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Field Trips

The Idaho State Historical Society provides various field trip opportunities for its sites. Explore historic sites like the Old Idaho Penitentiary, Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite, and the Franklin historic properties. Learn how Idaho’s land and people shaped each other through time at the Idaho State Museum. Tour the spaces where thousands of original documents and photographs are safely kept and learn about Abraham Lincoln’s legacy in Idaho in a unique public exhibit at the Idaho State Archives.  

Need help paying for your class field trip? Your class may qualify for free transportation through the Idaho State Historical Society’s Ray Knight Field Trip Fund.

Please contact Idaho State Historical Society staff for application dates and qualifications before submitting a Ray Knight Field Trip Fund application form.

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RAY KNIGHT FIELD TRIP FUND

The Ray Knight Field Trip Fund can apply to field trips to the Old Idaho Penitentiary, Rock Creek/Stricker Ranch site in Hansen, Idaho, Franklin site in Franklin, Idaho, and the Idaho State Museum. Call (208) 780-5188 for more information.

Idaho State Museum

Experience the story of Idaho virtually or in person! The Idaho State Museum offers a field trip experience for all grade levels.

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Self-Guided Visits

Explore the Idaho State Museum as a class on your own – use activities from your curriculum or download our Explorer Guides to help your students engage with museum exhibits through a multidisciplinary lens. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday-Friday,
9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm (90 minutes)
$3 per student, adults are free up to a 1:5 ratio ($10 per additional adult)
90 student maximum, 1 group per time slot

Guided Tours

Bring your students to the Idaho State Museum and immerse yourself in Idaho history, exploring the relationship between the land and its people. Museum educators will guide your students through the exhibits and answer questions. Pre-registration is required.

$4 per student, adults are free in a 1:5 ratio ($10 per additional adult)
35 student maximum
Leveled to Grades 3-12
Tuesday-Friday
9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm
45 minutes

Themes:

  • Museum Highlights
  • Native American Stories
  • Innovation Idaho
  • Fighting for Rights

Guided Tour + Hands-on Activity

These programs include a themed tour and hands-on activity facilitated in the Museum’s classroom with our Museum Educators. Pre-registration is required.

$5 per student, adults are free in a 1:5 ratio ($10 per additional adult)
35 student maximum
Leveled to Grades 3-5
Tuesday-Friday
9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm
75 minutes

Themes:

  • Eye Spy Idaho
  • Drawn to Idaho

Distance Discoveries
Join us as we discover Idaho history. Programs are conducted in real-time using web-based video conferencing, allowing Idaho State Museum Educators to interact with students online. Idaho State Historical Society primary sources will be featured in the lessons including one-of-a-kind videos featured in the Museum’s exhibits, images, documents, and artifacts.

$50 per class (max 35 students)
Grades 3-5
Tuesday-Friday
9:30am, 11:15am, 1:00pm
45 minutes

Themes:

  • Idaho’s Native Peoples
  • Oregon Trail
  • Gold Rush

Virtual Tours

Immerse yourself in Idaho history from the comfort of the classroom. Museum Educators will guide students through the exhibits and answer questions.

$50 per class (max 35 students)
Leveled to Grades 3-12
Tuesday-Friday
9:30am, 11:30am, 1:00pm

Themes:

  • Museum Highlights
  • Native American Stories
  • Innovation Idaho
  • Fighting for Rights

Activity Add-ons (for Grades 3-5)

The Museum will provide activity kits for Treasure Valley students in grades 3-5, available for curbside pickup by the teacher. Great to add on to a virtual tour or Distance Discovery program. The activity will be introduced by our Museum Educator remotely.

  • Gold Panning ($3.00 per container, each container serves about 5 students)
  • Boat Builders ($.50 per student)
  • Paper Parfleche ($.50 per student)
  • Design Your Own State Seal ($.50 per student)
  • Create Your Own Compass ($.50 per student)

Homeschool students and their families are encouraged to explore the Museum and experience the stories of Idaho on the last Monday of each month from 10am – 3pm. Admission is $3 per student (Youth 6 and up) and adults/teachers are free in a 1:1 ratio, any additional adults must pay regular admission. Preregistration is required; Walkups will not be accommodated. Payment is due at the time of reservation and is non-refundable.

Join us on:

September 27, October 25, November 29, January 31, February 28, March 28, April 25

Register Now

How do I book a field trip to the Idaho State Museum?

At least two weeks prior, identify the date you wish to schedule a program and fill out and submit the online Field Trip Request Form. We take reservations on a first come, first served basis, so the earlier you book, the more likely you are to get your requested date.

After you complete the form, a Museum staff member will be in touch with you to confirm details, and a confirmation email will be sent to you. Your booking is not confirmed until you have received a confirmation email.

If you have any questions, please contact shseducation@ishs.idaho.gov or our education staff at 208-780-5195.

What field trip programs are you offering?

