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Teacher FAQs

The State House Tour Office provides free programs and tours that match school curriculum and bring classroom lessons to life!

Is the State House open during the renovation project?

Yes! While the front portion of the building — namely the Rotunda and Governor’s Office — are closed, the legislative chambers and other significant interior spaces are open as usual. Weekday tours start in the State House Annex with an interpretation of the building’s storied past.

Is there a fee for visiting?

All programs and tours are offered free of charge.

Will my students get to meet the Governor or legislators?

The Governor and legislators do not routinely greet visiting school groups at the capitol. You can invite your legislator to your school through the Back-to-School Program.

How do I book a tour/educational program?

Tour and program availability is limited – especially in the spring. Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible.

To ensure for a meaningful experience, tour groups are limited to 50 people and Make-A-Law! programs are limited to 45, with a minimum of 15 participants. If your group is larger, we will arrange for multiple programs or tours.

Before you call to book a tour, please be prepared with the following information:

  • Name of school
  • School’s phone number and mailing address
  • Teacher’s email address and cell phone number
  • Number of students and adults in your group
  • Type of tour and programming
  • Multiple date options
  • Earliest possible arrival time and latest possible departure time
  • Any special mobility or learning needs for your group
Reservations can be made by calling the Tour Office at 609-847-3150 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Do I receive any confirmation about the booked tours/program?

Yes. A confirmation email will include information about your tour, programs, publication material and bus parking information. That information is also available here.

Do you have a lunch room?

The Lunch Room, called Riverview Court, is located in the New Jersey State Museum at 205 West State Street. It is available by advance reservations on a first come, first served basis. Please call the Museum’s Reservation Office at 609-292-1382 for more information and to schedule a lunch time. On a nice day, space is available outdoors.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my trip?

Please report cancellations directly to the Tour Office as soon as possible. For groups that would like to reschedule, the Tour Office staff will do its best to make other arrangements. The more advance notice, the more options for rescheduling.

What happens in inclement weather?

If your school closes due to inclement weather on the day of your trip, please call the Tour Office as soon as possible. If the State House closes due to inclement weather, a staff member will call the contact person on your reservation. Under both circumstances, the Tour Office staff will do its best to find another date and time to reschedule your group.

What is the security process?

Older students and adults are to pass through a magnetometer. All bags, including lunches and backpacks, are subject to inspection and/or electronic screening and therefore are discouraged. Full security guidelines are sent as part of tour confirmation materials.

Does the Tour Office provide any educational materials?

The Tour Office provides several free publications for school groups. Teachers can download these publications in PDF formats from the Resources page.

Publications also can be ordered by submitting the Publication Request Order Form included in confirmation materials. The order will be ready when you arrive for your tour.

Is there any help with transportation costs?

Yes. The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University administers the State House Express — a grant program targeted at helping 4th-12th grade classes visit the State House. The grant is funded by the New Jersey State Legislature and provides awards to help pay for transportation costs. More information is at: www.cypp.rutgers.edu/for-teachers/state-house-express/

Does the State House have a gift shop?

No. Souvenirs are available for purchase at the State Museum, Old Barracks Museum, and Trent House.

What other activities can I plan for my field trip?

Tours and programs at other nearby attractions can further your appreciation of state and local history. Each organization must be contacted separately to make tour plans.

State Museum (609-292-6464) www.state.nj.us/state/museum
Old Barracks Museum (609-396-1776) www.barracks.org
Trent House (609-989-3027) www.williamtrenthouse.org
Trenton City Museum (609-989-1191) www.ellarslie.org

Information about these and other local sites is available on the Local Attractions page.
Noteworthy sites on the State House grounds are highlighted on the Around the State House page.

Who runs the Tour Program?

The State House Tour Program operates under the auspices of the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services’ Office of Public Information, which prides itself on providing accurate and unbiased information pertaining to the New Jersey Legislature.

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