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The Office of Legislative Services Tour Office offers FREE programs and tours at the State House. Our trained staff and volunteers provide tours and programs that match school curriculum and bring the lessons of the classroom to life in our State's capitol!

What programs and tours does the Tour Office provide?

Symbols Tour

Grades K-2
Group Max: 50
Length: 30 minutes
Tour Times: Monday – Friday 9:45 am – 3:15 pm; Every quarter of or quarter after the hour

Explore the many symbols found in the Rotunda and main hall. Students will learn about what happens in the State House and discover how symbols are used to represent our government and our State.

State House Tour

Grades 3-12
Group Max: 50
Length: 60 minutes
Tour Times: Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm;every half-hour

Explore one of the oldest public building’s still in use. Visit the Senate and General Assembly Chambers and view historic spaces, art, and architecture. Students will learn how laws are made and the citizen’s role in the process
.

Make-A-Law! Program

Grades 3-12
Group Max: 45; Group Min: 15
Length: 30 minutes
Tour Times: Monday – Friday 9:45 am – 3:15 pm; Every quarter of or quarter after the hour

During this program, students participate in a mock-legislative session. Students assume the role of lawmakers and learn the process of bill passage by demonstrating the skills of debate, discussion, negotiation, and compromise.

Will my students get to meet the governor or legislators during our visit?

No. While the Governor and legislators work at the State House, they do not routinely greet school groups.

While visiting Trenton, where can my students eat lunch?

The Tour Office schedules school lunches at a brown bag lunch facility at 225 West State Street in the Archives Building. The facility is a short walk from the State House. All lunch times are by arrangement and last 30 minutes. The space can only accommodate 120 people at a sitting. Reservations are required. Schools are welcome to drop off their lunches in advance any time after 9:30 am on the day of their tour. All lunches need to be in a box that is clearly labeled with the school’s name, lunchtime, and contact information. During warm weather, schools are also welcome to eat their lunches anywhere on the Capitol Complex grounds. No reservations for outdoor eating are necessary.

How do I book a program and/or the brown bag lunch facility?


Program and lunch availability is limited - especially in the spring. Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible. It is possible to book tours and programs as far as a year in advance.

To ensure the most meaningful experience possible, the Tour Office cannot accommodate more than 50 people on the State House or Symbols Tours and no more than 45 people in the Make-A-Law! program. If your group is larger than the maximum people allowed, the Tour Office will do our best to provide multiple programs or tours to accommodate the size of your group.

In order to best utilize our volunteer guides, please note that individual visitors may join your school group.

Before you call to book a program or lunch, be prepared with the following information:
  • Name of school
  • School's phone number and mailing address
  • Teacher's e-mail address and cell phone (if available)
  • Approximate number of students in your group and number of adults in your group
  • Type of program(s) you wish to schedule
  • Multiple dates when your group is available to visit the State House
  • Earliest possible time you could comfortably arrive in Trenton, and latest possible time you would need to leave Trenton to return to school
  • Any special mobility or learning needs that the tour guide should know about in advance of the tour
The Tour Office staff is eager to help you plan your school’s field trip to the State House. Reservations can be made by calling the Tour Office at 609-847-3150 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

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

Approximately six weeks prior to your program date, the Tour Office will mail you a confirmation letter. The letter will include information about your programs, lunch, publication material, and bus parking information. If you are not visiting the State House, and only booked the brown bag lunch facility through the Tour Office, you will not receive a confirmation.

What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my reservation?


Please report cancellations as soon as possible. The majority of our tours are led by volunteers, and as a courtesy, we need to alert them of changes to the schedule in a timely manner. For groups that would like to reschedule, the Tour Office staff will do our best to find another date and time that is convenient for your group. The more lead-time available, the better the chance that we will be able to reschedule your reservation.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?


If your school happens to close due to inclement weather on the day of your reservation, 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 our best to find another date and time to reschedule your group.

Does the Tour Office provide any educational pre- or post-visit materials?

The Tour Office provides several FREE publications for school groups. Teachers can download these publications in PDF formats from the legislative website:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/kids/materials.asp

The publications can also be ordered by filling out the Publication Request Order Form that accompanies every confirmation. Please fill out that form and mail/fax it back to the Tour Office. The order will be filled and ready for pick up on the day of your tour.

Are there any grants available to help cover the cost of transportation to Trenton?

Yes. The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University administers a grant program targeted at helping Middle and High School students visit the State House. The grant is funded by the New Jersey State Legislature and provides schools with funds to help pay for the cost of transportation. More information can be found at:

http://yppp.rutgers.edu/for-teachers/state-house-express/

The New Jersey State Museum also offers program scholarships and bus stipends. Qualifying schools may be eligible to receive a stipend to help defray the cost of transportation to the Museum and Trenton as well as the possibility of having Museum program fees waived. More information can be found at:

http://www.state.nj.us/state/museum/dos_museum_school.html

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 Trenton field trip?


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

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

In addition to these sites, groups can visit the Petty's Run Archaeological Site between the State House and the Old Barracks and the World War II Memorial across the street from the State House without any cost or advanced reservation.


New Jersey Office of Legislative Services


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