We are offering both virtual and in-person field trips this school year. Please check under our Virtual Programs or On-Site Programs tab for more information.

What days and times does the Idaho State Museum offer field trips?

Both virtual and on-site field trip programs are offered Tuesdays-Fridays, with programs available at 9:30, 11:15, and 1:00.

What are the Museum’s COVID-19 policies?

We are limiting in-person guided group sizes to 35 students. We are limiting self-guided school groups to 90 students. We are following current CDC guidelines related to masks and social distancing.

I received a confirmation email, but now I need to make changes. How do I do that?

If you need to make changes to your attendance numbers to accommodate more or less students, chaperones, or teachers, please confirm these changes with the education staff a the museum at least two weeks prior to your field trip.

You can contact us at shseducation@ishs.idaho.gov or at 208-780-5195.

What if there is inclement weather?

Field trips cancelled due to inclement weather will be rescheduled at no additional charge.

How do I pay for a field trip?

The field trip programs vary in price depending on what you select. Prices are listed on our Programs tab.  To pay for your visit ahead of time, you can call 208-334-2120 and pay with a Visa or Mastercard. Payments can also be made on the date of your field trip. Please make checks out to Idaho State Historical Society. If you require an invoice, please email shseducation@ishs.idaho.gov. If paying as a classroom or group, teachers are responsible for collecting payment from students.

What if my school qualifies for Title 1 funding?

We have a limited amount of funding for Title 1 classrooms, who can receive programming at no-cost. It is first-come-first-serve. Please fill out and submit the Field Trip Request Form on our website and indicate if your school qualifies.

What should I do to prepare for a field trip?

To prepare for your field trip, please review the museum etiquette rules with your students and the chaperone roles with your parent volunteers (see “planning your field trip” tab).

Also, please divide your students into groups with chaperones before their visit. Chaperones should be in charge of groups of 5-10 students (we require 1 chaperone for every 10 students) and will need to help students move through the museum, follow museum rules, and complete museum activities. It is essential that students stay in their supervised groups for their safety, the safety of the artifacts, and the safety of all other museum patrons.

Is there a place for us to eat lunch?

The Museum is located next to Julia Davis Park, which offers plenty of seating and space for groups to eat lunch. The Museum’s outdoor Pioneer Village Pavilion is also an option for school groups to utilize (max 35 students, dependent upon availability). 

What does the day of the field trip look like?

Please arrive on time for your field trip. As we accommodate multiple schools each day, it is essential for us to honor our scheduled commitments. If you are running behind or need to reschedule, please contact our education team at 208-334-2120.

Bus drivers should drop off students in front of the museum. Buses can park in Julia Davis Park during the program. There is school bus parking behind the bandshell (see “planning your field trip” tab).

Museum educators will greet you at the front and start your field trip. If you are doing a self-guided tour, a museum staff member will give you an orientation before sending your students in chaperone groups to explore.

What can students bring with them to the Idaho State Museum?

Students may only bring a notebook and a pencil in the Museum with them. No pens or markers are allowed to protect our exhibits. No backpacks, food, drinks (including water bottles), or gum are allowed in the museum. Please note, we do not have a place to store students’ belongings. Please leave them on the bus or at school.

More questions?

Please contact our education staff at shseducation@ishs.idaho.gov if you have any more questions or concerns.

Old Idaho Penitentiary

Experience 101 years of Idaho history, discover the places incarcerated men and women lived and worked, and see how prison systems changed over time.

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Idaho State Historical Society Exterior

Idaho State Archives

Students of all ages can learn how to best utilize resources in the Research Center and explore the Abraham Lincoln exhibit with 220 historical artifacts that tell the story of Lincoln’s role in creating Idaho Territory.

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Interested in a tour? Staff at the Idaho State Archives can show students of all ages how to best utilize resources in the Research Center, or guide their exploration of the Abraham Lincoln Exhibit and its many historical pieces. We recommend tour groups be limited to 15-20 people at a time. Please call or email to set up an appointment.

Historic Franklin Properties

The interpretive exhibits in the Hatch and Doney houses and Relic Hall serve schools, travelers, family reunions, and other events held in southern Idaho and northern Utah. This site is managed through a community partnership with the Franklin Pioneer Association.

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Cost per student and adult chaperone is $0.50. Contact Susan Bodredo at (208) 646-2290 to schedule a field trip.

Rusted farming equipment sitting unused in a field

Rock Creek Station & Stricker Homesite

Visitors can still view the Rock Creek Store building, Stricker home, reconstructed summer house, and the Rock Creek Interpretive Center. The site features hands-on learning through special events and interpretive exhibits.

Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite are owned by the Idaho State Historical Society and managed cooperatively with the Friends of Stricker, Inc.

Cost per student is $.50. Teachers and adult chaperones are free with some restrictions.

CONTACT US

(208) 423-4000

jrobinson8330@yahoo.com

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