ECHO welcomes schools year-round!
With our incredible location on the historic Burlington waterfront, ECHO serves as the perfect destination for your half-day or full-day adventure, no matter what the season.
3 Easy Steps to Booking Your ECHO Adventure Step 1: Choose between our 3 field trip options Step 2: Check out our changing exhibits, calendar of events, and theater schedule Step 3: Book your trip by completing our online reservation form
Group Admission Pricing
|Pre-K through 12th grade student admission to ECHO||$7|
|One adult admission to ECHO for every five youths, teachers included||Free|
|Each additional adult admission to ECHO||$9|
|College students admission to ECHO||$7|
Field Trip Options
FIELD TRIP OPTION 1: Self-Guided Group Experience: FREE with group admission
Self-guided tours give your group access to more than 100 hands-on exhibits, 70 species of live animals, daily activities, student worksheets, and discussion guides. Groups receive a personalized welcome by ECHO staff.
FIELD TRIP OPTION 2: Teacher’s Choice Program: $75 fee per program plus group admission
Our most popular option. Designed for students grades K-12, each 50-min, educator-led program builds off of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Offerings include Engineering in Action programs that encourage hands-on problem solving and other STEM-focused programs. Includes everything listed in the self-guided program option.
TEACHER CHOICE OPTIONS | SEPTEMBER 12, 2022 – MAY 19, 2023
ENGINEERING IN ACTION PROGRAMS:
- Zip Carts (K-6) Students will use the Engineering Design Process to transport model turtles to safety as they plan, build, and evaluate solutions to ECHO’s zipline challenge.
- Launch, Fling, Fly (K-6) Students will learn about the ecology of Vermont butterflies and practice engineering design skills as they plan, build, and test a solution to an engineering challenge.
- Fish Assist (K-6) Students will learn about Lake Champlain’s elusive, endangered lake sturgeon as they use the engineering design process to plan, build and test a solution to an engineering challenge.
- Renewable Ride (K-6) Students will develop their understanding of climate change before planning, building and testing a wind-powered solution to an engineering challenge.
ECOLOGY, CULTURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS:
- Wetland Wonders (K-3) It’s a sponge, it’s a filter, it’s a nursery…it’s a wetland! Explore the living and nonliving elements of this important habitat as we bring a wetland to life by evoking its unique sight and sounds.
- Rock and Roll Geology (3-6) Explore 20,000 years of geologic history in the Lake Champlain Basin. Students will discover the forces that shaped the land we see today and identify local rock types during a hands-on geology lab.
- Native American Artifact Inquiry (3-6) Explore Native American artifacts to illuminate the sophistication of pre-1800s Abenaki life. Students will learn how to interpret historical objects in order to better understand traditional ways of life.
- Basin Biodiversity (6-12) Explore the variety and importance of species in the Lake Champlain Basin. Students will discover the local threats to native biodiversity and how they can become stewards of the Lake Champlain Basin.
TEACHER’S CHOICE PROGRAM | MAY 22 – JUNE 9, 2023 (BUSY SCHOOL SEASON)
Engineering in Action: New program for Spring 2023! (K-6)
Students will explore an issue facing local wildlife. They will then use the Engineering Design Process to plan, build, and test a solution to a related engineering design challenge.
FIELD TRIP OPTION 3: Northfield Savings Bank 3D Theater: $3/person plus group admission
ECHO’s 3D theater brings beautiful, informative, and fun movies to you and your students! These award-winning, educational films explore topics from robots to pandas are sure to inspire. Check out film offerings.
Preparing for Your Visit
We are delighted that you have chosen ECHO as your field trip destination. Please read through the following information to ensure a smooth and successful trip. Be sure to share important information with chaperones and students and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.
Before Your Visit
- Decide on several possible dates for your visit. Plan on 2 hours for your group to see ECHO and 2 1/2 to 3 hours if you are planning on eating lunch and/or attending a Teacher Choice Program in addition to exhibit exploration time.
- Fill out and submit the online Group Registration Form.
- Secure chaperones for the field trip. Chaperones play an important role in your group’s visit. In return for their help, ECHO provides complimentary admission for one chaperone for every five students. Teachers count towards your chaperone ratio.
- Print out the online Chaperone Information Sheet, fill it out and make a copy for each chaperone.
- Make sure the chaperones are aware of their responsibilities, the schedule and your expectations for student behavior while at ECHO.
- Review with your students expectations for behavior while at ECHO.
- Nametags with first names and the name of your school are helpful for our staff.
- Groups must be paid for in ONE payment (students and chaperones together). Payment can be made in full upon arrival. Please notify the registrar if you will not be able to pay in full at the time of your visit. If this is the case, we will email a final copy of your invoice to your trip leader or another contact if that information is provided.
- ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”.
- The admission desk will ask for a final head count at the time of your visit.
- Individuals paying separately will be charged our regular admission rate and will not be counted as part of your group.
- Sorry, no other discounts apply for individuals counted as part of your group admission.
- Please note we do not have a dedicated lunch space.
- Weather permitting, most groups bring their own lunch and picnic on ECHO’s Dealer.com Terrace or in Waterfront Park. We will provide a place for you to store your lunches.
- When the weather is inclement, ECHO may be able to arrange indoor space for lunch. We will do our best to accommodate your group depending on our daily event schedule.
Please check with registrar for hours and fall availability.
