken by IVDM staff or used with permission by Joselito Villero and Michael Field. All rights reserved.2014.