Topeka
Topeka
  • Location: 6425 SW Sixth Avenue Topeka, KS 66615

Basics:

From the earliest people to the recent past, exciting exhibits and amazing artifacts allow adults and children alike to explore the rich history of Kansas. You’ll hear stories from the Oregon and Santa Fe trails, learn the tragic history of Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War, stroll through a full-sized train, and much more.

Subjects covered: Kansas History, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Civil War, Bleeding Kansas

Grade level: All grade levels are welcome but programs are best suited for those PK to 8th grade.

Best time to visit:  Anytime for indoor activities. Spring and Fall for outdoor exploration.

Indoors, outdoors, or both? Both. Indoor area includes the museum and Discovery Place. Outdoor area includes a 2.5-mile nature trail and playground. 

Clothing type recommended: Dress for the weather outside if walking the trails and wear comfortable shoes.

How to book field trip: Register online, call Joy Brennen at (785)272-8681 ext. 415 or email education@kshs.org at least two weeks before you'd like your students to visit. 

Curriculum & Standards: 

What standards or learning outcomes apply?  The museum provides extensive information about the applicable standards of each of its programmed field trips. All field trips and exhibit areas meet Kansas Common and KCCRSS standards.

What vocabulary should students know before they visit? Activities are based on the standards, so all terminology will be covered by your everyday classroom activities. Also, there are educators on hand who can be flexible with the programming.

Are there curriculum materials or guides at the site? Yes. Learn more in the resources section below

Grade specific field trip programs available? Yes. 

PK to Grade 2

  • Lucy goes to Oregon

1st to 6th Grades

  • Rural School Days (one hour activity)

1st Grade

  • American Indian Homes in Kansas
  • Wichita: People of the Grass Lodge

2nd Grade

  • Wagons, Wheels and Wings

4th Grade

  • Oregon or Bust!
  • Risk Takers and Pizza Makers
  • Westward, Ho!

4th and 5th Grades

  • Rural School Days (four-hour activity)

Grade 4 to adult

  • History Lab
  • Home School Wednesdays
  • Museum Gallery Highlights

7th and 8th Grades

  • Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War

Budget & Logistics: 

Cost: For groups of 10 or more. One adult enters free for every 10 students. Additional adults pay the student rate.

  • Guided tour: $4 per student
  • Self-guided tour: $2 per student
  • Behind the Scenes Tour: $15
  • Program Tours: $2-4 per student, depending on the program

Are there scholarships, general grants, or transportation grants available? The Kansas Museum of History and Kansas State Capitol are partnering with Shawnee County Historical Society and the John Ritchie House to provide schools within 75 miles of Topeka grants to offset the cost of tours and field trips to sites focusing on the enduring struggle for freedom.
The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area (41 counties within the heritage area) also is offering help with 75 percent of funding towards transportation costs.  Get more information about the Bus on Us grant from Freedom's Frontier.

How long will the tour take from start to finish? Varies by tour, but plan on a minimum of two hours.

Pre-Post classroom visits available upon request? Contact the museum for more information.

Maximum number of students the venue can accommodate for a tour? 20 students per tour is recommended. The maximum number at one time is 40.

Minimum number of participants needed for a tour? 10 participants and two weeks prior notice.

Number of adults per student needed? One adult per 10 students is recommended.

Can they eat lunch inside/on site and/or bring their own lunches? There are picnic areas outside the museum. 

Where do the buses need to park? Is this also where the students should be dropped off? Load and unload students at the entrance. Bus parking is designated at the south end of the parking lot.

Accessibility Information: The museum is ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible.

Resources: