Guided Programs

A group of students learn about traditional cooking on an Old World Wisconsin field trip.

Guided Hands-on Programs

Our one-hour guided tours will challenge students to think critically about Wisconsin history and create personal connections to the past through Museum exhibits. Tour guides utilize the "Thinking Like a Historian" educational model, in which students are expected to actively participate by offering reactions and questions to their guide and classmates.

Wisconsin Historical Museum field trips support and enhance core language arts standards while uniquely providing a different learning environment for students. Museum programs support "Common Core English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Informational Text and Speaking and Listening." Program content and Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions standards will vary based on the personality of the content expert who guides the group through the Museum. Learn more about how our tours meet Wisconsin's standards.

The guided tour may be augmented by an additional 30 minutes of self-guided time to explore exhibits not covered in the guided tour. Time can also be scheduled for students to visit the Museum Store, watch a film in our theatre, or eat a sack lunch in our seasonal exhibit space.

Guided Tours
Students touring the People of the Woodlands exhibit.

People of the Woodlands gallery

Native People of Wisconsin

Students will take an in-depth look at Wisconsin archaeology, the fur trade, and the lifeways of Wisconsin's native people.

  • Maximum group size
  • Availability
    Tuesday-Friday, Sep 15–Mar 1

Why History Matters

This tour introduces the main themes of Wisconsin history. Students will discover how artifacts reflect history and what they reveal about our lives today.

  • Maximum group size
  • Availability
    Tuesday-Friday, year-round

What's the Big Idea?

Guide pointing out details in a fourth floor museum gallery exhibit.

Guide in the fourth floor gallery

This one-hour program is designed for secondary level students to draw upon Wisconsin history as a case study for historical inquiry, research and analysis. Call for information on how we can tailor this tour to your classroom's needs.

  • Maximum group size
    160 participants
  • Availability
    Tuesday-Friday, year-round

National History Day Tour

A one-hour guided program designed for students to draw upon the Wisconsin Historical Museum as an example for research, analysis, and presentation. The guides will critically analyze the content in our museum and its construction to highlight valuable lessons for students working to create a National History Day project (or any project-based research project).

  • Maximum group size
    40 participants
  • Availability
    Tuesday-Friday, year-round

Off-Site Programs

We offer a variety of costumed interpretation, powerpoint, or object-based presentations. Please call or email for more information.