School Groups

School Groups

Bring your students to Crystal Cave for a unique educational experience they will not soon forget! Over a million and a half years ago, Mother Nature began the slow process of forming one of the most unique classrooms deep in the Earth at Crystal Cave.

It is never too early to make reservations for your next field trip to Crystal Cave!

Program

Part I – Intro Video

Your field trip starts with a short video on Crystal Cave.

  • Introduces rocks, caves, cave formations, biology/bats, and conservation
  • Video for elementary and middle schools (option others)

Part II – Tour the Cave

  • One-hour tour
  • Lead by a certified cave guide
  • Discuss geology and how caves are formed
  • Learn about and see cave formations including stalactites and stalagmites
  • Learn about animals that make caves their homes
  • Experience a collection of florescent and phosphorescent rocks *(glow under black light)
  • Each cave tour is 20 guests or less, tours can enter the cave every 10-15 minutes

Optional Activities

Students can pan for their own collection of gems and minerals during your visit.

  • Guided activity where students learn about prospecting
  • Identifying minerals and gems that they find
  • Fun for all ages!
  • 10–15-minute activity
  • All students will receive an identification card to continue identifying their finds at school and home
  • Students collections are held for you during your visit

Most goups enjoy adding on a visit to the educational gift shop to their field trip.

  • Wide selection of rocks and fossils from around the world
  • Unique educational science and nature items
  • Items at price points for all budgets starting at $1
  • Students purchases are held for them during their visit

Enjoy a round on our 18-hole dinosaur mini golf course

  • Learn about dinosaurs on the educational signs
  • Larger groups can start on the same time on multiple holes
  • Groups typically take 1 to 1.5 hours to play
  • Chaperones or staff do not have to play Tee-Rex mini golf with the students but they are required to be on the course when your group is playing

  • Bring your own packed lunches to enjoy
  • No charge to use
  • For our scheduling, please let us know if you plan on having your lunches on site
  • Picnic grounds and the pavilion are shared spaces with other guests

Take a hike with your students on our Woodland Sinkhole or our Prairie Nature Trail.

  • Self-guided
  • Both about a half mile in length
  • There is a human sundial on the far side of the prairie trail with educational signs

Details

Discounted rates are for summer  groups of 15 or more guests and reservations at least 2 weeks prior to the visit and payment with one transaction.
Individual tickets purchased are charged at the normal rates.

Crystal Cave Tour

  • Pre-K to 8th grade $8
  • 9th -12th grade $12
  • Teachers (with ID) Free
  • Adults $14

Reservation Deposit $100 (applied to your final invoice)

Please Note:

All tour groups must have at least 1 staff/adult per group of 19 students, but additional adults are welcome
Groups with additional teachers (over our normal ratios) are charged adult price
Wisconsin requires sales tax (5.5%) for out of state public schools

Crystal Cave Tour and Gem Panning Hands-on Lab

  • Pre-K to 8th grade $13.50
  • 9th to 12th grade $17.50
  • Teachers (with ID) Free-tour only
  • Adults $14-tour only
  • Additional Gem Panning (optional adult add-on) $5.50

Reservation Deposit $100 (applied to your final invoice)

Please Note:

All tour groups must have at least 1 staff/adult per group of 19 students, but additional adults are welcome
Groups with additional teachers (over our normal ratios) are charged adult price
Wisconsin requires sales tax (5.5%) for out of state public schools but not for 501(c)e organizations

The cave temperature is 50F (10c). It is recommended to wear jackets or sweatshirts and closed-toe shoes. In addition to the cave all groups will spend time outside on the surface. Please be aware of the weather conditions on the day of your visit and dress appropriately.

We ask that you, your chaperones and students help ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. The tour guide will share with your group about the cave’s history, geology and biology during the tour. The task of managing students’ behavior is the responsibility of the school staff and chaperones. As such, chaperones and staff are required to stay with the students at all times. We expect that students will follow the same behavior guidelines expected of them at school. Inappropriate behavior may result in being denied admission or being asked to leave the cave.

The cave is a natural geological wonder, as such, stairs and ramps must be traversed during the tour and the path is gravel. If you have questions about accommodations for students please contact us, we have multiple options so all students can enjoy their visit.

No, the cave tours are fun rain or shine and are not affected by bad weather. The picnic pavilion is covered for those less than perfect days. The pavilion does have infrared heaters for cold spring and fall days but please dress appropriately for cold or wet weather as groups will spend some time outside on the surface during the visit including walking between buildings.

The gem panning sluice is covered but not heated. Groups can pan for gems during rain. During severe storms the sluice will be closed.

Tee-Rex Mini Golf is outdoors. It is closed during severe weather. During light rain or cold weather, it is up to your group to decide if you would like to play. If you group pre-paid for Tee-Rex Mini Golf and it is closed due to weather, your group will receive a refund for Tee-Rex Mini Golf and a check will be mailed.