- If you group is interested in visiting Champ’s Legendary Creemee stand, please visit us in groups of 10 people or less. If you are a group over 20 people, please restrict all orders to one size and one topping or no toppings.
- We can accept payment after all orders have been made or individual payments if your group is less than 20 people. Group payments must be made at the time of visiting the creemee stand. We cannot invoice you for your ice cream.
- Our flavors are vanilla, chocolate, maple, and one changing flavor. Dairy free options are available but variable.
- Students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone while in the museum gift shop.
- Please do not wait until the end of your visit to have your group visit the shop at once. Instead, have small chaperoned groups of students rotate through the shop throughout your visit.
- If you do not want your students visiting the shop, be sure to make this clear to the students and the chaperones before your visit.
- If you have questions or need to make changes to your reservation please contact our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 864-1848 ext. 124. If you have questions or need to change visit details within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival, please contact ECHO’s front desk at (802) 864-1848 ext. 100.
- Trips may be canceled and rescheduled due to weather conditions without penalty. If you are concerned about weather, please call the day before your trip. For non-weather related cancellations, schools must contact us at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival time to re-schedule, or pay a $100 no-show fee.
During Your Visit
- Busses CANNOT drive into the circle in front of ECHO. The City of Burlington restricts traffic in the circle to city buses only. Your buses will instead unload in front of the Waterfront Information Booth in the city parking lot near ECHO. A map will be sent with your field trip confirmation.
- Please Bus & Chaperone Parking Map with your bus driver.
- Buses can park for free on South Champlain Street or near Perkins Pier (see map).
- Chaperones coming in private cars or schools traveling by private car pay $5.00 per car to park. To park in our lot, head toward the Lake on College Street, cross the railroad track, take a left onto our driveway, and park in our lot behind ECHO. Pay the $5 fee inside ECHO, not at the Kiosk
- One teacher should go to ECHO’s admission desk to check in while students remain on the bus until an ECHO staff member comes to greet them.
- The admission desk will ask for a final head count and ONE payment for all students and chaperones in your group. ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”.
- An ECHO Educator or Guest Services Representative will greet your group on the bus.
- If you are having a Teacher Choice Program your entire group will be led into ECHO’s classroom for a brief orientation and review of the day’s schedule before programming begins.
- If your group is going on a self-guided tour of the exhibits, you will receive a free ECHO Orientation before you are sent out into the exhibits.
- Education Staff, museum volunteers and interns will be on hand during your visit. They will be facilitating table top activities, presenting scheduled programs and will be available to talk to your students. Please encourage your students to ask questions.
- There are several ECHO Treks available on our website to introduce students to ECHO’s exhibits before your visit and support their exploration while at ECHO. They are linked on the Teacher Resources page.
- You may choose to have a Teacher Choice program as part of your ECHO Field Trip. Programs last 45 minutes and cost $75 per session for up to 25 students.
- If you have more than 25 students in your group, we will schedule multiple program sessions during your visit. We will review the rotation schedule with the group during the orientation at the start of your visit. If you would like to discuss the schedule prior to your visit call School Programs Manager Liz Greenberg at (802) 864-1848 ext 133 or email at email@example.com
- Have fun and ask questions!
- Treat the exhibits and the other visitors with respect.
- Walk in and around building.
- Please no food in the exhibit spaces.
- You are visiting the home of over 70 different kinds of live animals. Be respectful by using indoor voices and not tapping on the glass of their enclosures.
ECHO staff may take photos of your group interacting with exhibits or participating in a program. These pictures are sometimes used for our website or other promotional materials. If you do not want your group to be photographed, please inform a member of our staff.
School Group FAQs
Typically groups will stay for about 2 and 1/2 hours. During this time they can explore ECHO’s exhibits and attend activities and demonstrations taking place throughout the day.
We recommend one adult chaperone for every five children (not necessary for High School students).
No, groups are not part of general admission to ECHO and require more resources from our Staff. Memberships may not be combined with group admission and are not considered part of any group reservation.
Arrangements need to be made in advance if your students need to eat lunch inside of ECHO. We will do whatever we can to accommodate you but we do need this advanced notice. Space is subject to availability. Many groups choose to have a picnic in Waterfront Park weather permitting.
Free bus parking is located on South Champlain Street, Perkins Pier, and Leddy Park. A map of the available spaces will be sent with your reservations. Chaperones may park in ECHO’s lot (behind the building) for $5 per car per day (Map).
Groups must cancel at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival time. If you do not call us to cancel and receive confirmation of cancellation from ECHO we will charge a $100 no-show fee.
K-8th grade Teacher’s Choice programs are led by ECHO’s Education staff and run 45 minutes each.
Groups of up to 25 students select one 45 minute program. Larger groups choose one program and rotate groups of students using a “station rotation” format coupled with an ECHO Trek and/or a self guided tour of ECHO exhibits.
Yes. There are several ECHO Treks available on our website to introduce students to ECHO’s exhibits before your visit and support their exploration while at ECHO. They are linked on the Teacher Resources page.
Yes. They are offered at 11 am and 3 pm daily unless otherwise noted.
The maximum is 25 students per program.
Yes. ECHO is part of the Leahy Center Campus that includes our top floor partner, the Lake Champlain Basin Science Center Resource Room — a staffed library, computer research lab, video archive, and artifact exploration space with maps, charts, photographs and posters. The Resource Room also boasts a unique library of children’s fiction and non-fiction books related to the Lake’s ecology, culture, history, and “stewardship action” partners in the region.