School Tours & Field Trips
Explore Texas history this year with an unforgettable, hands-on field trip here at the George Ranch Historical Park! Structured programs bring classroom lessons to life as students explore Texas history of the 1830s, 1860s, 1890s and 1930s. Different activities and programs are designated for individual grade levels and are aligned with appropriate TEKS content.
Ask about our Title 1 discount and discounts for schools within Fort Bend County!
Questions? Email our Education Coordinator or call us at 281-343-0218 x220.
NOTE: Programs must be booked at least two weeks in advance.
What to expect when you visit the Park: For any trip that you plan here at the Ranch, please plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled program time and allow 90 minutes for your classes to complete a program. Encourage children to dress comfortably for the outdoors, wear closed-toed shoes and plan for plenty of walking. The loop around the Park is just over one mile. Please ask about handicap or special needs transportation if applicable. To help everyone stay hydrated, bottled water is allowed into the Park. We also have picnic tables available for lunch.
Structured programs at the Park are as unique and distinctive as the stories history tells. Set in authentic period settings, the Park’s individual structured programs deliver an incomparable historic experience through engaging activities, dynamic demonstrations and entertaining and informative costumed interpreters. These programs can be booked from Labor Day through mid-May. Note: One adult is free for every 10 students. Extra adults are $10 per person.
DAYS: Check for availability with the Education Coordinator • TIMES: 9 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. • COST: $7 per student
1830’s Jones Homestead
Pioneers in Texas– Grades 2-5. Learn about pioneer life in 1830s pre-Revolution Texas through an exploration of how early pioneers accomplished the essentials—food, shelter and clothing—in this land new to them. Students will experience an open-hearth cooking demonstration, learn about food acquisition on the frontier and explore log cabin life through spinning and weaving demonstrations, as well as hands-on activities such as hand ginning cotton and finger spinning.
Thriving in Texas– Grades 2-5. Step back in in time and discover what life was like for the settlers who thrived in Stephen F. Austin’s Texas colony. Students will survey their homestead site using a compass and basic math, build a ferry crossing like Henry Jones to supplement their farming income and learn about recycling clothing pioneer style!
Native Americans – Grades 2-5. Join us as we discover what Texas and her peoples were like before European colonization. Students will explore the cultural background, geographic, and historical aspects of the Native Tribes in Texas. Rotations will include communication, the impacts of climate, natural resources, geography, trade and farming on Native tribes, and how those cultures are preserved today. (program will be conducted at the 1830’s cabin or Heritage Nature Trail)
1860’s Polly Ryon Prairie Home
Pasture to Parlor– Grades 2-5. Experience life in 1860s Post-Civil War Texas with a visit to the home of Polly Ryon and her husband William. Learn about the different lives of the people who helped operate a working Ranch in this era. Students will learn how to manage day-to-day business and social life as ranch owners, discover the life of a 1860s cowboy with interactive activities and explore domestic service life at a large Ranch.
A House Divided: A Civil War Story– Grades 2-5. Charge into history and learn what life was like during the American Civil War through the eyes of a soldier. Students will enlist as cavalrymen and join in practice drills that have been used in warfare for centuries. Discover advances in field medicine and experience life in the Ambulance Corps.
1890’s Complex – Davis Mansion, Sharecropper Cabin, Blacksmith Shop, Rail Car, Line Camp
Little Farmers – Grades K-2. Come explore life on a farm and learn about planting and animal care! Listen to a story about life on a farm and hear how everyone needs to work together to make a farm prosper. Learn how crops grow and get your hands dirty with a planting experience, then meet some of the farm animals and help feed the chickens and hogs.
Don’t Fence Me In- Grades 2-5. Experience what life was like for the Texas cowboy out on the Prairie and learn how technology changed their way of life. Students will study the great cattle drive era, how the railroad and telegraph led to the expansion of America, and how barbed wire changed the cattle industry as it entered the 20th century.
