School program FAQ | Pensacola MESS Hall

School program FAQ

Booking a field trip
Paying for a field trip
Adult Facilitators
The day of the trip

Booking a field trip

The MESS Hall offers onsite field trips for grades 1-8. Our outreach programs range from preschool to the entire family.
Please fill out our online form to answer key questions about your trip. Once we receive this form, we will follow up to finalize details.
Yes, the teacher that organizes the trip is provided with both teacher and adult facilitator guides to let you know what to expect, the standards that are covered, directions to the MESS Hall and give suggestions on questions you might ask students during your trip.
Please contact us as soon as possible to cancel or change a scheduled field trip. If a cancellation occurs less than 14 calendar days before the field trip is scheduled, a $25 fee will be assessed for each day your trip was scheduled. If a cancellation occurs less than 10 calendar days before the field trip is scheduled, a $50/day fee will be assessed.
We will confirm your trip with an email about your dates. We will also send you an email reminding you about your trip about 4 weeks in advance.

Paying for your field trip

We accept checks made out to Pensacola MESS Hall, cash or credit card payments. Payment is due the last day of your scheduled trip(s). You can pay at the MESS Hall or we can send you an invoice you can pay online.
A grade level field trip to the MESS Hall is $7/student and teachers and chaperones are free. A themed field trip to the MESS Hall is $8/student and teachers and chaperones are free. There is a minimum $225 charge per trip for a grade level trip and $250 per day for a themed field trip.
No, schools and groups must pay in one lump sum for a field trip.
Family memberships provide free admission during regular operations, but not for any special programs like field trips. All students will be charged the student fee for this program.


Due to our small space, our capacity for field trips is 60 students maximum.
Contact us to discuss options for smaller groups or for outreach programs.

Adult Facilitators (Chaperones)

Yes, engaged adults are critical to successful learning during the trip. They guide the students to the stations and assist the students with the activities. The MESS Hall requires at least 1 adult facilitator for every 5 children for grades 1 and 2, and at least one for every 10 children grades 3 and up. You are welcome and encouraged to bring more adult facilitators than the minimum requirement. Adult facilitators are free.
Additional adult facilitators are welcomed and encouraged. You are welcome and encouraged to bring more adult facilitators than the minimum requirement. Just be sure to assign a group of students for additional adult facilitators to work with during their visit.
Facilitating a field trip can be challenging. Adult facilitators have an opportunity to get to know the kids in the class and get a first hand look at the science their child is learning. They will likely learn something too!
We encourage you to recruit adult facilitators from your administration or from organizations that partner with your school. These adult facilitators will be the best, since they likely know your school and some students. If you still come up short, please let us know, and, with sufficient warning, we will likely be able to recruit volunteers from our volunteer base who will assist your group.

The day of the trip

Both Grade level and Themed field trips start at 10 am. Field trips last 1.5 hours (10 am – 11:30 am). With prior warning, we can shift the trips to an earlier start time to accommodate bus schedules.
Please call us and let us know if you are running late (877-937-6377). If you need to come a little before or after 10 am please contact us prior to your field trip, and we may be able to accommodate your group.
We are located at 116B N Tarragona St, just north of the Chase St on-ramp to I-110. Chaperones and buses should turn in at the sign that says Caldwell Associates and pull forward to our parking lot.
We have a parking lot in front of the building. The museum is closed to the public during school year field trips so the bus can usually pull up and unload children right at the door of the museum, and then park in the lot or any other side street near the museum.
When you arrive at the museum we will greet you and invite you in when we open at 10 am. If you need to come earlier please let us know in advance. Please split your students up into their facilitator groups before they come in the museum if possible (or at least let adult facilitators know who is in their group). In the museum students will sit on a carpet for an introduction to the MESS Hall and/or an interactive science show. Adult facilitators will have a quick orientation in our small room adjacent to the show. After the presentation the students will break up into their facilitated groups and go to a station. There will be different stations set up throughout the museum, indicated by numbers. Staff will announce when groups should rotate to the next station. Please encourage adults to allow the students to try the stations on their own. We encourage students (and adults) to be the scientist or engineer and come up with their own inventions and experiments. Some of these may fail. Failure is a useful part of science and engineering.
The MESS Hall has a small gift shop with science themed toys, games, and brain teasers, from approximately $1 to $20. Your students are welcome to make purchases at the end of the field trip.
There are a variety of public parks nearby which would be fun for your students. There is also a grassy lot next to the MESS Hall with some picnic tables where your students can eat lunch. We do not have an indoor place to eat lunch.