Plan an unforgettable educational adventure for your students with our engaging field trip experiences. Immerse your class in the birthplace of Texas independence and explore our rich heritage through interactive tours, historical reenactments, and hands-on activities. Book your school field trip today for an immersive journey into the heart of Texas history.

Group Requirements to Schedule a Program 

Group size: 20 student minimum; This does not include underaged siblings, chaperones, or teachers. 

Due to space constraints and staffing, groups of over 30 students will be broken into subgroups, which will rotate through scheduled sites. 

Groups of fewer than 20 students are welcome to visit the facilities on their own, depending on availability, but will not receive a guided program. Public admission fees will apply. 

Points To Consider When Planning Your Trip 

  • Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is undergoing an epic restoration and reimagination to create an enhanced visitor experience. With this restoration, the Star of the Republic Museum will be temporarily closed. 
  • Programs for the 2023-24 school year are offered at two locations within the site:  Independence Hall and Barrington Plantation. Students may participate in one program at each site if time permits. 
  • Independence Hall and Barrington Plantation are available for scheduled programs 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday-Friday. 
  • Time in the Gift Shop can be included in the schedule; however, only students who are prepared to shop will be admitted with an adult. 
  • Please remember that teachers and chaperones are expected to assist with supervision of the students. Any adult who interferes with the student program may be asked to leave. Please turn off cell phones! 
  • Interpreters will include allowances for travel from site to site. 
  • No food or drinks are allowed inside the Visitor Center, Independence Hall, or Barrington Plantation. Backpacks and lunches should be left on the bus. Please help us preserve and protect the integrity of this historic site! 
  • During the summer, tour activities may be modified, and some may be self-guided. 
  • Tours at Barrington Plantation are outside. Please wear appropriate clothing and shoes. 
  • For the safety of visitors and staff, whenever thunder and lightning are present within eight miles, Barrington Plantation and Independence Hall will close and remain closed for 30 minutes after the last episode of thunder or lightning. Alternate activities will be arranged by the education coordinator. 
  • It is important for you to be on time for your scheduled program! Consider travel time to Washington-on-the-Brazos. Please allow time for bathroom breaks, paying admission fees, and checking in at each site prior to the scheduled program time. Large school groups visiting multiple sites at the same time should have all students at their assigned site at the scheduled time. Late-arriving groups will be kept to their assigned schedule, thus forfeiting a portion of their program. 

Student Program Fees 

For groups meeting the above requirements, the student fee is $2 for a one-site tour and $4 for a two-site tour. 

Teachers (up to one per 10 students) and bus drivers (one per bus) are FREE. 

Chaperones: Adult chaperones will be charged the public fee of $8. Fees should be paid at the Visitor Center and proof of payment will be required at each site. 

There is no admission fee to the Visitor Center/Gift Shop or the Townsite Trail. 

School Programs Options by Grade Level 

PreK-3rd 

Walking in the Footsteps of History 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
Join us for a walk down Ferry Street in Old Washington to learn more about the sights and sounds of this historic town in the 1840s and 1850s. Program will be adapted for appropriate age group. 

What Would Sally See? 
Barrington Plantation 
1.5-2 hours, depending on student age and time constraints 
Sarah Sophia (Sallie) Jones was 5 years old in 1850. What might she have seen as she went through her day? An introduction to 1850s agriculture and livestock, with time allotted for yard games. Age-appropriate introductions to the topics of food production and slavery. 

4th-6th 

Courage, Convention, and Constitution: The Birth of Texas 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program helps school-age children discover the role of Washington and the Convention of 1836 in the birth of Texas by use of both a story and question/answer format. It includes a visit to the replica of Independence Hall and the opportunity to sign a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence. 

A Call to Arms! 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program explores the Texian citizen soldier through primary documents and role play. The students assume the role of citizens of the town of Washington that joined the Texas army in 1836. 

Field Work; Free Time 
Barrington Plantation 
1.5-2 hours, depending on student age and time restraints 
Experience the dual realities of 1850s Texas with half of the time devoted to fun around the Jones home, and the other half allotted to the common farming tasks of those enslaved. 

Self-Guided Townsite Trail Time 
Washington Townsite 
30 minutes 
What did the town of Washington look like in the 1840s? What happened to it since then? This self-guided tour option adds another dimension to a visit to Washington-on-the-Brazos. 

7th-9th 

Courage, Convention, and Constitution: The Birth of Texas 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program helps school-age children discover the role of Washington and the Convention of 1836 in the birth of Texas by use of both a story and question/answer format. It includes a visit to the replica of Independence Hall and the opportunity to sign a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence. 

