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Van Cortlandt House Museum
School Field Trips
Van Cortlandt House Museum offers school field trips Monday through Friday from September through June. Field trips are designed to meet the New York State Education Department’s learning standards for the core social studies curriculum established for grades 1 – 4. What sets the school field trips to Van Cortlandt House apart from others? Your students will participate in reenactments and hands-on activities led by a professional Museum Educator in authentic 18th century clothing. We can also custom tailor your field trip to suit special needs or themes including day-long sessions.
We offer two basic themes: the life of a child in the 18th century; and the life of a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Students explore the life of a child in the 18th century in our program “Growing up in Little Yonkers” and experience the role of a soldier in the Revolutionary War through their visit to “The Recruiting Serjeant”.
School Field Trips can be booked according to your school’s schedule starting as early as 9:30 a.m. each day. Admission is $5.00 per student with teachers and chaperones admitted free of charge. Because our school field trips are popular, we recommend booking well ahead of time to ensure your choice of available dates.
Growing Up in Little Yonkers
Yonkers? I thought the Van Cortlandt House Museum was in the Bronx? Throughout the 18th century and late into the 19th century, the land upon which Van Cortlandt House stands was located on the southernmost tip of Westchester County in the town of Yonkers. The Van Cortlandt family’s plantation was known as Little Yonkers to differentiate it from the Van Cortlandt plantation in the northern Westchester town of Croton. Not only was Frederick Van Cortlandt’s parcel of land smaller, hence the title “little”, the branch of the family that settled there was known as the Junior Branch.
When you arrive at Van Cortlandt House Museum for the program Growing Up in Little Yonkers, your class will be greeted outdoors (weather permitting) for a brief introduction to the land surrounding the house setting the scene back in time to the 18th century. The class then participates in hands-on activities which connect your students to the actual daily routine of Colonial era children. The visit concludes with a guided tour of Van Cortlandt House using the collections and artifact reproductions to further explore the role of children in an 18th century household.
The Recruiting Serjeant
A class visit to The Recruiting Serjeant will give your students a first-person perspective on the life of a soldier in General George Washington’s Army. Alternately, you may wish to have our Museum Educator present the field trip from the perspective of an English soldier sent to the Colonies to fight King George’s war. From either vantage point, your visit begins with a lively discussion of the Colonial recruiting practices including having your students enlist in General Washington (or King George’s) Army. They’ll be paid an enlistment bonus in the form of a New York colony $3.00 note and then it’s off to prepare for battle. Outside on the lawn of the Museum (weather permitting) students will practice marching, learn the steps to loading and firing a musket, and perform a fearsome charge at an imaginary enemy. Back inside Van Cortlandt House, the class will be led on a tour where they’ll learn about General Washington’s occupation of the house in the fall of 1776 and his return at the end of the war as he traveled to Manhattan to accept occupation of the city back from the English Army.
Field Trip FAQ’S
How long do the programs run?
Field trips to Van Cortlandt House Museum run approximately 1 ½ hours depending on class size and how engaged students are in the presentation. The more well-prepared your students are, the more engaged they will be and the more questions they will ask.
Is there a place my students can have lunch?
Your class is welcome to have lunch in the Herb Cellar/Classroom at Van Cortlandt House after their field trip is finished. During nice weather, your class is welcome to have lunch and play outside on the grounds of the Museum.
Do you have a gift shop?
Van Cortlandt House has a Museum Shop stocked with toys, games, books and educational resources inspired by 18th century life and culture. Sets of reproduction currency and coinage used in the Colonial era and equipment such as spy glasses and compasses are available for purchase. The shop also carries items such as pencils, postcards, popular Dover coloring books, and old-fashioned metal toy soldiers.
Our Mission:The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America actively promotes our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects.
HEADQUARTERS HOUSE MUSEUM
215 East 71st Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10021
Tel: (212) 744-3572
Subway: #6 to 68th Street Station
Bus: M101, M102 or M103 to 72nd Street, or M72 crosstown
School Groups: September - June
donation of $4 per person
VAN CORTLANDT HOUSE MUSEUM
Broadway at West 246th Street, Bronx, NY 10471
Tel: (718) 543-3344
Subway: #1 to 242nd Street Station
Bus: Bx9 to West 244th Street
Tuesday - Friday, 10am - 3pm
Saturday & Sunday, 11am - 4pm.
Adults $5; Students & Seniors, $3, Children under 12 are free.
Admission is free on Wednesdays.