The George Ranch Historical Park is an outdoor living history museum located on a 23,000-acre working ranch. Four historic sites anchor the Park and give visitors and students a look into more than a century of Texas history. School programs are designed to take students back in time with hands-on activities and period demonstrations led by experienced interpreters. Different activities and programs are designated for individual grade levels and are aligned with appropriate TEKS content. Ask about our Title 1 discount! Questions? Email our Education Coordinator or call us at 281-343-0218.
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
- Role-Playing Programs
- Self-Guided Programs
- Special Event Field Trips
- Field Trip Reservation Form
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 August 31, 2017 through May 12, 2018. Note: One adult is free for every 10 students. Extra adults are $10 per person.
DAYS: Tuesday – Thursday • TIMES: 9 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. • COST: $7 per student
Little Farmers (Pre-K through 1st Grade)
Bring the little ones out and learn about farming at our 1890s Sharecropper Farm site. This program will include live animal encounters. Students will:
- Listen to a story about life on a farm and learn how everyone needs to work together to make a farm prosper.
- Learn how crops grow with our Sharecropper and get their hands dirty with a growing experience.
- Meet some of the Ranch animals and learn how to care for and feed our farm animal friends.
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 new land. Students will:
- Experience an open-hearth cooking demonstration and learn about food acquisition in this new frontier.
- Discover domestic life with an introduction to the dog trot cabin. In addition, tour the outbuildings which were critical extensions of the home on an early stock farm.
- Explore log cabin life through spinning and weaving demonstrations as well as hands-on activities such as hand ginning cotton and finger spinning.
- Additional rotations may include activities such as Native American sign language, chores or field work.
From 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. 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. Activities may include etiquette, business practices or genteel domestic skills.
- Discover the life of an 1860s cowboy with interactive activities that explore the Ryons’ ranching operations.
- Explore domestic service life at a large Ranch and participate in the daily chores necessary to keep the Ranch running smoothly. Hands-on activities may include laundry, cooking and/or other daily chores.
- Additional rotations may include activities based on the life of the 19th-century child, including the one-room school house and/or historic games.
Ranch Life in the 1930s (Grades 2-5)
Delve in to the world of the 1930s George Ranch with this program set at the George Home site. Students will get their hands dirty as they are transported back to the heyday of the George Ranch. Students will:
- Visit the Bach House and experience life as a 1930s cowboy while learning about the Georges’ large 1930s ranching operation.
- Get a taste of 1930s domestic life by helping out Ms. Mamie and Josephine, the housekeeper, with the daily chores.
- Explore children’s leisure-time activities from this period including a vintage radio program, a discussion of commonly-played games and a peek into a popular comic book from this era.
- An optional rotation for older audiences includes a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program.
Role-playing programs are fully-immersive experiences that encourage participants to relive a historical scenario by taking on period roles. Students learn and connect more deeply to the past with these highly interactive and engaging programs. These programs can be booked from August 31, 2017 through May 11, 2018. Note: One adult is free for every 10 students. Extra adults are $10 per person.
DAYS: Tuesday – Thursday • TIMES: 9 a.m.& 11:30 a.m. • COST: $12 per student
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 the 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.
- Begin the colonization process by delegating and accomplishing the necessary tasks to start their new home including building a log cabin, cooking cornbread and spinning cotton.
- Face the multiple challenges thrown in the path to success and prosper through strategic planning, resourcefulness and sheer will. Who will survive and who will thrive?
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 take on specific roles as Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers or civilians on both sides of the conflict. Who will make it through to the end? Students will:
- Be recruited into a role of a civilian or soldier and learn about the process through the eyes of a specific recruit.
- 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.
- Participate in a small tactical exercise and discover their fate as the battle progresses. Who will live, who will die and what will be YOUR story?
DAYS: Fridays from September-May OR any time January 30-February 9 OR daily beginning May 16
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. Self-guided programs can be booked on Fridays during the school year or daily beginning May 16. 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.
Texian Market Days ($7/student – October 19, 2018)
- Historical Re-Enactments
- Hands-On Activities & Demonstrations
- Old-Fashioned Games
- Historic House Tours
Visit TexianMarketDays.com for more information about the living history festival!
Tales of Texas ($7/student – February 2019)
- 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!
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.