A Call to Arms! 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program explores the Texian citizen soldier through primary documents and role play. The students assume the role of citizens of the town of Washington that joined the Texas army in 1836. 

From See to Can't 
Barrington Plantation 
1.5-2 hours, depending on student age and time restraints 
What made the plantation run like a machine? Explore how the Jones family developed Barrington as a comfortable home and gain a perspective of the cost of those enslaved who built and sustained it. 

Self-Guided Townsite Trail Time 
Washington Townsite 
30 minutes 
Any grade level 
What did the town of Washington look like in the 1840s? What happened to it since then? This self-guided tour option adds another dimension to a visit to Washington-on-the-Brazos. 

10th-12th 

Courage, Convention, and Constitution: The Birth of Texas 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program helps school-age children discover the role of Washington and the Convention of 1836 in the birth of Texas by use of both a story and question/answer format. It includes a visit to the replica of Independence Hall and the opportunity to sign a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence. 

Prosperity and Prejudice 
Barrington Plantation 
1.5-2 hours, depending on student age and time restraints 
Former President Jones sought to negotiate a favorable annexation of Texas to the United States and fulfill his vision of freedom and prosperity for its citizens. On the other hand, he also took advantage of the enslaved labor system that contradicts the idea of freedom. Explore how his choices as president still affect our lives today, as well as how those enslaved coped with the inequity of slavery and prejudice. 

Self-Guided Townsite Trail Time 
Washington Townsite 
30 minutes 
What did the town of Washington look like in the 1840s? What happened to it since then? This self-guided tour option adds another dimension to a visit to Washington-on-the-Brazos. 

Mixed Age Groups/Homeschool 

Courage, Convention, and Constitution: The Birth of Texas 
Independence Hall 
1 hour 
This program helps school-age children discover the role of Washington and the Convention of 1836 in the birth of Texas by use of both a story and question/answer format. It includes a visit to the replica of Independence Hall and the opportunity to sign a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence. 

A Mile in Their Shoes 
Barrington Plantation 
1.5-2 hours 
How might your life have looked in the 1850s? Explore the differing roles and tasks expected of both children and adults, enslaved and free, working at a plantation like Barrington. 

Self-Guided Townsite Trail Time 
Washington Townsite 
30 minutes, any number of students 
What did the town of Washington look like in the 1840s? What happened to it since then? This self-guided tour option adds another dimension to a visit to Washington-on-the-Brazos. 

Reservations 

School tour requests must be made at least four weeks prior to your visit. 

The size of your group and your choice of program may affect availability. 

Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis, to the best of our ability. Telephone requests will not be considered. Please understand that many schools submit requests during this period to secure desired dates. Leaving a voice-mail message does not guarantee date availability. 

Before requesting a tour, you must know the following information: 

  • Teacher/contact person name, name and mailing address for school, phone and fax number, and e-mail address 
  • Best time to reach teacher during the day. 
  • Number of students and grade level 
  • Desired programs 
  • Requested dates and time—be prepared with two or three alternate dates and times, in case your first choice is not available. 
  • Lunch location: The uncovered picnic area is available for lunch (free of charge). Covered pavilions may be reserved at a reduced rate for schools. 

To make a field trip reservation, simply submit a Tour Request Form. Once the request has been submitted, the education coordinator will contact the teacher to finalize and confirm the tour request. If you do not get a response, check your trash folder or "junk mail" folder to be sure it did not get filtered. BE SURE YOUR SCHOOL ALLOWS YOU TO RECEIVE EMAILS FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES. If not, you may want to use your personal email address. If you have not received an email from us, you do NOT have a reservation! 

NOTE: Tour booking for the 2023-24 school year opens August 8, 2023. Requests submitted prior to that date will NOT be accepted. 

Call 936-878-2461, ext. 236 or email jordan.lucier@thc.texas.gov to ask questions. 

Once Your School Tour Is Booked 

You will receive a pre-confirmation email informing you that your school group has been placed on the calendar. 

Eight to six weeks before your visit, you will receive another email which will contain an invoice and CONFIRMATION CONTRACT. Failure to submit payment and return your signed confirmation contract by four weeks in advance of your visit may jeopardize your reservation. Once we receive your signed contract, we will send you a schedule and tour information, including maps and points to remember. Please share the information, including the schedule, with ALL teachers, chaperones, and bus drivers who will be participating in the field trip!  

NOTE: Times when you receive materials may vary based on how far in advance tours are reserved. 

As of July 2023, payment (check or credit card--Visa, MasterCard, Discover) is required four weeks in advance with one payment used for entire group, including students, and additional teachers. Please be aware that there are NO REFUNDS, and any additional students will be charged the day of the tour.