Welcome to the History Center

Museum hours: Mon-Sat: 10a.m. - 5p.m. | Sun: noon - 5p.m.

School Field Trips

We offer a variety of themed options for guided school tours to best fit your curriculum needs. Our tours focus on several content areas: Indigenous people and Seminoles, Florida pioneers, archaeology, and black history, as well as a museum-highlights tour that covers 12,000 years of Florida history. For kindergarten and 1st grade, we offer a guided program that includes a visit to the Orlando Public Library!

Guided School Tours

Little Historians – Grades K-1 (2.5 hours)

Our expanded, interdisciplinary field trip for young students enhances their understanding of social studies with engaging, age-appropriate activities, and includes:
• A one-hour guided tour of the museum with hands-on artifacts and activities
• One hour of guided activities at the Orlando Public Library including a take-home craft
• Puppet show or a costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor
• Picnic-style lunch in Heritage Square Park scheduled during the tour

Content Area Focus
• Pioneer life, then and now
• Overview of American Indian lifeways
• Transportation and tourism in Florida

The Little Historians tour is available Tuesday – Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

The Pioneer Hustle – Grades 1 and up (2 hours)

Students will see if they have what it takes to survive on the Florida frontier! Tour includes:
• Pioneer butter and candle making workshop (candle take-home)
• A mock trial in our original 1927 courtroom
• Hands-on artifacts, replicas, and a STEM based challenge
• Costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor
• Picnic-style lunch space in Heritage Square Park

Content Area Focus
• Hardships of pioneer life: building a sustainable homestead, daily life and chores
• Fun on the frontier: leisure, games, and toys
• Causes and effects of the Seminole Wars

The Pioneer Hustle tour is available Monday – Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

The Indigenous Shell People – Grades 2 and up (2 hours)

Students will immerse themselves in the culture and lifeways of Florida’s indigenous people. Tour includes:
• Pinch pot pottery workshop (take-home)
• A mock trial in our original 1927 courtroom
• Hands-on artifacts, replicas, and a STEM based challenge
• Costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor
• Picnic-style lunch space in Heritage Square Park

Content Area Focus
• Florida’s indigenous tribes, lifeways, and culture with a focus on the Timucua and Seminoles
• European explorers: their motives and impact on Florida’s indigenous people
• Causes and effects of the Seminole Wars

The Indigenous Shell People tour is available Monday – Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

Raiders of the Lost Artifact – Grades 4 and up (2 hours)

Dig deep into Florida’s archaeological treasures and discover what artifacts can teach us about ancient civilizations. Tour includes:
• Simulated dig workshop with archaeology tools, sand, and replicas
• Visit to the archive and research library to view real Central Florida artifacts and meet a museum curator
• Mock trial in our original 1927 courtroom
• Costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor
• Picnic-style lunch space in Heritage Square Park

Content Area Focus
• Analyzing artifacts and replicas to identify the lifeways of Florida’s indigenous people
• Understanding and examining primary sources and how historians use them to interpret history
• Social studies as an interdisciplinary subject – history, archaeology, and science

Raiders of the Lost Artifact tour is available Monday – Wednesday and Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

NEW! Breaking Barriers (2nd Grade and up)

What do Josiah Walls, Mae Jemison, and Bessie Coleman all have in common? They broke through barriers and made history! Students will learn about black leaders and innovators in Central Florida who played an important role in paving the way for others across the country. Tour includes:

• Highwaymen-inspired hands-on workshop (artwork take-home)
• A mock trial in our original 1927 courtroom
• Hands-on artifacts, replicas, and a STEM based challenge
• Costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor
• Picnic-style lunch space in Heritage Square Park

Content Area Focus
• Examine primary sources such as maps to better understand history
• Exploring more than 400 years of black history in Central Florida
• Understanding achievements in STEM and innovation: aviation, NASA, art, and more

Breaking Barriers is available Monday – Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

Highlights of the Museum – Grades K-12 (2 hours)

This tour highlights 12,000 years of Florida history, spanning several content areas. Tour includes:
• Pioneer butter making workshop
• Mock trial in our original 1927 courtroom
• Hands-on artifacts, replicas, and activities
• Costumed historic character cameo performed by a professional actor (puppet shows available for K-1)
• Customizable tour schedule
• Picnic-style lunch space in Heritage Square Park

Highlights tour is available Monday – Friday during the school year (August 19, 2019 – May 22, 2020)

Content Area Focus

*Overview of:
• Florida’s indigenous people and the impact of European explorers
• Seminole culture and lifeways
• Pioneer life
• Citrus and cattle industries
• African-American history and the Civil Rights movement
• Transportation and tourism industries in Florida

*Activities and exhibits are subject to change. Note that because the tour does cover a wide range of content, we’ll introduce topics and cover a few of the basics. For more in-depth discussions and hands-on activities geared toward specific standards or themes, we recommend scheduling one of our focused tours: The Indigenous Shell People, The Pioneer Hustle, Raiders of the Lost Artifact, Breaking Barriers, or Little Historians.

Guided School Tour Cost

Cost: $7 per student (minimum of 10). One chaperone free per 10 students; $5 per additional chaperone. Teachers are free.

Field Trip Lesson Plan Downloads

• Kindergarten Field Trip Lesson Plans
• Grades 1-2 Field Trip Lesson Plans
• Grades 3-5 Field Trip Lesson Plans
• Grades 6-12 Field Trip Lesson Plans

Self-Guided Tours

Self-guided tours for school groups are available Monday through Friday and include a scavenger-hunt activity and a courtroom script for a teacher-facilitated mock trial. The start time can vary, as requested by the teacher. Two hours is recommended for the tour, but teachers can determine the length that meets their needs. Cost: $5 per student (minimum of 10). One chaperone free per 10 students; $4 per additional chaperone. Teachers are free.

Upcoming Museum Renovation

Beginning in 2020, the History Center will begin an important, multi-year renovation of our permanent exhibits to make them even more accessible and up-to-date. During this process, one exhibit gallery will be closed at a time, and each closure could last for several months. When booking your tour, please note that this process of transformation may affect the availability of tour themes and exhibit choices.

How to Register

To register for both guided and self-guided field trips to the History Center, simply fill out the registration form here. We’ll email you a confirmation packet upon receipt of your registration.

Register

If you are unable to book online, call the Education Department at 407-836-8580 or email Shannon.Elliston@ocfl.net.

Orange County Public Schools are offered School Field Trip programs free of charge thanks to a grant by United Arts of Central Florida. Please click here to download an application for the chance to have your Field Trip program funded. Schools will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Only Orange County Public Schools are eligible.