History, Industry, and Local Flavor Field Trips
California Historical Society. Knowledgeable and welcoming visitor services representatives and volunteers invite participants to explore the exhibitions by looking closely at specific works of art. Their expertise and passion echo with visitors as guided tours deepen understanding of the exhibition and encourage learning.
Chinatown Alleyway Tours. Youth-led, youth run Chinatown Alleyway Tours will take you off the main streets and into the alleyways to learn about the daily life, rich history, and modern-day issues of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Chinese Historical Society. The Chinese Historical Society offers several educational experiences, including a docent tour of the permanent exhibit, Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion, Chinatown walking tour, and workshops related to identity, migration, power dynamics, and storytelling.
Cable Car Museum. Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street. Free admission!
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The tour program includes a permanent installation designed to teach about the purposes and functions of the U.S. central bank through a series of guided hands-on and visually engaging experiences, information about the Fed's role in processing and distributing currency and coin, and one of the most comprehensive collections of historical U.S. currency in the country. Visitors must be at least 14 years old. Free!
Ghirardelli Square. In the 1960s, the remaining 19th century Ghirardelli chocolate factory building was empty and slated for possible destruction when the chocolate manufacturing business transferred out of town; a group of concerned San Franciscans stepped up, rescued the grand old complex and created within the factory walls a unique collection of over 40 interesting, of-the-day shops and fine restaurants; their project opened officially to the public in 1964. Today, visitors to the Fisherman’s Wharf area in the City by the Bay can still partake of a bit of that restored old world ambiance with a stop at the restored landmark; all are treated to delightful sample squares of various Ghirardelli chocolates as they enter this beloved attraction where the sweet scent of waffle cone fills the air!
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. A Chinatown institution since it opened in 1962. Watch cookies be made by hand, and even write your own fortunes to include inside!
Haas-Lilienthal House. Constructed in 1886 by Jewish immigrants, this Queen Anne gem was spared destruction in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and survives miraculously intact today as a site of national cultural and architectural significance.
Kindergarten to College CitiBank Field Trip. K2C is offering bank field trips for groups of up to 22 students, parents, and SFUSD classrooms at a local Citibank branch. On the field trip, students will receive a short financial lesson, tour the bank branch, and will have the opportunity to make a deposit to their K2C college savings account.
Mission Dolores. Mission Dolores is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra. The Mission has been a steadfast witness to the span of San Francisco's history including the California Gold Rush and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The Mission Cemetery is the only cemetery that remains within the City limits. The Cemetery is the final resting place for numerous Ohlone, Miwok, and other First Californians as well as notable California pioneers.
Musée Mécanique. Musée Mécanique is world's largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. Free admission!
Museum of the African Diaspora. A museum tour is a wonderful way to engage your classroom in discussion about art and culture, and to extend your classroom curriculum. Tours are led by experienced docents who are trained to facilitate active conversations and encourage critical thinking skills. All school tours align with Common Core Standards in Language Arts, History/Social Sciences, or Visual and Performing Arts, and may be customized to meet your classroom or organization needs.
Pier 39. This lively 45 acre complex your group can enjoy many of the deliciously delightful sights, smells and tastes of an old-fashioned amusement park with a spectacular view of the colorful 300-berth marina by the bay, the busy Bay Bridge, glorious Golden Gate, and ominous Alcatraz, in addition to a front-row seat to wriggling and vocal herds of lounging sea lions stationed on K-Dock.
San Francisco City Hall. Take a free tour of the “People’s Palace” with your school group. Tours are an hour in duration and must be booked four weeks in advance.
San Francisco Giants - Oracle Park. It’s not just about San Francisco’s hometown team: docents at Oracle Park offer tours for children that incorporate lessons on environmental sustainability, history, math, and geography during the park visit.
San Francisco Railway Museum. The museum features a full-sized exact replica of the motorman’s platform of a 1911 San Francisco streetcar, where kids of all ages can experience what it was like to be at the controls. You’ll also find unique historic artifacts, illustrative and informative displays, rarely seen archival photography, and audio-visual exhibits that use 21st century technology to bring rail transit in the 19th and 20th centuries to life. Free admission!
USS Pampanito. Here’s your opportunity to get a first-hand look at a once-secret naval vessel that helped to win World War II; the USS Pampanito (SS-383). The Pampanito is a World War II fleet submarine and provides an excellent field trip experience for classes exploring the history of World War II or for other educational groups seeking an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
Wells Fargo History Museum. Located at the site where Wells Fargo first opened for business in 1852, the museum tells the story of how Wells Fargo provided banking and express services to pioneers in Gold Rush San Francisco. Free admission!
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