Field Trips

Visit us for engaging, hands-on field trips. We've got something for all ages! 

Teachers can choose 1 of the below fieldtrip themes/focuses for their students. Each program will have 4 activities, which students will rotate between. We require at least 2 weeks advanced notice for scheduling.  Programs are 2 hours each, and we require a firm minimum of 10 participating students.

There is a fee of $1 per participating student. We allow 2 free teachers/chaperones per class; it is $1 per chaperone after that. 

Duke Homestead is closed on Mondays and cannot offer field trips.

Work and Play: LIfe on a 19th Century Farm 

Kindergarten-8th grade

What was life like in the mid 19th century for children? Children worked hard on farms and in factories, but also had time to play. Students will compare and contrast daily chores and work expectations between the past and present, and between rural and urban life. During this program, students will participate in a hands-on daily work activity, and also learn historic games. 

Archeology at duke Homestead 

3rd-6th grade

While the Duke Family left many records, they did not write down all the details of their everyday lives while living at Duke Homestead from the 1850s-1870s. In this program, students learn basic principles of archaeology and its importance in uncovering the lives of people who did not or could not leave written records. Students will participate in hands-on archaeological simulations, explore the museum, and discover how to read artifacts to tell us about the past.  

Duke's Empire: Monopolies, Working Conditions, and Health 

6th-12th grade

By the 1890s, the company Washington Duke and his sons started thirty years prior grew to be the largest tobacco trust in the United States, controlling up to 90% of tobacco production in the nation. In this program, students will learn about the monopolies, labor and racial inequalities in tobacco, and the health hazards and working conditions faced by those working in tobacco. Students will learn about the unique conditions that allowed North Carolina to become a stronghold for the tobacco industry in the United States, led by the Duke Family. Students will learn about monopolies and their influences on labor conditions and labor laws and will learn about how these monopolies solidify racial and gender inequality in the workplace. Students will participate in hands on activities related to 19th century manufacturing and processing. 

Daily Life, Music, and Cultural Arts 

Kindergarten-8th grade

During this program, students will gain more understanding on societal and cultural norms of the late 19th century through fashion, dance, and leisure activities. Students will also be able to compare and contrast what different groups may have participated in these activities, and will be able to note the labor divisions among class and race in the late 19th century. Students will participate in historic games and dance. 

The African american Experience: Freedom vs. Equality 

Kindergarten-12th grade

Participants will learn about the experiences of African Americans in Durham and in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Students will examine the lives and work of local African American communities from slavery to the Civil War to Reconstruction. Through the context of a small farm and home factory, participants will discuss enslaved labor in rural North Carolina, post-Emancipation inequalities, factory labor, sharecropping, and post-war Jim Crowe sentiments.

Earth Sciences and 19th Century Homesteading 

6th-12th grade

Participants will learn about Earth Sciences, Plant Biology, and simple Chemistry through a variety of exciting hands-on activities rooted in learning about life, technology, and agricultural techniques on a 19th century homestead. Focusing on Earth Sciences, with activities also based on principles of plant biology and simple chemistry, this program will explore the role of science on a 19th century homestead. Students will review copies of period documents in order to understand the role that weather played in 19th century farming as well as actively complete some basic farm work themselves. Additionally, they will discuss the technology and role of medicine(laundry) in a 19th century home to understand how life has changed.

VirtualProgramming at Duke Homestead

The below programs are offered virtually and  can be done via webcam (through Google Classrooms). There is a fee of $1 per student, of up to 95 participating students/teachers. The virtual program will be led digitally by a member of the Duke Homestead staff. Staff will also facilitate activities investigating primary source documents and/or lead a virtual object investigation to learn more about 19th century material culture.  

For virtual programs, our elementary field trips will last 35-45 minutes, and our middle and high school field trips will last for 40-50 minutes. These programs can be scheduled for anytime 9:30am to 3:30pm, Tuesday to Friday.

Work and Play: LIfe on a 19th Century Farm 

Kindergarten-5th grade

What was life like in the mid 19th century for children? Most children worked hard on farms or in factories, but also had time to play. In this virtual program, students will critical thinking skills to compare and contrast daily life and work expectations between the past and present, and between rural and urban life. The virtual program will be led digitally by a member of the Duke Homestead staff. Staff will also lead a virtual object investigation to learn more about 19th century material culture.  

Tobacco Factories and Durham 

6th-8th grade, AmHis1, AmHis2

In this virtual program, students will learn about the history of tobacco as it relates to North Carolina. Led digitally by a member of the Duke Homestead staff, students will learn about the unique conditions that allowed North Carolina to become a stronghold for the tobacco industry in the United States, led by the Duke Family. They will learn about how the tobacco industry brought about and adapted to new technologies, how those new technologies effected workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and how they perpetuated racial disparities. The virtual program will be led digitally by a member of the Duke Homestead staff. Staff will also facilitate activities investigating primary source documents, and an activity comparing, contrasting, and creating labor laws in North Carolina.

Exploring Artifacts at Duke Homestead

2nd-6th grade

While the Duke Family left many records, they did not write down all the details of their everyday lives while living at Duke Homestead from the 1850s-1870s. In this virtual program, students learn the importance in uncovering the lives of people who did not or could not leave written records. By looking at archaeology and artifacts, students will investigate and use critical thinking skills to learn about what objects can teach us about the people who lived in the past. The virtual program will be led digitally by a member of the Duke Homestead staff. Staff will lead virtual object investigations about items found on site at Duke Homestead to learn more about 19th century material culture. 

North Carolina Labor History Through Tobacco

6th-8th grade, AmHis1, AmHis2

North Carolina‚Äôs labor history has long been connected to tobacco. In this virtual program, a member of the Duke Homestead staff will lead students through the history of tobacco labor in North Carolina. In the program students and staff will discuss how the tobacco industry effected North Carolinians in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this program, students will learn about how the tobacco industry changed and shaped North Carolina and will learn how the demand for tobacco helped perpetuate institutions of slavery, sharecropping, and factory labor. Staff will virtually facilitate activities investigating primary source documents in this program.

To schedule a Field Trip:

Call: (919) 627-6990 between 9 am. and 5 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday

Or Email: duke@ncdcr.gov with field trip reservation requests

Or Fill Out and Submit the Field Trip Request Form

Please call at least two weeks in advance of the desired field trip date.

Duke Homestead also offers Guided Tours year round for all ages.

During this hour and a half visit, students will view the 17-minute orientation film, Legacy of the Golden Leaf, then tour the 1852 Duke home and historic area. Groups may wish to spend time exploring the museum after the tour or reserve the picnic area for lunch. Limit of three classes or 75 students per day.