Create a field trip experience your students won’t forget.
You’ll find all of the information you need to schedule and plan a visit with your students to the Kentucky History Center and Museums (includes the Old State Capitol, State Arsenal and Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History). See how a field trip meets the new Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies here. We are also working on virtual field trip options for later this year, so check often. Visit our Virtual Visitor page for an archive of virtual experiences and tours.
Step 1: Mix and match options.
At the Kentucky History Center, 100 W. Broadway:
A Kentucky Journey
- Our main museum exhibition introduces students to 12,000 years of Kentucky history with walk-through environments and interactive displays. Students will examine primary sources from pre-history through the 20th century and gain an understanding of how Kentucky has expanded and evolved over time.
- This is a self-guided tour. A museum scavenger hunt activity is included in the materials you will receive when we confirm your reservation. Access additional field trip information.
- Length: 60 minutes. Group Size: Up to 100 students
Hall of Governors
- This museum gallery contains portraits of every Kentucky governor except the present one (there’s a reason for that which you’ll see in the exhibit). Students will learn about each governor’s administration and the evolution of the governor’s office. Interactive touch screens prompt thought and students can write their thoughts on a note board.
- Length: 15 minutes. Group Size: 50
(Hands-on activities to enhance your students’ experience)
- Artifact Analysis: Test your analysis skills by viewing images to find evidence about Kentucky’s history. Improve communication by describing ambiguous objects that are in the KHS teaching collection through an interactive game that allows students to handle and draw the artifacts. Work with peers to answer questions and develop opinions on the object’s use.
- Quills and Bills: Analyze a photograph of Gov. Morrow signing Kentucky’s ratification of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. Critically think about how and why laws are made today and problem-solve to write your own bill proposal. Go back in time by using historic writing tools (a quill feather and liquid ink) to draft your idea to improve our future.
- Vote for Me!: Learn what it means to be an active citizen and discuss attributes that represent a good candidate for office. Draft your own platform to run for Class President, Mayor, or the next Kentucky Governor! Design a campaign poster and button to promote your cause. Last, practice giving your election speech to persuade your peers.
- Cost: Additional $2 per student per lab. Time: 60 minutes. Max group size: Up to 40 students
At the Kentucky Military History Museum, 125 E. Main St (one block walking distance):
- The main museum exhibit Kentucky Military Treasures tells the stories of Kentuckians and their participation in nearly 200 years of conflicts. The building is itself a part of military history. Use this scavenger hunt with your students. The former State Arsenal, it dates to 1850 and housed a cartridge factory that employed many women during the Civil War. It also played a part in the defense of the capital city from Confederate invasion.
- Students can also visit a second exhibit George M. Chinn: Sights Set on Innovation at no additional charge.
- These are self-guided tours. Lesson plans to prepare for your visit are among the materials we will send when we confirm your visit.
- Length: 30-60 minutes suggested. Group Size: Up to 75 students
At the Old State Capitol, 300 West Broadway (one block walking distance):
- Students explore Kentucky’s legislative branch and discover who makes the rules in Kentucky as well as the Old State Capitol’s use in the 19th century. The Old State Capitol was Kentucky’s state house from 1830 to 1910.
- This is a guided tour. Lesson plans to prepare for your visit are among the materials we will send when we confirm your visit.
- Length: 60 minutes. Group Size: Up to 75 people
At other Frankfort locations:
Natural Kentucky: Animals, People and Their Environments
(A two-part field trip starting at Salato Wildlife Education Center and ending at the Kentucky History Center and Museums)
- Before you visit the Kentucky History Center and Museums, you will go to the Salato Wildlife Education Center to learn about Kentucky’s natural history, native animals and their habitats – as well as to see and touch the animals that call Kentucky home.
- Then, you will come to the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History for a museum visit to see how people used Kentucky’s natural resources for their homes and livelihood and learn how the natural environment affected settlement and the state’s economy.
- Length: 4.25 hours suggested. Group size: Up to 75 people. Cost: An additional $3. Available March through November.
Capitol at Work
(A two-part field trip starting at the New State Capitol building and ending at the Kentucky History Center and Museums)
- Before you visit the Kentucky History Center and Museums, you will travel to the New State Capitol building to see where our legislators debate and create laws. Call the New Capitol for tour times at 502-564-3449.
- Then, you will come to the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History to eat lunch and prepare for you visit to the Old State Capitol building to see where laws were once made in the 19th century. Complete the below registration form to reserve an Old Capitol tour time.
- Length: 3 hours minimum. Group size: Up to 75 people at each location.
Step 2: Plan your day.
Field trips for groups of 10 or more are available year-round. We require that trips be scheduled at least two weeks in advance and accept reservations on a first-come basis. Note: March, April and May are the busiest months of the year. Make your reservations as early as possible.
Field Trip Times
The earliest you may arrive for a field trip is 9 a.m. at the Kentucky History Center. Tour times are available from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday-Saturday, and offered every half an hour.
Fees & Payment*
$5 per person. This includes all sites at the Kentucky History Center and Museums: The Old State Capitol, all exhibits at the Kentucky History Center, and the Kentucky Military History Museum. An additional charge of $2 per student applies to any Learning Lab you schedule, and an additional $3 per student applies to the Natural Kentucky option.
Payment is due upon check-in the day of your field trip. We accept cash, check (made out to the Kentucky Historical Society), credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or purchase order. Our Customer Care Associate will invoice you.
Scholarships are available. Get information.
There is no place to purchase food at the Kentucky History Center and Museums. You may reserve our lunch space inside the History Center. Times are available every 30 minutes.
Your group may eat a brown-bag lunch in the Cralle-Day Garden behind the building or on the Old State Capitol lawn.
If the weather does not permit an outdoor lunch, we will work to find a place inside.
After checking in at the welcome desk, staff will direct you where to store your lunches.
One more thing to consider as you plan, restrooms at the Old State Capitol and at the Kentucky Military History Museum do not accommodate large groups of people. Plan to use the restrooms at the Kentucky History Center. They are on the first floor of the building, just inside the Ann Street door, the same entrance your group will use when you arrive.
Step 3: Book Your Field Trip
Use this form to book field trips. Have questions? Call 502-564-1792.