Gitanjali Rao at the History Colorado Center

History Colorado Center Field Trips

What was it like to live in a 1920s homesteading town, or work in a 1880s silver mine? How did Coloradans deal with droughts throughout the past? When have communities fought to uphold democratic principles of equality and justice? On our immersive, experiential, and standards-aligned programs, students explore the state's history, people, and places through History Colorado Center’s award-winning exhibits. 

The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed the Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever exhibit will be included in field trips in January 2023. Please contact Dr. Josie Chang-Order if you would like more information about this upcoming exhibit & field trip: josie.chang-order@state.co.us.

Make a reservation →

Available Field Trips

Colorado Time Travelers (Grades K-5) 
Explore stories of Colorado’s people and places through hands-on experiences in the galleries. Aligned to Colorado Academic Standards, the program features skills and concepts typically covered in third and fourth grade but can be adapted to other grade levels. Get the Elementary Teacher's Field Trip Guide →

Democratic Principles in Conflict (Grades 6–12) 
Students examine how democratic principles have shaped Colorado history. The program is designed for middle and high school civics and U.S. history classes. The Teacher Guide below includes a pre-visit classroom activity that introduces students to principles of democracy and post-visit classroom activities that synthesize and expand students’ knowledge. At History Colorado Center, facilitators lead students through exhibits to examine when Coloradans have upheld democratic principles–and when those principles have come into conflict. Get the Democratic Principles Program Guide →

Colorado Water Quest (Grades 5–9)
From Mesa Verde to the Dust Bowl, discover the important role water has played in Colorado history—and the environmental challenges we face today. Students work in small groups to explore History Colorado exhibits, solve STEM and geography challenges, and evaluate the ways different communities have used water. The program is designed for middle school earth science and geography classes, and can be adapted for upper elementary and high school students. Get the Colorado Water Quest Program Guide →

Research Center Program (Grades 6-12)
Students will explore real museum collections in the Stephen H. Hart Research Center using critical thinking and analysis skills, and get a behind-the-scenes peek into how History Colorado cares for our museum collections. Primary sources can provide first-hand, unique evidence and are often the best and truest way to explore an event, time, or place as if you were there. We will help students explore research topics or can prepare a specific research experience based on a topic. Only available Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 am-3 pm.

If you don’t see a program that fits your needs, please contact josie.chang-order@state.co.us to discuss custom options.

Reservations

We have heard your feedback. In the 2022-23 school year we have a new scheduling process and more flexible times to accommodate transportation. Please click the link below that corresponds with your desired field trip schedule. After you have completed your purchase, you will be directed to complete a Field Trip Request Form to provide additional information.

All reservations last 2 hours

Schedule

Register for your field trip →

10 am-noon
Weekdays in September & October
Mondays in November & December

9:30-11:30 & 11:30-1:30
Tuesday-Friday in November & December

9:30-11:30 & 11:30-1:30
All field trips from January-May

For field trips after 1:30 p.m. email rebecca.chickadel@state.co.us for availability.

If the trip is canceled due to inclement weather, schools will be given the opportunity to reschedule if possible or the payment will be returned in full.

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $5 per student; Title I schools $2.50 per student. School staff are free; $8 each additional adult.

Please bring a 1:10 chaperone-to-student ratio; see FAQ for additional details. 
Bus Fund Transportation Assistance is available.

School groups, camps, and other non-family programs do not receive free admission for children.

COVID-19 Policy

We encourage mask wearing for all youth program participants, teachers and chaperones. If the school district does not require students to wear masks, then we will honor their policy. We follow local and state guidance regarding masks.

Field Trip FAQs

Where can chaperones park?
  • The Cultural Center parking garage is on the west side of 12th and Broadway (entrance on 12th). 
  • The (colorful) Art Garage is on the right (east) side of Lincoln Street behind the History Colorado Center. 
  • There is also metered parking on the streets around the museum ($2.00 per hour via coins, card, or app), as well as surface lots just west of 12th and Broadway. 
  • The surface lots require payment at time of parking and are usually cash only. 
  • We cannot validate parking. 
Where do buses park?

Explore bus parking options before your visit. 

What is the lunchroom space like?

Our primary lunch space is Camp Colorado! We provide bins for trash, recycling, and compost, as well as a few cleaning supplies. 