Cycle of Poverty: Economics of Reconstruction era Texas- Grades 2-5. Experience life as a Sharecropper in the 1890s and discover the short term and long term effects that the Reconstruction period had on the newly freed people of Texas. Students will learn firsthand how dire the financial hardships of a sharecropper could be in the latter part of the 19th century, care for the land and animals that were part of their labor contract, and recycle clothing in order to make a family quilt.
1930’s George Ranch House
Dirty 1930s: Life during the Depression and Dust Bowl- Grades 2-5. Travel back in time to the 1930s to learn about life during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Students will discover the impact each of these major economic disasters had on America and experience what daily life was like for the people who lived at the George Ranch. Students will listen to a fireside chat by FDR broadcast on the wireless, test soil samples for nutrients and discuss why over farming led to soil erosion, take a core sample and learn how oil and natural gas is found, and sign up for the National Youth Administration!
Texas on the Homefront: George Ranch during WWII- Grades 2-5. Experience what life was like during WWII and how the George family did their bit for the war effort. Students will learn how American families supported their soldiers overseas through home Victory gardens, rationing and recycling precious materials, civilian aircraft observation posts, and knitting for victory!
Legacy of the American Cowboy- Grades 2-5. Step into a world of cows, brands and quarter horses during our 1930s Cowboy school program. Students will learn about brands and branding, roping basics, horse facts, and calf breeding, along with more about the Texas Longhorn and a close-up look at the dipping vat. The program is an expansion of the regularly featured cowboy show and includes several hands-on activities for students.
Role- Playing Programs
DAYS: Check for availability with the Education Coordinator • TIMES: 9 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. • COST: $12 per student
1830’s Jones Homestead
Gone to Texas- Grades 6-12. Journey back to Stephen F. Austin’s Colonial Texas where pioneers struggle to colonize unsettled land. Participants will be placed in the role of Settlers in this hands-on, student-led introduction to pioneer life. Students will be assigned to pioneer families who will have to take on tasks to ensure the cooperation and survival of the family and community. They will face multiple challenges in the path to success and prosper through strategic planning, resourcefulness and sheer will. Who will survive and who will thrive?
1860’s Polly Ryon Prairie Home
A House Divided: A Civil War Journey- Grades 6-12. Plunge your students into the dramatic and harsh reality of the Civil War. Participants will assume specific roles as Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers or civilians on both sides of the conflict. Students will go through the training process of their assigned role and experience the complexity of emotions of those about to enter battle for the first time. Who will live, who will die and what will be YOUR story?
DAYS: Check for availability with the Education Coordinator
Self-Guided Park Tours (All Grades)
Looking to customize your Park visit to align with your subject content? Want the freedom to set your own agenda? Self-guided Park tours may be right for you! Our self-guide tours allow you to set your own schedule and travel at your own pace and are a unique and flexible way to see the entire Park. We recommend dividing into groups of 25 or less (especially if touring the historic homes) for the optimum experience. Cost: $5/student.
Self-Guided Photography Tours (All Grades)
Year after year, the George Ranch Historical Park is a popular place for Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo artists to gather inspiration for their next masterpiece. Enhance your visit with this special program designed with student artists in mind. Each group will be provided with a visual guide full of photography tips, unique location suggestions and more! Cost: $6/student.
Special Event Field Trips
Texian Market Days ($7/student – October 22, 2021)
- Historical Re-Enactments
- Hands-On Activities & Demonstrations
- Old-Fashioned Games
- Historic House Tours
Tales of Texas ($7/student – Coming February 2022)
- Capture the independent Texas spirit!
- First-Person Tales of Historical Figures
- Hands-On Activities
- Historical Vignettes
- Historic Home Tours
Please contact our Education Coordinator at 281-343-0218 x220 for questions or to book a student group for Texian Market Days or Tales of Texas!
Field Trip Reservation Form
Important to note: Field trip dates, times and/or programs are not confirmed until we send you a confirmation and we receive the signed confirmation with deposit back. All dates, times and programs are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please book early to ensure the best possible field trip experience for your group. This form is not a confirmation. For booking and program questions, please email our Education Coordinator or call 281-343-0218.