With a diverse menu of free tour experiences, the NCMA has something for all audiences! Whether you’d like to learn more about the People’s Collection, check out the latest special exhibition, or explore nature in the Museum Park, there is an option for you.

Public Tours

Ask Me Docents

Our NCMA docents love our Museum and engaging with the community so much that they are available every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 3 pm to welcome you in and provide insight about the exhibitions on view.

Weekend Family-Friendly Tours

Saturday, January 6, January 20, February 3, February 17, March 2, April 6, April 20, May 4, May 18, 10:30–11 am

Free with registration

Have you wanted to learn more about sculptures in the Museum Park? This playful tour creates family time to explore a work of art or two that might be an old favorite or a new discovery! Look together, move through the natural world, and have fun with an experienced docent. Best for kids ages 5–11 with adult caregivers.

Guided Park Tours
Self-Guided Park Tours

Check out the NCMA Park App for self-guided tours you can listen to at your own pace. Illuminate your next visit to the Museum Park with tours focused on art, nature, and the land’s history.

Public/Walk-Up Tours

Join us on a 50-minute tour of the People’s Collection. These tours are great during a first-time visit, after lunch at NCMA Café or East Café, or if you’re curious about the 5,000+ years of art and culture exhibited at the Museum.

Tours vary and are subject to docent availability. NCMA docents may explore several galleries, focus on specific artists, or delve into the fundamentals and elements of art. All ages are welcome!

To participate, meet your docent in West Building at the public tour sign.

Adult Group Tours

Want to explore the NCMA's collection or a special exhibition with friends, family, or colleagues under the guidance of a volunteer guide? A 50-minute tour, available in person or virtually, may be just what you're looking for.
Guided Tours

The NCMA’s guided tours of the People’s Collection are docent-led and free to the public. During hour-long tours, adult groups have the opportunity to explore works of art, ask questions, and enjoy the range of objects on view in the NCMA’s galleries. A five-person minimum is highly encouraged.

On the registration form, you have the option of selecting a theme for your tour. The NCMA’s current thematic offerings include:

  • Carolina Connections: The Art of NC
  • Power of Portraits (6-12)
  • Women Artists (9-12)
  • Calling NC Home (Adult)
  • Judaic Art Gallery
  • Highlights

French and Spanish tours are available upon request. All tour offerings are subject to docent availability.


Virtual Tours

The NCMA welcomes community groups of all kinds to request 50-minute virtual tours led by a volunteer docent.

Tours available by request only. Email tours@ncartmuseum.org

Self-Guided Tours

The Museum welcomes adult self-guided groups into the galleries to explore the People’s Collection independently. Registration is encouraged.


Special Exhibitions

Guided tours of the NCMA’s special exhibitions are limited to docent availability. Please email tours@ncartmuseum.org with questions regarding special exhibition tours.

Student and Youth Group Tours

These guided tours encourage young learners to uncover the many stories in our galleries through shared looking, discussion, and close-looking experiences. Select themes support the North Carolina curriculum or are docent generated and intended to ignite young minds and caregivers alike. The NCMA looks forward to facilitating engaging, welcoming, and joyful visits for your students all year long.
Guided Tours

Student and youth visitors of all ages have the opportunity to connect critically, intellectually, and joyfully with the art of the People’s Collection. Listed here are tour themes with recommended grade levels. However, the NCMA’s docents are flexible and can adjust aspects of any theme to fit your age group. Let us know your interests in the notes section of the registration form or email the NCMA tour administrator at tours@ncartmuseum.org.

We offer student and youth group tours Wednesday – Sunday at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm and 2pm and subject to docent availability. Tours of The People’s Collection are always free. Current thematic offerings include:

  • Eye Spy, Grades K–2
    Building on young learners’ ability to identify elements of art, such as color, form, and shape, Eye Spy encourages confidence and curiosity around the art of seeing to describe and interpret a variety of works of art.
  • Look for the Story, Grades 3–5
    Students are led through the rigors of close looking to describe stories depicted in works from the NCMA’s collection. Investigation of various cultures and art movements encourages learning from others and helps build articulation of students’ own perspectives.
  • Art of NC, Grades 3–12
    The Art of NC tour encompasses paintings, textiles, ceramics, sculptures, and photographs—works as varied as the state is wide. Each object inspires and teaches, just as did many of the artists who led local and national art movements. Come explore new connections in NC’s cultural history.
  • Power of Portraits, Grades 6–12
    How do you define a portrait? Students explore how portraits have both upheld and challenged systems of power throughout history.
  • Ancient Cultures, Grades 6–8
    Dive into ancient worlds by exploring stories behind the makers and purposes of objects from these civilizations. Students learn how cultural expressions reflect the values of societies and regions across four continents.
  • Women Artists as Influencers, Grades 6–12
    Explore the innovations and influence of women artists involved in 19th-century art movements to contemporary art exploration. Students learn the names, techniques, and intent of women artists across time and place.


Virtual Field Trips
Self-Guided Tours

The Museum offers self-guided tours for groups to explore the People’s Collection on their own. Opportunities are also available for eligible school groups to receive free tickets to special exhibitions. Click here to learn more

reserve your FREE tickets

Special Exhibitions

Student and youth group tours of the NCMA’s special exhibitions are limited to docent availability. Please email tours@ncartmuseum.org with questions regarding special exhibition tours.

Access Tours

Audio Description Tours

Audio Description (AD) interpretation is available for any tour of the permanent collection or special exhibitions with 10 business days’ notice.

To request a tour, please reach out to our accessibility coordinator, mhull@ncartmuseum.org.

Tours in American Sign Language
Tactile Tours

Designed for visitors who are blind or have low vision, these docent-led tours explore the Museum’s collection through audio description, tactile experiences, and by engaging the senses. Ancient figurative sculpture and numerous bronzes by Auguste Rodin are highlighted during these 60- to 90-minute tours.


To request a tour, please reach out to accessibility coordinator, mhull@ncartmuseum.org. Tours must be scheduled with 10 business days’ notice.

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