Outfitted like a campground with 19 tables, the space can hold approximately 120 people. Due to our schedule, you may be sharing the space with another group. Please let us know if your school or district policies specify that you cannot share an indoor space with another group. 

When Camp Colorado is full, we utilize one of our conference rooms for additional lunch space. Tables and chairs may be present, or you may have lunch picnic-style on the floor. If the weather is good, you may eat outside on the rocks on 12th; we recommend having an inclement weather backup plan.

Where can we put our stuff?

We will provide carts to store lunches, water bottles, and other belongings while you are on your tour. Food and drink and student backpacks are not allowed in the exhibits.

Please do not bring individual student backpacks if at all possible, as they take up too much space in exhibits. We also suggest leaving coats in the bus/car, if possible.

Are field trips covered under the “Free for Kids” admission policy? 

School groups, camps, and other non-family programs do not receive free admission for children. 

Why are 10:00 tours being offered in September, October, and on Mondays in the fall?

We’re incorporating teacher feedback about more flexible start times and are trying out a new schedule for part of the year. Due to high demand during January - May, we will schedule field trips every week day at 9:30 and 11:30.

What if our school arrives late?

Our facilitators will prioritize three exhibit stations instead of four. Due to scheduling of facilitators and exhibit spaces, we cannot extend late-arrival 9:30 tours beyond 11:30. 

If your group arrives late for lunch, we cannot guarantee that facilitators will be able to extend their tours beyond 1:30. 

On the day of the field trip, if you know that your school will be late, please contact the School Programs Coordinator (303-866-2320) or the History Colorado Center front desk (303-447-8679) with an estimated time of arrival.

What if our school arrives early?

If your school arrives early for a 9:30 tour, you may wait outside on 12th Avenue while we finish morning set-up. If the weather is bad, you may wait in the atrium. Restrooms are available. 

If your school arrives early for lunch at 11:00, please be aware that we do not allow your group to explore exhibits between lunch and the 11:30 tour as the previous tour will still be underway.

What is the minimum number of students a school can bring?

Our minimum number of students on a facilitated field trip is 10. 

How many chaperones can we bring? 

We appreciate the support of your parents and guardians on the field trip! We recommend a 1 to 10 chaperone to student ratio. We typically do not see a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 unless the students are younger elementary students who need additional support. 

Support staff for students who are language learners or who have special needs are always welcome. 

On our field trips, chaperones can help out by:

  • Supporting the school programs facilitator and teacher with managing student behavior;
  • Taking students to the bathroom when needed;
  • Keeping an eye on any students who might fall ill during the trip; and 
  • Keeping the class together when moving around the building. 
  • They also can help with managing students when they go on the slide in Keota!
What exhibits will we visit on the Field Trip? Can we request specific exhibits?

You may indicate exhibits you’re interested in or topics you’ll be covering at the time of the field trip in the reservation form. However, no exhibits are guaranteed. 

The Colorado Time Travelers tour will visit four exhibit stations. Possible exhibits and topics include:

  • Destination Colorado (Keota), 1920s
  • Dust Bowl, 1930s
  • Mesa Verde, Ancestral Puebloans in the 1200s
  • Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History, all of Colorado’s past and present
  • Convergence: Bent’s Fort, 1830s-1840s
  • Top of the World: A Silverton Silver Mine, silver mining in the 1880s
  • Confined Citizens: The Amache-Granada Relocation Center, Japanese incarceration camp in the 1940s

Water Quest typically covers some combination of Mesa Verde, the Dust Bowl, Our Mountains, and/or Steamboat Springs. 

Democratic Principles in Conflict typically covers some combination of Lincoln Hills, Camp Amache, El Movimiento, What’s Your Story?, and/or Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History

The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed the Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever exhibit will be available for field trips beginning in January 2023.

How many groups will our school be divided into?

Please plan to be divided by class. On the rare occasion that facilitators are unexpectedly unavailable on the day of your trip, you may be asked to split into fewer groups than previously discussed. 

Will members of the public or other schools be in exhibits at the same time as us? 

Yes! The History Colorado Center opens to the public at 10 am. Other schools in the building during regularly scheduled field trip hours should be attending our facilitated programs. In the event that your group needs to share an exhibit space, the School Programs Manager will make every effort to ensure that they are sharing with another class from the same school. 

 

 

History Colorado Field Trip and Education programs are supported by:

The Charles M. and Faye G. Schayer Charitable Foundation