School Tours

Educational opportunities for all ages

Brucemore offers a number of educational opportunities for school groups of all ages. All tours are led by an experienced guide who will help students engage with the history of the estate and connect with broader social studies themes.

Request a Brucemore school tour

Standard school tour* (indoor only)

  • Duration - 45 minutes
  • Appropriate for all ages**

Brucemore's standard tour explores over a century of Cedar Rapids history through the lives of the three families who called Brucemore home. The Mansion tour provides a glimpse into the past and an incomparable way to understand modern Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa.

Follow a guide on a tour of the 21-room Queen Anne style Mansion and investigate the art, furnishings, technology, architecture, surrounding landscape, and stories preserved at Brucemore.

Elementary school tour* (indoor and outdoor)

  • Duration - 90 minutes
  • Appropriate for elementary age students**

Students will learn what it would have been like visiting the Douglas children in 1915 while exploring the Mansion and the 26-acre estate.

Participants will learn about daily life by comparing and contrasting today's lifestyle with that of the turn of the twentieth century.

Touring the grounds will provide a look at the history of a country estate, landscape design, and the importance of agriculture and leisure activities at Brucemore.

Other tour options

If there is not a tour that meets the needs of your class, please contact us. Tours can be crafted to focus on a range of specialty topics including:

  • Local artists
  • Interior décor
  • Landscape design
  • Architecture and preservation
  • Servants and immigration

View pre-visit guidelines for school tours

Before Your Visit: Please be certain that you have received your tour confirmation and that the information is correct. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact Brucemore to confirm your reservation.

Arrival: Please check in at the Visitor Center approximately 15 minutes prior to your tour time. Groups arriving late may be subject to a shortened tour or program.

Parking for Cars: Parking is available around the Visitor Center and near the Mansion

Parking for Buses: Buses must enter and exit on Dows Lane and unload in the Visitor Center parking lot. Buses are to park behind the Visitor Center. Groups are expected to walk the short distance from the Visitor Center to the Mansion.

Group Size: Groups with over 15 persons may be divided into smaller groups.

Cancellations: Please call 319-362-7375 immediately if you need to cancel a tour or program so that another group may be scheduled in your place. Cancellations should be made AT LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE, except in cases of emergency.

Recommended Dress: Educational programs are presented outdoors; therefore, students should dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared for walking. Programs will be adapted at Brucemore's discretion in the event of rain or inclement weather. Bug spray and sunblock is advised for spring, summer, and fall programs.

Chaperone Policy: Chaperones are required for every school or youth group. There should be one adult per every six students under eight years old and one adult for every 15 students over eight years old. Please make sure that chaperones understand their responsibilities include keeping students together, helping students follow rules, and assisting Brucemore staff or guides as needed. Additional chaperones may be expected to pay a fee in some instances.

Dining Opportunities: Brucemore does not operate a food or beverage concession. Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Mansion.

Picnics: If you are planning to picnic at Brucemore, we recommend that you bring blankets for the children to sit on; picnic tables will not be available. Make sure that names are on lunches and all lunches are together in boxes or containers at the front of the bus or in the bus cargo area. Please let Brucemore know if you plan to bring a picnic so that trash cans can be made available.

Nametags: Please have students wear large, easy-to-read student nametags that allow staff and guides to call the students by name.

Personal Items: Items such as backpacks and electronics are not allowed during educational programs; such items should be left on the bus. Clipboards, paper, and pencils are acceptable.

Camera Equipment: Photography is permitted in the Visitor Center and on the grounds for non-commercial and non-professional purposes. Photography is not allowed in the Mansion. Learn more about Brucemore's photography policy.

Special Needs: Please let Brucemore know at least two weeks before your tour if you will need assistance for anyone in your group. The tour involves stairs and walking; Brucemore has a lift to the first floor and a video of the second and third floors for people with limited mobility.

Expectations: Teachers and chaperones are responsible for discipline issues. Students should treat guides with courtesy and allow them to speak and lead the group.

Museum Etiquette: Teachers are responsible for informing students of proper museum etiquette prior to their visit. Visitors should refrain from touching objects or sitting on furnishings unless otherwise stated by their guide. Students should also refrain from running and use their indoor voices while in the Mansion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. For any changes to your reservation, please call 319-362-7375.

*Standard and Elementary School Tours are offered from March 1 through Thanksgiving.

** One adult chaperone per every six students under eight years old and one adult for every 15 students over eight years old.