Our tour size is 20 people maximum per tour group. This number includes students, teachers, and other adults on the tour. There can be multiple tour groups in the cave.

Yes, pre-assigning will get your tours started more quickly and smoothly. You will meet your tour guides upon arrival and receive wristbands. Remember that our maximum is 20 people per tour group, this includes students, teachers, and chaperones. 

  • Make sure there is at least 1 adult in each group
  • Have the groups be close to even in size 
  • Have all students and adults know which group they were assigned to before arrival

Plan at least 2 hours on-site for the Cave Tour. Larger groups will require additional time, as will adding on the Tee-Rex Mini Golf, having lunch or hiking the Nature Trail. Call or email to find out the approximate visit time for your group

Upon arrival, a staff member will meet your bus at the unloading area. Please be ready with an accurate count of students, adult chaperones, and teachers/staff visiting the cave (including adults who drive separately). Our staff member will review the visit and answer any questions you may have.

There is no need, we work with groups every day and have a system to make your visit as smooth and stress free as possible for you. Our Group Coordinator can answer any specific questions you might have before your visit. The order and timing of various activities can change based on when you arrive, if other schools are visiting, if they or you were early, late, the outside weather, etc. The good news is that we do this all the time and we handle timing and flow so you don't have to.

Please let Crystal Cave know as soon as possible about any changes in group size, up or down, so we can make sure that we can accommodate a change in your group size.

If you arrive with additional visitors on the day of your trip, we will strive to accommodate them however we cannot guarantee that we will be able to due to time and tour size constraints.

We ask that all students' backpacks, lunches and drinks stay on the bus during the tour. Your staff and chaperones may carry small purses, small bags, or medical backpacks on the tours if needed. Larger bags or anything you don't want to carry may be locked in our complimentary lockers before the tour.

Cameras are allowed into Crystal Cave. It is up to your group to make the final decision if you wish to allow your students to have cameras in the cave. Some groups find that cameras can distract students from the cave tour. We do ask that only still photos are taken. Video and audio recording in the cave is not permitted.

We require at least 1 adult per tour group (1 per 19 students). You are welcome to have more adults on your field trip, there is no maximum. If you do not have enough adults, we must refuse admission to the cave for the tour groups that do not have a responsible adult, i.e., no tour groups without a staff member or chaperone.

We accept credit cards, cash, a school/organizational check, or you may pay after your visit (we can mail you an invoice). We are unable to accept personal checks. If you would like to be invoiced please remember to have your field trip leader stop at our gift store ticket counter before your group departs to sign your invoice. 

To receive the discounted group rate, you must pay for your visit with one payment, i.e. one check or one credit card transaction. If you would prefer Crystal Cave to handle admission payment for each of your chaperones separately, we would be happy to do so, however they would be charged our regular public admission rates and would need to pay on the day of the visit, before the tour starts. (any major credit card or cash accepted)

On the day of your visit, after your tours, stop by the gift shop ticket counter and we can assist you.

To receive the discounted group rate, please pay for your entire party with one payment. Anyone in your group may pay separately, however they will not receive the discounted group rate. They would be charged our regular public admission rates and would need to pay on the day of the visit, before the tour starts. (any major credit card or cash accepted)

We are required by Wisconsin state law to charge sales tax for: MN public schools, public colleges, and public universities from Minnesota or any state other than Wisconsin. (even if you are exempt in your home state). [WI sales tax 5.5%] 

Each state handles sales tax differently. If you are a public school from out of state (say from Minnesota) you must pay sales tax, even though you are exempt within the state of Minnesota. You (and us) are stuck in the middle of a tax fight between Wisconsin and neighboring states. Please see below for more detailed information on WI sales tax exemption eligibility.

Please see the list below for organizations that are exempt from Wisconsin sales tax*.

1) Tax exempt organizations registered in WI 

2) Tax exempt (501-c-3) organizations registered in other states 

3) WI Public Schools 

4) WI Private Schools (501-c-3) 

5) MN and other state Private Schools (501-c-3 

We will need a copy of your WI tax exempt form for our records. Please email your completed form to groups@acoolcave.org. If we do not have a copy of your WI tax exempt form when your group visits, we will have to add tax to your invoice. 

*Please remember that The State of Wisconsin, not Crystal Cave, determine who is or is not charged sales tax. If your accounting department has any questions on sales tax in Wisconsin please have them contact us.

The time that your group is scheduled for your visit is the time that your tours will start. If you would like to eat before your tour you will need to arrive before your scheduled start time.

If you would like to arrive early to eat lunch before your tours, please let us know so we can meet you upon arrival.
The other option is to eat lunch after the tours. This means that the groups will have a staggered start to lunch as their tours are completed. If you have questions about lunch timing please let us know, we would be happy to help. Remember, the times listed on our group confirmation letter do not include time for lunches.

Yes, we can provide lunch during your visit. Crystal Cave can provide a variety of cold sandwiches and drinks. For more information, please reach out to our group coordinator.