The Ringling

The Ringling


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (The Ringling) is proud to offer all school programs free of charge. Located on 66-acres along Sarasota Bay, there is so much to discover at your museum! Circus owners John and Mable Ringling built their Mediterranean Revival mansion, Ca’ d’Zan in the 1920s, and had a vision of bringing art and culture to Florida’s Suncoast. Mr. and Mrs. Ringling expanded their vision to include a Museum of Art housing their extensive European Baroque art collection. After Mr. Ringling’s death in 1936, The Ringling passed to the state of Florida becoming the official art museum of Florida.  Since John and Mable’s time, The Ringling has become a large museum complex including stunning grounds and gardens with level-II arboretum status, a Circus Museum which explores the exciting history of the American Circus, the Historic Asolo Theatre with a robust performing arts program, the historic Ca’ d’Zan which explores Florida’s land boom of the 1920s, and the Museum of Art featuring diverse collections of European Art, Asian Art, Contemporary Art, Glass, and Photography.


All school programs at The Ringling are completely FREE. With in-person tours and virtual programs, there are many ways to infuse the magic of The Ringling into your curriculum.

Onsite Visit Options:

Guided Visit for up to 50 participants

Available Sept 6, 2022-May 26, 2023; Tuesday through Friday, 10am-12pm EST.

Bring your students to visit The Ringling for a guided experience! Guided Tours are an engaging way to visit The Ringling. Trained guides will lead your students on a 45-55 minute tour involving 2-6 interactive stops. School tour guides are trained in interacting with students, tying the tour to Florida State curriculum, and leading engaging discussions and activities around our works of art.

Guided Tours are offered for all grade levels in the Museum of Art. After your guided experience, your free school visit allows your group access to both circus museums and all gardens. Each guided tour has an optional post-tour worksheet to accompany the lessons in the tours. Post-tour worksheets are available for download in our Teacher Resource Center.

There are four engaging tour themes for your groups! Read the information on our website to choose the right experience for your students.

On-site School Visit for 50 or more participants

Available Sept 6, 2022-May 26, 2023; Tuesday through Friday, 10am-12pm EST.

Bring your students to visit The Ringling for a semi-guided experience!  Your group will self-guide through the museum at your own pace and stop at 2-5 guide stations throughout the museum. Ringling guides will be stationed strategically throughout the museum to encourage engaging conversation, student questions, and information on the artwork in that gallery. Your group can stay at the station to learn more about the artworks and then move on to the next gallery. Semi-guided tours are an engaging way to experience The Ringling at your own pace with time for questions and exploration!

Semi-guided Tours are offered for all grade levels in the Museum of Art. After your semi- guided experience, your free school visit allows your group access to both circus museums and all gardens for the remainder of the day.

On-site Teacher-Led Visits | Up to 300 participants

Teacher-Led School Tours are available August 2022 -May 27, 2023, Tuesday through Friday, 10am – 3pm EST.

Bring your students to visit The Ringling and use the museum as your classroom for the day! Teacher-led visits offer teachers the opportunity to take a FREE field trip to the various venues on campus including the Museum of Art, Circus Museum and Bayfront Gardens. Museum educators do not facilitate teacher-led visits, allowing teachers the flexibility to engage with The Ringling’s collections however you’d like. Click here for Teacher resources to help you guide your students through the museum.


Homeschool Third Thursday

Our state of the art homeschool program is back in-person! Ideal for homeschooling families and small groups, join The Ringling on the third Thursday of every month (Sep – May, no program in Dec) to explore a different facet of the museum. Designed for multi-generational learning, Homeschool Third Thursday participants rotate through stations in the museum and try new art making techniques.


Virtual Visit Options

Live Virtual School Tours

These 30-40 minute long tours are facilitated by museum educators who use conversation, activities, and art making to guide students in looking at, interpreting, and thinking about art. Choose from the themes below or ask to speak with an educator about a customized tour to fit your curriculum. All Live Virtual School Tours are hosted by the museum on a secure Zoom platform unless otherwise requested by the teacher.

Live Virtual School Tours are available Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am – 3:00pm EST. After receiving a tour request, a member of education will be in contact within 5 business days to confirm your tour. Please allow 2 weeks’ notice to schedule a Live Virtual School Tour. Visit our website to view the virtual tour themes.

On-Demand Video Tours

On-Demand Video tours provide teachers with the greatest flexibility. Accompanied by a set of three, standards-based lesson plans, these tours can be adapted to fit any curriculum. Videos range from 10–20 minutes in length and provide time for students to interact through writing, drawing, and conversation. Visit our website to view on-demand tour themes.


Bus Scholarships

Bus scholarships are available! School programs at The Ringling include FREE admission, but we know bus funding is still a barrier for many schools. Apply for a bus scholarship to offset the transportation costs of visiting The Ringling. Priority is given to Title 1 schools. For more information and to apply online, visit Bus Scholarships | The Ringling.

Visit The Ringling Welcomes Students for K-12 and College Visits for more information about our FREE school programs!

The Ringling also offers teacher workshops for CEU credit! Visit Professional Development | The Ringling for this year’s hands-on workshop lineup.


  5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, Sarasota, FL 34243



AP Art History Virtual Tour

Program description

Prepare your AP Art History students to take the exam with this guided tour!

In this 45-minute virtual tour with The Ringling, AP Art History students will explore the portrayal of the human condition through the ages. The influential art of classical Greece and Rome can be seen in the portrayal of the human condition throughout the major epochs of Western art history. Whether emphasizing the idealized form and heroic postures of classical sculptures or striving for more naturalistic depictions of a frailer humanity, artists of the Renaissance, Baroque, Dutch Golden Age and Neoclassicism traditions reflect the ongoing and evolving influences of Ancient Greece and Rome. This tour directly compares works of art included in the AP Art History image set to related but unknown works of art at The Ringling, and students will practice comparing and analyzing works of art.

Teachers will meet with an experienced museum educator prior to your class tour to decide upon Ringling works and comparative images from the image set to use with your students.

The Ringling uses Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets or other platforms upon request for virtual tours. Request an AP Art History Virtual Tour using this form.

Booking / scheduling contact

Katie Nickel

   (941) 359-5700 ext.3705

Program detail
Artistic discipline:
Cultural Origin: Array, Array
Program type: Online Virtual Exploration
Population served: 9-12
Subject: Visual Art
Bilingual: No


Fees / Ticketing:


FREE Virtual program!


Is transportation needed for this exploration?: No
If Yes, who arranges transportation?: Other (see description)
Is financial assistance offered?: Yes

Program info

Summer or Family Programs Offered?: yes