Come and experience automotive evolution like never before with tours offered daily and a chance to see an array of cars up close and personal. Their collection is unlike any other in the world. With over 130 vehicles and monthly rotating and special exhibits, the California Automobile Museum provides a truly unique automotive experience for their visitors.
While many museums ask visitors to look but not touch, the California Automobile Museum, in Sacramento, abides by the opposite policy. “We have, in each gallery, something that kids can touch or do, get their hands on, participate in,” says Karen McClaflin, the former executive director of the museum, which has been in operation since 1987. From the permanent exhibitions, which include cars driven by storied California car clubs and the rides of Hollywood celebrities, to special shows—Reel Cars pays tribute to the importance of cars in filmmaking—the museum offers something to do for all ages.
The museum’s permanent collection, a chronological display that tells the story of the automobile in America, offers an easy-to-digest history lesson as well as ample opportunities for play. Cars from the 1950s feature big backseats that children can pile into, McClaflin says, to “see what it used to feel like—no seatbelts, that kind of thing.” It also explores technologies of the future and their origins, with an electric car from 1911 parked next to a sleek new Tesla.
Depending on a visitor’s age and curiosity about cars, the museum offers a range of activities. “For the young ones, it might just be ‘Here’s a big tire to climb on,’” says McClaflin. “It’s tactile: ‘Can you match this button with the color of the car?’” For older kids, displays answer questions they may have about the mechanics of a car, like how the cylinder works and how gas gets from the gas tank to power a car. It goes all the way up to college age: Sacramento’s Universal Technical Institute brings classes to the museum as part of the curriculum.
Educator Package: Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, trip organization, direct experiential opportunities to help better connect the experience with your students and complimentary chaperone ticket. Does not include student ticket.
Student Package: Includes engaging pre and post educational visit activities, trip organization and student ticket.
California Automobile Museum
Once you submit an order for tickets with your charter school, they will reach out to us with your request. You will be receiving your e-tickets and educational materials in an email within 1-2 days after we receive that request. Please make sure to check your email spam folder if you don't see your tickets in your inbox by that time. Submitting your order at least 7-14 days prior to your trip date is generally best unless you are trying to book a venue that requires more advanced planning.