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.
Crystal Cave is a popular field trip destination and reservations can fill up. It is never too early to make reservations for your next trip to Crystal Cave! Discounted group rates require advance reservations.
Your field trip to Crystal Cave includes an hour-long cave tour and the hands-on gem panning lab for all groups up to 8th grade.
Part I – 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 uv light)
- Each cave tour is 20 guests or less, tours can enter the cave every 15-20 minutes
Part II – Gem Pan at Prospectors Creek
Students will pan for their own collection of gems and minerals during your visit.
- Guided activity where students learn about prospecting with our staff
- Identifying minerals and gems that they find
- Fun for all ages!
- 15-20 minute activity
- All students will receive an identification card to continue identifying their finds after the visit
Summer Group Brochure PDF
Tee-Rex Mini Golf
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
Educational Gift Store
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
Picnic Grounds and Shelter
- 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.
- Both about a half mile in length
- There is a human sundial on the far side of the prairie trail with educational signs
Discounted rates are for qualified summer groups of 15 or more paying guests and reservations at least 2 weeks prior to the visit.
Individual tickets purchased are charges at the normal rates.
Crystal Cave Tour and Gem Panning Summer Package
- Up to 8th grade $18.98
- 9th to 12th grade $17.98- tour only
- Summer Staff (with ID) Free- 1 per every 9 students
- Adults (any staff over 1:9 ratio and additional chaperones who are not staff) $17.98-tour only
- Additional Gem Panning (optional adult add-on) $6.00
Crystal Cave Ultimate Summer Package
- Up to 8th grade $24.48 (tour, panning, mini golf)
- 9th to 12th grade $25.48 (tour, mini golf)
- 9th to 12th grade $31.48 (tour, panning, mini golf)
- Summer Staff (with ID) Free- 1 per every 9 students (tour, mini golf)
- Adults (any staff over 1:9 ratio and additional chaperones who are not staff) $17.98 (tour only)
- Additional Gem Panning (optional adult add-on) $6.00
- Additional Mini Golf* (optional adult play add-on) $7.50
*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
- All tour groups must have at least 1 staff/adult per group of 19 students, but additional adults are welcome
- Reservation Deposit $200 (applied to your final invoice)
- There are certain peak time and date blackouts for group reservations, including all weekends.
- Smaller groups and groups without advance reservations are charged normal rates.
What type of clothing is recommended?
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.
What should I tell my students and chaperones about cave conduct?
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.
Is the cave handicap accessible?
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.
Does bad weather affect the cave tours?
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.
Does bad weather affect gem panning?
The gem panning sluice is covered but not heated. Groups can pan for gems during rain. During severe storms the sluice will be closed.
Does bad weather affect Tee-Rex Mini golf?
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.
How long will a field trip last?
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
Can we play minigolf without taking the tour?
Yes! Please call us to schedule a tee time.
How many people can go into the cave on one tour?
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.
Should I pre-assign my participants into tour groups?
Yes, once your final payment is received you will be mailed wristbands for your visit. These wristbands are your admission tickets, please treat them like cash. Your wristbands will have different group numbers on them (i.e., 1, 2, 3 etc.). Each tour group, number, will have no more than 20 people, including staff, adults and children. Your wristband packet will let you know how many students and adults should be in each group. Adult wristbands are stripped while the student wristbands are colored. Most activities will be in these assigned groups. Please have your groups pre-assigned and all guests with their wristbands on their wrists to help get your tours started in a timely fashion.
What do we do once we have arrived?
Upon arrival, a staff member will meet you on your bus at the designated bus unloading area on the east side of the parking lot. Please have your groups pre-assigned with their wristbands on their wrists to help get your tours started in a timely fashion.
This is my first visit should I make a detailed timing schedule/itinerary for my visit?
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.
The number of visitors in my group has changed, what do I need to do?
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.
How many free staff admissions will our group receive?
Crystal Cave offers up to one FREE cave admission to staff per nine (9) students during your group's visit to Crystal Cave. A valid school/summer camp ID is required. Additional adults, staff or teachers above the 1:9 ratio will be charged the discounted group adult rate.
What payment is needed for a summer program?
All summer program wristbands must be paid for in full at least 2 weeks prior to the field trip. To receive the group rate, please pay for your entire party with one payment. We are unable to bill groups after their visits, all groups must be pre-paid for. We can take payment over the phone with a credit card or you may send a check in the mail. If sending a check please remember to send it with enough time to be received at Crystal Cave at least 2 weeks before your visit.
Can we purchase additional wristbands in the day of our visit?
Visit time for your group was scheduled for the number of tickets that were pre-purchased. If you arrive with additional visitors, we will strive to accommodate them however we cannot guarantee that we will be able to due to time and tour size constraints. If we are able to accommodate them, additional wristbands can be purchased at the day of your visit. If you think your group size may increase after tickets have been purchased, please call us ASAP.
We have extra wristbands (we paid for more people than are coming). What can we do?
You may exchange, on the day of your visit, extra wristbands for tour vouchers! Vouchers are good for a free cave tour and gem panning at Crystal Cave. They are valid through the end of the following season and may be handed out to participants who were unable to make the field trip. Unfortunately we cannot issue a cash refund for unused wristbands and vouchers are only good for general admission, they cannot be redeemed for future group visits.
What items can be carried into the cave?
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. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.
Are cameras allowed into the cave?
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.
How many adults do we need to bring?
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.
What are the payment options for our visit?
We accept credit cards and school/organizational checks. We are unable to accept personal checks.
To receive the discounted group rate, you must pay for your visit with one payment, i.e., one check or one credit card transaction. Final group numbers must be updated and tickets paid for at least two weeks before your visit. If you would like to pay for your visit by credit card, we can assist you on the phone.
Can participants pay Crystal Cave directly?
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 tax exempt in MN, why is there sales tax for us?
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.
Is our group tax exempt?
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
My group is planning on having our bagged lunches at the cave, when will we eat lunch?
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.
Do you have any options for a catered lunch?
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.