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).
Step 1: Mix and match from self-guided and guided components.
Self-Guided Field Trip Components
At the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, 100 W. Broadway:
A Kentucky Journey
- “A Kentucky Journey” 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.
- A museum scavenger hunt activity is included in the materials you will receive when we confirm your reservation. You also can access it via the additional field trip information at the bottom of this page.
- Length: 60 minutes. Group Size: Up to 100 students
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. Group size: 75 people. Available March through November.
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
At the State Arsenal, 125 E. Main St:
Kentucky Military History Museum
- This museum tells the stories of Kentuckians and their participation in nearly 200 years of conflicts. The building is even part of military history. 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.
- Lesson plans to prepare for your visit are among the materials we will send when we confirm your visit.
- Length: 30 minutes to 1 hour. Group Size: Up to 75 students
Guided Field Trip Components
At the Old State Capitol:
Capital at Work
- 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.
- Length: 1 hour. Group Size: Up to 75 students
At the Kentucky History Center and Museums:
Learning Labs: History Matters
Hands-on activities to enhance your students’ visit to the Kentucky History Center and Museums.
Cost: $2* per student per lab. Time: 60 minutes. Max group size: 40
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.
Gadgets and Gizmos
Plan for the future by challenging yourself to design a new and improved gadget. Study past Kentucky inventors and see how they solved problems by thinking of new ideas. Communicate with peers to brainstorm innovative solutions to everyday obstacles. Sketch your own patent, build a model with paper straws and pitch your idea to the class.
Quills and Bills
Analyze a photograph of the last legislative session that occurred in the Old State Capitol building and learn about some strange Kentucky laws. 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.
*Teachers may work with KHS to create a custom experience for the same fee.
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. You may visit the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the State Arsenal anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Field trip tour times for the Old State Capitol are 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Fees & Payment*
$5 per person. This includes all museum exhibits at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the State Arsenal, as well as a guided tour of the Old State Capitol. 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.
Scholarships are available. Get information.
There is no place to purchase food at the Kentucky History Center and Museums.
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.
When you arrive, front 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 Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. 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 502-782-8118.