Field Trips

Schedule a field trip for Spring 2019!

Duke Homestead encompasses the historic home, farm, and factory buildings of Washington Duke and his family as they lived on the property from 1852 until 1874. 

Duke Homestead provides school programming where students can experience the daily lives of 19th century farmers. Through hands-on activities, a film, and interactive exhibits, school children will discover and learn about the social and economic history of our state. Below you will find details of the various programs available for visiting school groups.

life at duke homestead

Offered Year Round. Program is geared toward 2nd through 5th graders.

You may choose a combination of activities for a total of up to four programs. (Limit of 4 programs total.) All groups do the will do the House Tour, but otherwise you may select whichever programs you think work best for your students. 

House Tour 

Students will take a tour of the Duke family's historic home, where they will discuss the lives of the Dukes and North Carolinians during the mid-19th century. Discussions include everyday cultural practices, beliefs and traditions, as well as the role the Duke family played in influencing the economic, political, and cultural development of the Durham community.

Sarah's Farm FIlm

Students will view a film about a girl named Sarah, who lived on a Orange County farm in 1860. Sarah narrates her daily activities and describes the life of the typical mid-19th century farm family. After viewing the film, students will engage with an interpreter, making comparisons between the lives of the 19th century farmer to their lives in the 21st century.


Students will make connections to the past through archaeology; learning about the basic ways that past cultures met their everyday needs by excavating, analyzing and interpreting artifacts.

Barn to Table 

Students will discuss the basic principles of the agrarian economy, and how farmers of the mid-19th century made a living by using the natural resources available to them. Students will apply knowledge about farm life by "milking a cow" and churning butter.

Fashion Show

Students will explore the fashion culture of the mid-19th century, and will be able to explain the practical and stylistic aspects of clothing during this era. Students will also be able to experience for mid-19th century by dressing up in period clothing.

Town Ball

Students will engage with the recreational culture of the past, by playing this game, which was a precursor to baseball. 

MuseumScavenger Hunt

Students will investigate the history of the tobacco economy, its origins, and the positive and negative impacts on the development of the economy, culture, and health of the people of the United States.

Each activity takes 30 minutes. Groups may also reserve the picnic area for lunch. Groups may want to spend time exploring the museum on their own after the programming has ended. 

Limit of four classes or 100 students per day.

All programs are for 10 or more students.

The maximum number of activities, including the orientation film, is four. 


Offered year round. Program is geared towards Kindergarten and 1st grade.

During this one-hour visit, students will talk about the animals and crops raised on a farm in the 1800's, will have "The Little Red Hen" read aloud to them, and tour the Duke family's 1852 home where they can compare their home to the Duke family farmhouse.

To schedule a Field Trip:

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

Or Email: 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.

Field trips begin at 10:00 am at the earliest. Field trips are available during the week from Tuesday to Friday. 

There is a requested donation of $1 per participating student to cover costs which must be paid before the day of the trip.

All programs are for groups of 10 or more students. 

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.

Christmas Traditions and Celebrations

First two weeks of December. Preschool through 2nd Grade.

1 hour time slots at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 12:00 pm.

A one-hour tour of the Duke's home detailing the celebration of Christmas in 1870 Piedmont North Carolina. Costumed interpreters explain the decorations, food, and gifts typically shared during the season. Children may sample homemade gingerbread and popcorn popped over the fire and make an ornament to take home.

Limit of two classes or 50 students per hour. A minimum of 10 students is required to participate.

There is a program fee of $1.00 per participating child.

Please call (919) 627 - 6990 for a reservation or submit a request online HERE.